Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Royal Windsor, England

One place I’ve never visited is the Royal town of Windsor in Berkshire where one of the Queen’s homes – Windsor Castle – is now a major tourist attraction.
Windsor Castle is not just a Royal show-palace though. This is very much a working palace, used frequently by HM The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family. In actual fact it is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the whole world, having been used for over 900 years by British sovereigns.

Alongside the Castle is St Georges Chapel which is also open to the public. In recent years this has become something of a venue for Royal weddings – a fashion that was started by Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999 and was followed by Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips and his Canadian bride, Autumn Kelly earlier this year. However, most famous was the blessing by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2005 of the marriage between Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles. Earlier that day they had a civil ceremony at Windsor Registry Office which also witnessed the civil ceremony of Sir Elton John and David Furnish that same year.

Recent persistent rumours have hinted that if Prince William marries his long-term girlfriend, Kate Middleton (both pictured right), the ceremony may also take place at St Georges Chapel, Windsor. However, as second in line to the Throne and a future Monarch, it is more likely his marriage ceremony will take place in one of the larger Cathedrals in London such as St Paul’s Cathedral (the venue of his father’s first marriage to Will’s mother Princess Diana) or Westminster Abbey.

Another famous sight in Windsor is Eton College, the school attended by so many famous luminaries. Prince William and his brother Prince Harry both attended Eton and it is probably for that reason so many tourists are interested in taking a guided tour around the illustrious grounds!

Windsor is only about half an hour from central London on mainline trains and is probably worth spending a day visiting the Castle and its famous Royal Art Collection as well as St Georges Chapel and Eton College. It’s certainly seems the perfect place for Royal followers and those interested in British Royal history.

Windsor Castle Adult Entry: £14.20
Eton College Tour Adult Entry: £5.00
Holders of the London Pass can visit all the above attractions free of charge and those with transport included can travel free to Windsor on overhead trains using their London Pass travel card.

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