Windsor Castle, located in Windsor in Berkshire, England, is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world. It is one of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
The castle is used by the Queen as a private home, where she usually spends the weekend, and as a royal residence to undertake formal duties such as state banquets and official entertaining. The Queen regularly hosts state visits from overseas monarchs and presidents at the castle.
The Queen takes up official residence in Windsor Castle for a month every year over the Easter period, an event known as Easter Court. During Easter Court occasional ‘dine and sleep’ events are hosted by the Queen for her guests, including politicians and public figures.
The Queen also takes up residence in the castle for a week in June, when she attends both the service of the Order of the Garter and the Royal Ascot race meeting.
Windsor Castle houses a significant portion of the Royal Collection of Art, which is managed from offices in the castle.
History of Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle was originally built by William the Conqueror after the Norman Invasion of 1066. He built it on a hill overlooking the River Thames, with the intention that is would guard the western approaches to London, a day’s march away.
Windsor Castle has been used by a succession of monarchs since the time of Henry I, making it the longest occupied palace in Europe.
The castle has undergone many redevelopments and restorations since that time, but the current outer walls are in the same position as the original outer walls, as is the central mound that supports the Round Tower and the Upper Ward, which has housed the monarch’s private apartments since the 14th Century.