Windsor Castle

One day in August 2009, I embarked on a guided bus Tour to Windsor CastleBath and Stonehenge. I thought it would be wise to do so to understand the in depth historical background of each town I visited, without referring to my guide book every five minutes. Windsor Castle was our first stop, I decided I didn’t want to go in, somehow following a tour guide on a very glib and fast tour of this amazing castle didn’t appeal to me. So, I decided that because  I was not a tourist and I lived in London, I knew I could come back and see the castle in all it’s splendor in my normal gingerly fashion that I am accustomed to. So, I let the tour guide know, I wasn’t going to enter so she wouldn’t think the poor American girl didn’t disappear, and got lost in the enormous castle grounds. After that,I proceeded  in my joyful solitude to go to the local pastry shop for a pot of Earl Grey tea and crumpet. After that, I wandered to the closest church yard and took a nap on the bench, (since I had only slept 4 hours the night because of my excitement), which by the way had tombstones around. I was blissfully dozing off, when I began to hear raucous sounds coming vaguely from the periphery and then building up. I wasn’t very happy to be woken up, but to my amazement as I woke up what I saw before my eyes was the most beautiful array of gorgeous English soldiers marching majestically in predictable pomp and circumstance right pass me. I jumped from my bench, shook my head in awe, grabbed my camera and like some reporter from the National Geographic I ran after them as if my life depended on it.

I followed them around the corner to the front entrance of Windsor Castle. To my amazement, it was the Changing of the Gaurds. I hadn’t wanted to see the Changing of the Gaurd at Buckingham Palace, it was always very low on my list, or if I wanted to see it I never seem to be able to go to Buckingham Palace on a day they were scheduled.  And so here it was in plain sight, when I least expected it. I must add, it was a beauty to behold. The majesty. The pomp and circumstance that the English are famous for, and of course, the Catholic Church. It  made it an unforgettable experience, one I shall always remember.

Queen’s Guard are the names given to contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in London and in Windsor

 .Sentries of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment being posted in Windsor.

                                       So does everyone else. I know it’s cheesy but I had to put this photo in here.

                                          After all,  They all look like they are from Kansas City.

Built by William the Conqueror within what was a royal hunting forest (now Windsor Great Park) after the Norman conquest of 1066, Windsor Castle has been successively enlarged, adapted and rebuilt by monarchs from Henry II to Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen and other members of the Royal Family continue to spend most of their private weekends at the Castle and it remains an important venue for ceremonial visits from heads of state from other countries. It is also home to some of the greatest paintings and works of art in the Royal Collection, which are displayed throughout the Castle’s splendid interiors. On your visit you will see the State Apartments, the Precincts, the Drawings Gallery, Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and St George’s Chapel (except on Sundays when the Chapel is closed to visitors). Please allow at least 2 hours for your visit


A side view of Windsor Castle

A map of Windsor Castle, you can see the grandiose enormity.

 If your visiting London, I recommend a train trip to Windsor and allot for about 2 hours to see Windsor Castle. You will want to definitely have a scone and some tea ( the  place is right next to the Castle, can’t miss it), and hobble along the cobble stones streets, try not to trip like I did, and check out the church and the bench I slept on. Also, a visit to the neighboring town of Eton is de rigueur. Eton college is a very famous College that was founded by King Henry the VI in 1440, it began as a school to educate poor boys, and now has become an exclusive college, which only educates about 1500 boys a year. Prince Williiam and Prince Harry are among the elite that attend.

The Changing of the Guard takes place daily between April and July and on alternate days from August to March (but never on a Sunday) and is one of the highlights of a visit to Windsor. Buckingham Palace is the only other place you can see this ceremony. A band usually accompanies the Guards, subject to weather conditions.

Windsor and Eton

01753 743900 (24-hour information)

Email: windsor.tic@rbwm.gov.uk

http://www.windsor.gov.uk/

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