10 Fascinating Facts About Windsor Castle You Didn’t Know

10 Fascinating Facts About Windsor Castle You Didn't Know

Windsor Castle, an iconic symbol of British heritage, is a treasure trove of history and royal tradition. Here are 10 fascinating facts about Windsor Castle that will surprise and delight you.

1. The Oldest Occupied Castle in the World

Windsor Castle boasts a remarkable history, being the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has been a continuous royal residence for over 900 years.

Its ancient stone walls have witnessed countless historical events, from medieval feasts to modern state banquets. The castle’s longevity and historical significance make it a unique testament to the enduring nature of the British monarchy.

2. A Royal Residence

As one of the principal residences of the British monarch, Windsor Castle serves as both a private home and a working palace. It’s where the Queen spends her weekends and hosts numerous official events, including state dinners and ceremonial occasions.

The castle’s opulent State Apartments, adorned with priceless artworks and furnishings, reflect the grandeur and history of the British royal family. Windsor Castle’s dual role as a home and a palace highlights its importance in the daily life and functions of the monarchy.

The Magnificent St George’s Chapel

3. The Magnificent St George’s Chapel

St George’s Chapel, located within the grounds of Windsor Castle, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. It has been the site of many royal weddings, including those of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and is the final resting place for numerous monarchs, such as Henry VIII and Charles I.

The chapel’s intricate stone carvings, majestic stained glass windows, and impressive fan-vaulted ceiling make it a masterpiece of medieval craftsmanship. St George’s Chapel also serves as the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain.

4. The Changing of the Guard

One of the most iconic ceremonies associated with Windsor Castle is the Changing of the Guard. This colourful and formal tradition attracts thousands of visitors and showcases the precision and discipline of the British guards.

Held on selected days, the ceremony involves the handover of duty between the old guard and the new guard, accompanied by a military band. The pomp and pageantry of the Changing of the Guard provide a glimpse into the military traditions and protocols that have been maintained for centuries.

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5. The Castle’s Role in World War II

During World War II, Windsor Castle played a crucial role as a safe haven for the royal family. The castle’s robust structure and strategic location made it an ideal refuge during the turbulent times. Special measures were taken to protect the building, including the removal of stained glass windows and the reinforcement of walls.

The young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were relocated to Windsor Castle for their safety, and the castle’s dungeons were converted into air-raid shelters. Windsor Castle’s wartime resilience underscores its importance as a symbol of stability and continuity.

6. The Queen’s Weekend Home

For Queen Elizabeth II, Windsor Castle is more than just a ceremonial venue; it is a beloved retreat. The Queen often spends weekends here, enjoying the tranquillity and beauty of the castle and its surroundings.

Away from the formalities of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle offers a more relaxed atmosphere where the Queen can ride her horses and walk her dogs. The personal connection that the Queen has with Windsor Castle makes it a cherished part of her life, reflecting its significance as a family home as well as a royal residence.

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7. The Extensive Grounds and Gardens

The gardens at Windsor Castle are a sight to behold, featuring beautifully manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and ancient trees. The grounds provide a serene backdrop for the castle’s grandeur and offer a peaceful retreat for the royal family.

The castle’s Long Walk, a tree-lined avenue stretching over 2.5 miles, is particularly famous for its stunning views and is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike. The gardens also play host to the annual Windsor Horse Show, showcasing the castle’s deep connection with equestrian traditions.

8. The Royal Library

The Royal Library at Windsor Castle houses a vast collection of books, manuscripts, and artworks. This impressive repository reflects the intellectual and cultural pursuits of the British monarchy. Among its treasures are rare volumes, historic maps, and personal letters of monarchs past.

The library’s collection includes works by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, as well as illuminated manuscripts from the medieval period. The Royal Library not only preserves historical documents but also serves as a resource for scholars and researchers interested in the history of the British Isles and the royal family.

9. The Castle’s Restoration After the Fire

In 1992, a devastating fire swept through Windsor Castle, causing extensive damage to over 100 rooms, including the State Apartments. The meticulous restoration process that followed took five years and restored the castle to its former glory. The restoration project was one of the most extensive of its kind, involving craftsmen and experts from various fields.

The effort included the recreation of historic interiors, the use of traditional materials and techniques, and the installation of modern fire prevention systems. Windsor Castle’s successful restoration stands as a testament to the dedication to preserving Britain’s architectural and cultural heritage.

10. Hosting State Visits and Events

Windsor Castle is a significant venue for state visits and official events. Its grand halls and regal ambiance provide a perfect setting for welcoming dignitaries from around the world. The State Banquet Room, with its glittering chandeliers and long dining table, is often used for formal dinners hosted by the Queen.

The castle also hosts the annual Order of the Garter ceremony, attended by knights and ladies of the Order. Windsor Castle’s role in hosting these prestigious events underscores its importance as a centre of royal hospitality and diplomacy.

Experience Royal Splendour: A Private View of Windsor Castle with Oliver Myles

Discover the unparalleled splendour of Windsor Castle with Oliver Myles’ exclusive private view event. Step into the world of British royalty as you explore the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, founded by William the Conqueror over 900 years ago.

Marvel at the magnificent St George’s Chapel, witness the iconic Changing of the Guard, and stroll through the stunning gardens that have been meticulously maintained for centuries.

This unique experience offers a rare glimpse into the regal life and historical grandeur of Windsor Castle, making it a truly unforgettable event. Join us for a day of elegance, history, and royal tradition with Oliver Myles.


Windsor Castle stands as a living testament to the rich heritage and enduring legacy of the British monarchy, offering a unique blend of historical significance and contemporary royal life. Founded by William the Conqueror over 900 years ago, it has been a continuous royal residence, witnessing countless historical events.

The castle’s stunning architecture, opulent State Apartments, and magnificent St George’s Chapel provide a glimpse into royal traditions. Highlights include the Changing of the Guard, the extensive gardens, and the treasures of the Royal Library.

Its resilience during World War II and meticulous restoration after the 1992 fire underscore its symbolic importance. Experience this unparalleled splendour with Oliver Myles‘ exclusive private view, offering a rare and unforgettable glimpse into the heart of British royal tradition.