As promised, I’m gonna share with you with more details of my time in the United Kingdom. Well, I bought a greyline bus ticket and visited Windsor Castle in the English County of Berkshire . It is currently still one of Queen Elizabeth II’s official residences and is the world’s oldest castle that has continuous occupation. Which simply means it’s always been a home to the royals since King William I of England which was born in 1029. Gosh! That makes this a 900+ year old castle!
Windsor is pretty much what you would expect of the sort of castle you hear of in fairy tales. Huge, made of stones, lots of guards and the Queen stays here. It appeals to me so much more than Buckingham Palace ever did. Buckingham Palace is more like the Queen’s office.
We weren’t allowed to take much photos inside the castle but there were lots of exhibits and a few room filled with knights armors, swords and medals through the ages. Even my umbrella was considered dangerous and had to be left at the coat check in before I was allowed to proceed through!
When you are inside the walls of the castle, you’ll realized that the whole place was built and expanded around this round tower on top of a motte. This was actually the original beginnings of the castle and when it was first built, it was built with wood. Of course it got replaced with stone bricks and over the years, the various monarchs slowly expanded the castle till it is the way it is today. The round tower, being smack in the middle also divides the castle into to main wards. The upper ward houses the Queen, formal state rooms and the main arena for the Order of the Garter. The lower ward is mainly occupied by St George’s Chapel.
The view around the castle has a serene feel to it. It’s as if time stood still here and I was transported to the time where women wore corsets and curtsy while the men escorted them from horse carriages. There is so much history and so many important events started their origins from this ground. ( Do you know that the current official marathon length race is derived from the distance from Windsor Castle to Olympic Stadium in London.) It has been a home, a fortress and at some dark moments a prison for so many rulers.
A short distance away is Eton College, one of the original 9 public schools in England. Which is a total misnomer since this public school is anything but open to the general public. It’s the world famous school for the uppity up of the who’s who! Their students include 18 former prime ministers, lots of princes ( recent onces being Prince William and Prince Harry), European kings and royalty, Asian royal family ( Kings of Thailand, Nepal, India, etc) and many many more famous personalities like Ian Fleming, Boris Johnson, Hugh Laurie to name a few. If you watched “Shakespeare In Love” you probably saw how Eton looks on the inside as quite a large part of the filming was done there.
Other than the gorgeous chapel, one of the main tourist draws in the castle is Queen Mary’s Doll House. Queen Mary was a huge fan of miniature creations. So this doll house was created. It’s a impressive work of art with every single thing in the doll house made in exactness to their real counterparts.
Unbelievably beautiful! Most of the items are made from the actual companies that made the original full size versions. Miniaturize paintings by their original painters, miniaturized books written specially by their authors including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, among others. The lights work like lights do and so do the plumbing. Tiny toilets flushes when pressed together with tiny toilet paper! I love the fabrics of the furnishings which are cut from the same fabrics used in Windsor Castle.
I didn’t get a chance to bump into any royalty but I did spot this fat cat lounging in the confines of Windsor Castle. A royal cat I suppose. LOL.
Heading down to the lower ward I got to explore the St George’s Chapel. Other than hosting the Order of the Garter (which is basically the most exclusive form of knighthood since Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table), the chapel has overseen a number of royal marriages. The most recent one being the Blessing of Union between The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles.
The chapel is also mainly the place for many royal funerals and interments and when the present Queen Elizabeth II dies, she’ll most likely be buried here as well.
Being at the right time at the right place, I manage to catch 2 change of guards ceremony at different parts of the castle. And if you view the video at the end of this post, you might see how I feel that the guards here are a lot friendlier and more adorable then the ones at the Buckingham Palace.
Enjoy the video and remember, if you are viewing this anywhere else other then www.renzze.com , you can’t see the video so go to renzze.com ! In the front part of the video, if you pay close attention, you’ll see the Singapore flag cause we drove pass the Embassy area. And no one, including the guide, knew which country that was! With people making all sorts of wild guess. So I supposed Singapore isn’t as high profiled as I though 🙁