9. The banquet of the gods
Since its construction in the 11th century, Windsor has been remodeled and the interiors redecorated. The flamboyant George IV carried out a major renovation, getting Sir Jeffry Wyatville to plaster over some of the magnificent ceiling frescoes painted for Charles I by Antonio Verrio in the 1680s. There are three survivors, one of the funniest being The Banquet of the Gods in the King’s Dining Room: kids love seeing the iridescent peacock with its tail soaring straight out of the trompe l’oeil frame and adorable basswood carvings by Grinling Gibbons with fish, poultry, fruit and flowers. You will definitely want to pay a visit to the Undercroft Cafe.
10. Evensong Worship Services
Perhaps the best way to remember the late Queen, whose unwavering faith has been in the news since her death, is to attend a service at St George’s Chapel. Evensong takes place at 5:15 p.m. and is sung by the Chapel Choir, founded at the same time as the Order of the Garter. The choristers are from St George’s School and some of the adult singers or lay clerks live with their families in the 15th Century Horseshoe Cloister opposite the west portal. It is a pleasure to see one or two footballs or Frisbees sticking out of such a venerable environment.
How to visit Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is open from March 1st to October 31st from 10am to 5.15pm and from November 1st to February 28th from 10am to 4.15pm. The Semi-State Rooms are open from November 3, 2022 to March 26, 2023 (except when the State Apartments are closed). The castle itself is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Tickets start from £26.50 for adults, £17.50 for young people aged 18-24, £14.50 for children aged 5-17 and people with disabilities, children under five are free. Prices are higher on Saturdays.
Tips to make the most of your visit
If possible, wait a month or two before visiting until the castle and chapel have settled down – judging by Westminster Abbey, the immediate interest (and queues) will be tremendous.
Make sure the parts of the castle you want to see are open – for example, the state and semi-state rooms close for state visits and the changing of the guard does not occur daily.
St. George’s Chapel is only open for worship on Sundays – there are no tours.
If you’re not worried about seeing the changing of the guard, aim for the quiet time during or just after lunch, when the morning rush has passed and the afternoon sprint hasn’t started yet.
It’s important to check the website before you go: rct.uk. Also, check out the best hotels in Windsor for ideas on where to stay.