Visit the magnificent State Apartments, still used for State occasions and Royal receptions. Take some time to explore the castle grounds and the fourteenth-century St. George’s Chapel, one of the most beautiful examples of medieval church architecture in England and a burial place of kings and queens, including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour.
Visitors can walk around the State Apartments, extensive suites of rooms at the heart of the working palace. For part of the year visitors can also see the Semi State rooms, which are some of the most splendid interiors in the castle. They are furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection including paintings by Holbein, Rubens, Van Dyck and Lawrence, fine tapestries and porcelain, sculpture and armour.
Within the Castle complex there are many additional attractions, including the Drawings Gallery, Queen Mary’s dolls’ house, and the fourteenth-century St. George’s Chapel, the burial place of ten sovereigns and setting for many Royal weddings.
Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, is the home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Castle’s dramatic site encapsulates 900 years of British history and its magnificent State Rooms and works of art reflect the tastes of successive kings and queens. In 1992 a devastating fire destroyed or damaged more than 100 rooms at the Castle. The highly acclaimed restoration work, completed in 1997, is a testament to the skills of some of the finest craftsmen in Europe.
HM The Queen and her family spend most of their private weekends at Windsor Castle. The Queen is also officially in residence throughout April and June, when the annual Garter Service is held in St George’s Chapel.
Upon arrival at Windsor Castle, audio guides are available in different languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish.
The Drawings Gallery Exhibition
The Queen: Sixty Photographs for Sixty Years - 4 February to 28 October 2012
Sixty photographs of The Queen, including the work of leading press photographers of the past six decades, are on display to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. The exhibition presents a portrait of The Queen’s reign as captured in fleeting moments on both official occasions and at relaxed family gatherings. Most of the exhibition The Queen: Sixty Photographs for Sixty Years has been selected from photographs submitted by the Royal Rota press organisations.
The State Apartments, the heart of the working palace, are regularly used for ceremonial and official occasions. They are furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck. During the winter months the Semi-State Rooms, among the most richly decorated interiors in the Castle are added to the visitor route.
Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is the most famous dolls’ house in the world. It took three years to complete and involved the work of 1,500 tradesmen, artists and authors. The house is unusually well equipped for its day with modern comforts and labour saving devices. It has electric lighting, an electric vacuum cleaner, hot and cold running water, and even flushing lavatories.
St. George’s Chapel is one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in England. It has been the setting for many royal weddings and is the burial place of ten sovereigns. The Chapel is dedicated to the patron saint of the Order of the Garter. Britain’s highest Order of Chivalry.
The Changing of the Guard takes place at 11:00am, weather permitting, from Monday to Saturday between April and the end of June, and on alternate days for the rest of the year, with the exception of Sundays.
The Castle is open to visitors everyday, including when The Queen is in residence, except for 25 and 26 December.
As the Castle is a working royal palace opening arrangements may be subject to change at short notice.