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Sitting proudly just outside of the city of London, Windsor Castle is the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen and an amazing place to visit. Filled with history, priceless artworks and the tombs of famous monarchs, everyone knows the Queen frequents the Castle but many aren’t aware of the monarchs that have lived there over the years. Read on for some unbelievable facts about Windsor Castle’s host of royal residents.
1. The castle was originally built by the Normans after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It was initially made out of wood, in the motte-and-bailey style.
2. It was positioned so it had a good view of the River Thames and over Windsor Forest – which was a popular hunting ground at the time.
3. Although it was built by William the Conqueror, the first monarch to live in Windsor Castle was Henry I – who moved in in 1110. His grandson, Henry II liked the castle so much, he made some renovations and replaced the wood with much sturdier stone.
4. The Queen might live there at present, but plenty of other famous monarchs remain there also! Windsor Castle is the final resting place of an incredible 10 monarchs – Edward IV, Henry VI, Henry VIII, Charles I, George III, George IV, William IV, Edward VII,George V and George VI. When you visit, you can see Lady Chapel where many notable characters were buried, including notorious Henry VIII.
5. It is also the largest inhabited castle in the world and has approximately 500 people that live and work in the castle – the Queen has a lot of housemates!
6. Windsor Castle was the preferred residence for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – they made it their home and spent many happy years there. When Albert died, Victoria wore black every day for the rest of her life and some referred to her as the ‘Widow of Windsor’.
7. During WWII, the Royal Family were secret residents of Windsor Castle. The general public believed they were staying in Buckingham Palace but Windsor was were they were really positioned. All the windows of the castle were blacked out and each of the royal bedrooms were reinforced in case a bomb hit.
Which is your favourite UK castle?