17 Wild Secrets You Never Knew About Windsor Castle
Wait, the Queen has slept in the dungeon?!
The kitchen is really old
The Great Kitchen at Windsor is the oldest working kitchen in the country, and has been around to serve some 32 of the 39 monarchs who have called Windsor home. Fun fact: the clocks in the kitchen are always five minutes ahead, to ensure the Queen always gets her food on time.These are the 15 most bizarre perks of being a member of the royal family.
The castle is one of the Queen’s favorite places
After spending a large portion of her childhood at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth holds the castle near to her heart. So much so that when she took the throne in 1952, she decreed the castle would become her principal weekend retreat. She had the castle’s private apartments renovated, and took up residence there with her husband and their two children. Don’t miss these photos of 15 royal gardens you’ll want to visit right now.
Here’s how to tell if the Queen is home
If the Royal Standard is flown over Windsor Castle, it means the Queen is present. If she’s not in residence, the Union flag will be flying instead.
Non-royals live there too
The Queen employs hundreds of people to keep Windsor Castle running smoothly. Around 150 of those workers have housing accommodations at Windsor Castle.
You can visit the oldest part of the castle
The motte on which the Round Tower sits is the oldest part of the castle, and was made from the soil that was thrown up when a ditch was dug around the castle. Henry II erected the tower itself in 1170. Guests can now climb the 200 steps to see the view from the top. Take a look at the 18 craziest conspiracy theories about the British royals.
There are 379 clocks
Mike Forster/Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock
And the castle’s horological conservator, Robert Ball, takes care of them all. “The two clock-change weekends are the busiest times of the year for us, as we take on the challenge of adjusting hundreds of clocks over two days,” he told the Royal Collection Trust. “The Royal Collection contains many fascinating and extraordinary timepieces with highly complex mechanisms, so great care has to be taken with each one.”
…and 300 fireplaces
Each of the fireplaces is tended to full-time by a family of fendersmith that have been doing the job for decades. Needless to say, this castle takes its traditions seriously. Want to feel like you can blend in with those royal traditions? These are the etiquette rules every member of the royal family must follow.