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For nearly a millennium, Windsor Castle was the home of the British Royal Family and is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in the world. Queen Elizabeth II during her 70-year reign as Britain’s longest-serving monarch, she used the castle as one of her official residences. Apart from living quarters, Windsor Castle has also been used for ceremonial purposes such as hosting heads of state.
After the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey On Monday, his coffin was moved to St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. The funeral service was attended by members of the royal family, including King Charles III and Prince William. The Queen’s coffin has been lowered into the Royal Vault to rest alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, her father, King George VI, and her mother.
Growing up as a young child, the Queen and her sister, Princess Margaret, spent much of World War II in Windsor under the guard of the British Army. The castle has over 1,000 rooms and was frequently visited by the Queen on weekends.
What is the history of the castle?
The castle was first built during the reign of King William the Conqueror who chose the location of the fortress on the edge of a Saxon hunting ground. Construction of Windsor began in 1070 after the Norman Conquest but was not completed until 1086. Originally the King wanted the castle to act as a defensive mechanism against attacks on London before later transforming it into an official residence, according to the Royal Collection Trust.
Over the years other monarchs added more domestic quarters to the castle eventually transforming it from a military outpost to one more fit for the royal family. King Henry I in 1110 removed Windsor’s wooden structures and replaced them with stone. However, Henry III made the most additions by rebuilding and designing the royal apartments. About 100 years later, under King Edward III, the castle was officially transferred from a military post to a Gothic palace with pointed arches.
Windsor Castle suffered its most damaging event since it was built over 900 years ago with the fire on November 20, 1992. The fire started in Queen Victoria’s Chapel before spreading to the roofs of the palace and to destroy the ceiling above St George’s Hall. The State Dining Room and the Crimson Drawing Room were also destroyed. The repairs are said to have cost over £37million and would have taken five years.
Who owns Windsor Castle?
After the death of the queen, King Charles III immediately became the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom and inherited Windsor Castle under the ownership of the crown.
As Sovereign, Charles owns not only Windsor, but all other lands and properties controlled by the monarchy during the reign of Her late Majesty.
Moreover, under British law, King Charles cannot do not have to pay inheritance tax or his inherited 45,000-acre Duchy of Lancaster property valued at $750. The total assets of the Crown Estate are estimated at over $30 billion.
Can you visit Windsor?
Windsor Castle during normal office hours is open to the public five days a week but is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday.
However, after the death of the Queen, the castle will remain closed until the end of September 2022.