windsor-castle-reopening

Royal fans can visit the Queen's Windsor home from next week

Staff are making the final preparations to throw open the doors again

Danielle Stacey

Preparations are underway at Windsor Castle for its reopening on Monday 17 May and the Royal Collection Trust (RCT) has shared some incredible images of staff carrying out the finishing touches.

The Queen, who has been residing at Windsor Castle for most of the past year during the pandemic, visited London for the first time in over six months to attend the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday.

The historic royal residence, which is located just an hour's drive away from Buckingham Palace, is the largest occupied castle in the world with around 1,000 rooms and 484,000 square feet of space.

READ: The Queen's first marital home was nothing like Buckingham Palace

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WATCH: A fascinating look inside royal residences

Images released by the RCT show reopening preparations in the Castle's State Apartments, including the Grand Staircase, St George's Hall (where baby Archie made his public debut in 2019), and the opulent Grand Reception Room.

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Staff dust the Malacite Urn in the Grand Reception Room

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021

One shows staff dusting the 1.8-metre high Malachite Urn in the Castle's Grand Reception Room, which was presented to Queen Victoria in 1839 by Tsar Nicholas I after the visit of his eldest son, the future Alexander II, to England. It was one of the few objects in the room to survive the fire at the Castle in 1992.

Another picture shows staff dusting the suits of armour that flank the Grand Staircase. In 2005, the staircase was decorated with thousands of daffodils for Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles' wedding reception at Windsor Castle.

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The suits of armour by the Grand Staircase

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021

At the Inner Hall, which was restored and opened up to visitors in 2018, staff have also installed marble busts of Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoleon III.

Elsewhere, a member of staff is seen dusting a 17th-centure bronze bust of Charles I in the Grand Reception Room. Those who have previously visited Windsor Castle will also recognise this as the room where Meghan Markle's wedding dress was displayed following the royal wedding in May 2018.

Another image also shows staff dusting marble busts in St George's Hall, the largest room in Windsor Castle. During the Christmas period, a beautifully decorated 20ft Nordmann Fir tree is usually placed at the far end of the Hall as a centrepiece.

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St George's Hall was the location where baby Archie made his public debut

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021

St George's Hall was also the location where the Queen signed her annual Commonwealth Day message in March.

Royal fans wanting to visit Windsor Castle should pre-book their tickets from the RCT's website or by phone: +44 (0)303 123 7304.

The Castle will open five days a week from Monday, remaining closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

For more information, visit www.rct.uk.

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