Windsor Castle holds a special place in the hearts of many royal family members. Including, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who are set to get married in the castle’s chapel in May.
Located just 21 miles from Buckingham Palace, the royal family’s home away from home (or, castle away from castle), is considered the oldest continuously inhabited castle in the world and contains some of the family’s most prized possessions.
Curious to know more? Ahead, we take a look at some of the castle’s most stunning rooms and features, including one of the most expensive interior design schemes in all of England (page 6) and St. George’s Chapel (page 8), where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will say “I do.”
1. Lots of Tradition
The place was rebuilt after the fire. | The Royal Family via Youtube
In 1992, after a devastating fire to the castle’s State Apartments and Semi-State Rooms, serious renovations were in order. Though, coincidentally, right before the fire much of the rooms’ contents were moved and therefore left unharmed.
Next: After the fire came repairs.
2. Lots of old, lots of new
Windsor Castle today. | mspoli/iStock/Getty Images
After the fire, the castle was quickly repaired. The stunning rooms are a combination of old and new with renovated interiors and original artifacts and furniture.
Next: These rooms are home to the family’s most prized possessions.
3. The State Apartments
The intricate details fill the space. | The Royal Family via Youtube
The State Apartments are some of the most breathtaking rooms in Windsor Castle. The stunning castle rooms rival that of the Palace of Versailles and feature some of the royal family’s most treasured artifacts and finest pieces of art from their private collection.
Next: Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle take their wedding photos here?
4. Grand staircase
The staircase is guarded by two nights. | Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images
When visiting the State Apartments, the Grand Staircase greets guests. Built by Anthony Salvin, the mid-Victorian Gothic style staircase is guarded by two statues of armored knights on horseback and extends to the Grand Vestibule.
Next: Can you believe this was once the castle’s main ballroom?
5. The Grand Reception Room
The stunning room is used as the main ballroom. | Royal Collection
The Grand Reception Room has held various uses over the years, including the castle’s main ballroom. But, perhaps the most impressive thing about the room is not what it was used for, but what is inside of it.
Next: The Grand Reception Room’s centerpiece.
6. A gift from a Tsar
LONDON, United Kingdom: A pair of Imperial porcelain vases from the period of Russian Tsar Nicholas I (1825-1855) are exhibited at Sothebys auction house in London, 25 May 2006 | Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty Images
The Grand Reception Room is home to some of the most impressive artifacts, including a large malachite urn gifted to Queen Victoria by Tsar Nicholas I.
Next: A castle becomes a palace.
7. The castle begins to take shape
Henry VIII | Hulton Archive/Getty Images
He may have ruled England through a tumultuous time, but Henry VIII did a lot for Windsor Castle. During his reign in the 16th century, Henry used the castle as a pleasure palace, holding sporting events, and official ceremonies. He also built the main gate.
Next: The reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
8. The palace grows under Elizabeth
| Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Under Elizabeth I, Windsor Castle became the main royal residence. On top of taking refuge in it to escape plagues, she trusted that it was strong enough to repel any attacks.
Next: Weaponry makes for great home decor.
9. St. George’s Hall
The ceiling will draw your eyes up. | The Royal Family via Youtube
Located near the State Apartments, St. George’s Hall features an impressive display of military weapons and armor. But, the most spectacular aspect of the famed hall is the ceiling, which is elaborately decorated with the shields of the Knights of the Garter.
Next: One of the most expensive rooms in all of England.
10. The Crimson Drawing Room
It’s one of the most expensive rooms in England. | Royal Collection
Windsor castle has a few spectacular drawing rooms, including the Crimson Drawing Room. The magnificent room features stunning marble floors, intricate crown molding, fabric wallpaper, and a red, white, and gold color scheme. And get this: Many consider the elaborate room one of the most expensive interior design arrangements in England.
Next: Royal wedding guests will have to walk by this stunning area on their way to the reception.
11. The Moat Garden
The gorgeous garden is dreamy. | Travelers World via Youtube
One of the most beautiful areas of Windsor Castle is located just outside of the Round Tower, where a moat once existed. Known as the Moat Garden, the outdoor area wraps around the tower and features a small pond, fountain, perfectly kept grassy area, and an abundance of trees, bushes, and small rose garden.
Next: See where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will say “I do.”
12. St. George’s Chapel
It was also the setting of the marriage between Prince Charles and Camilla. | Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images
St. George’s Chapel is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will say “I do.” Built within the castle’s grounds, the chapel has seen a number of royal weddings, including the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The chapel features a fan-vaulted ceiling and, according to Mirror, is said to be one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in England.
Next: An important tradition.
13. Like father, like son
Charles and Camilla on their wedding day. | CHRIS YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images
The famous 1981 wedding of Charles and Diana did not take place at the chapel. But Charles’ controversial second marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles took place there in 2005.
Next: A previous royal wedding
14. Prince Edward’s wedding
Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones, 1999. | Sinead Lynch/AFP/Getty Images
In 1999, Prince Edward, Philip and Elizabeth’s youngest son, marries Sophie Rhys-Jones at the chapel. Nearly 20 years on, the couple are still together and have two children.
Next: The chapel keeps history alive.
15. St. George’s is home to more than royal weddings
l | Immanuel Giel/Wikimedia Commons
In addition to weddings, St. George’s chapel is the final resting place for many royal family members, including 10 monarchs and Prince Harry’s beloved great-grandmother, the Queen Mother.
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