It wasn’t intended to be a royal residence
Geoffrey Swaine/REX/Shutterstock When William the Conqueror originally built Windsor Castle in the late 11th century, it was intended as a fortress. William erected the castle to oversee a strategic part of the River Thames, and to help protect Norman dominance around London. The royals of the time lived in the former palace of Edward the Confessor in the village of Old Windsor. In 1110, Henry I became the first royal to use the castle as a residence. Confused about the royal family tree? This chart explains everything you need to know.
It’s really (really!) big
DAVID HARTLEY/REX/Shutterstock Windsor Castle is officially one of the biggest residences in the world, with around 1,000 rooms and 484,000 square feet. It sits on about 13 acres of land, and its imposing towers are visible from every approach.