Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world. A Royal home and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today. The Queen uses the Castle both as a private home, where she usually spends the weekend, and as a Royal residence at which she undertakes certain formal duties.
Windsor Castle is also a busy visitor attraction. Many parts of the Castle are open to the public, including the precincts, the State Apartments, Queen Mary’s famous dolls’ house, St George’s Chapel, and the Albert Memorial Chapel.
Every year The Queen takes up official residence in Windsor Castle for a month over Easter (March-April), known as Easter Court. During that time The Queen hosts occasional ‘dine and sleeps’ events for guests, including politicians and public figures. The Queen is also in residence for a week in June, when she attends the service of the Order of the Garter and the Royal Ascot race meeting. When The Queen is in official residence, Changing the Guard provides a colorful spectacle in the quadrangle.
The Order of the Garter ceremony brings together members of the senior order of chivalry for a service in St George’s Chapel. Beforehand, The Queen gives a lunch for the Knights of the Garter in the Castle’s Waterloo Chamber.
Any new Knights of the Garter are invested by The Queen in the Garter Throne Room. On the walls are portraits of monarchs in their Garter Robes, from George I to the present Queen, whose State portrait by Sir James Gunn was painted in 1954.
The traditional State Banquet is held in St George’s Hall (55.5m long and 9m wide), with a table seating up to 160 guests.
How can you tell if the Queen is in the House
The most obvious and most used way of telling is to look at the flag above Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle or any other royal residence. If the British Flag (Union Flag) is flying above the residence, then Her Majesty is not in residence. If the Royal Standard is flying above the residence, then The Queen is in residence. The day of our visit, the Royal Standard Flag was flying above the Windsor Castle. The Queen was in Windsor Castle while we were there but we didn’t get to see her!
Royal Standard Flag was flying above the Windsor Castle
Have you been to Windsor, did you see the Queen?