This week’s Travel Thursday post is going to be a brief look at Windsor! I still have to say it is one of the most interesting places that I have seen. While it is still a working Royal palace, one that actually hosts quite a few State events, it still seems quiet and calm and like everything is seamless. You couldn’t tell from these pictures, but the Palace staff was actually preparing for Her Majesty to arrive the next day. Somehow, it seemed half empty even though I’m sure there were a million tiny details to prepare.
I have accepted that I most likely will never be able to walk around in Buckingham Palace, because it’s not open to the public for any great length of time, and the periods that are open are those that are super expensive high tourist season. But we specifically planned our trip to Windsor in order for us to actually be able to see inside the castle. And then the Queen changed her mind. It’s crazy to think that one lady’s change of mind can affect how many hundreds or thousands of peoples plans, but then again, she’s not just some lady. Even though Her Majesty changed her mind about going to Windsor earlier, I’m still glad that we took the time to wander around and see what we could.
Of course, in true Victorian fashion, you are greeted by a fairly sizeable statue of Victoria. In case you were like, I’m not sure if I remember who that monarch who reigned for the majority of the 19th century in England is, here is your reminder. Given how major of a palace it is, you can see how quiet it is on a regular working day.
As a medieval historian, I’ve always been fascinated by castles like Windsor. Originally, it wouldn’t have been surrounded by pubs and office buildings and shops, but rather by a small village- it would have appeared even more imposing 1000 years ago. Considering that just over fifteen years ago there was a massive fire, it is impressive that it still looks the same as ever. I would love to see representations of how everything would have have looked during each century, both the interiors, the gardens, and the town itself.
Speaking of the gardens, I was not at all expecting to see this when we came to the gardens. It is a lot brighter than I originally expected, and there is a huge range of flowers and shrubs! I particularly enjoy the water feature, and the small bench. Although I’m sure that the number of people who can actually go down into the garden and enjoy said bench is quite small, sometimes I like to imagine that I am reading a novel there. A quiet, peaceful bench in a beautiful garden surrounded by over a thousand years of history? I don’t know that there is a more perfect place to sit and read. (I don’t know, maybe there are Pokemon there. Not sure how those guys work, but it seems likely…)
I have to say that I was most sad about not being able to go into St. George’s Chapel. The Chapel plays host to the Order of the Garter each June, which is one of my favourite Royal watching events. Also, several notable Royals have been interred in the Chapel, including Elizabeth Woodville, Jane Seymour, and Charles I. (Nerdy historical sidenote: I would love to see a spreadsheet of which Royals are buried in which Chapel/Cathedral, and why. I feel like there would be some very interesting stories there. Note to self for a future research project…)
We didn’t have a chance to head in this time, but stopping at the Duchess of Cambridge pub is definitely on my to-do list. I appreciate that it is right across from the castle, and that they have her coat of arms so prominently displayed. I personally am a huge fan of pubs- you can drink if you want to but it’s not necessary, there’s usually decent food, and it’s a fun and casual atmosphere. I would like to think that some tiny bit of her elegance and charm would rub off on me if I eat there….
If you could visit one historical period, which would it be and why? Leave a comment below!
Check out my initial Windsor post here!