Windsor Castle was first built by William the Conqueror, not from stone but of a wooden motte and bailey. Over the centuries various kings have improved and extended the fortifications making it the impressive building it is today. What struck me as I walked through was how clean the exterior looked. The Queen still uses Windsor Castle as a residence, and it is regularly used for various ceremonies and state visits. In addition an average of 5k people visit every day.
There are no crumbling walls or accumulations of soot here. But the exterior is nothing compared to the opulence within its walls. There isÂ Queen Mary’s dolls house within which, if youÂ were accidentally miniaturised, you could lead a very comfortable life complete with a full library and wine cellar. The state rooms are richly decorated and reflect the history ofÂ England and theÂ British Empire. It is most impressive, even to a jaded National Trust tourist like me. You can’t take photos of any of it though.
Every day there is the changing of the guard. The new guard marches in each morning accompanied by a military band and old marches out a little later. Windsor Castle is the 4th largest castle in the world. How many soldiers are on guard at any point during a day? Four. Perhaps there are more when the Queen is in residence.Â There are lots of armed police around as well
I suspect however thatÂ the soldiers mainly perform their duty there to please the tourists. Just like you see in American films, these guards stand by their posts stoney faced whilst being gawped at by the five thousand visitors. It’s probably something a foreign tourist expects to see when visiting our country.
Each of these photos can be viewed larger size on Flickr by clicking on them.