Getting to Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is one of the Queen's favourite residences, and it is set to open its first cafe as part of a £37 million investment programme
Windsor, where the Queen spends an increasing amount of her time and is often now resident from Thursday through to Monday evenings, will see the ground floor of the State Apartments opened up to the public.
The 14th-century Undercroft, one of the few remaining parts built by Edward III in the 1350s, and therefore one of the oldest surviving parts of the castle, is to be turned into its first café.
Its refurbishment as an eatery is, in some ways, entirely appropriate given that it served as the castle’s principle cellar and larder nearly 700 years ago.
The state entrance at Windsor Castle. The castle is open to the public who can view the ornate State Apartments
The Queen's Ballroom at the castle. Over its 1, 000-year history, Windsor has been home to 40 monarchs. Its current occupant, the Queen, is being kept abreast of the plans and is said to approve
Buckingham Palace has its own café when it is open to the public over the summer, and it is hoped that Windsor’s version will be equally elegant and unobtrusive.
The Queen spends an increasing amount of time at the castle and is frequently in residence from Thursday to Mondays
The castle’s Georgian entrance hall will also be reinstated to ‘create a proper sense of arrival’. New visitors’ routes will be installed, along with a dedicated ‘learning centre’ for families and schoolchildren.
The refurbishment, which will start next year and open at the end of 2018, is the biggest seen at Windsor since the near-catastrophic fire of 1992, which destroyed huge swathes of the building, the oldest continuously inhabited royal residence and largest occupied castle in the world.
Over its 1, 000-year history, Windsor has been home to 40 monarchs. Its current occupant, the Queen, is being kept abreast of the plans and is said to approve.
Jonathan Marsden, director of the Royal Collection Trust, said: ‘Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse are two of the most important historic buildings in Britain and home to some of the greatest works of arts.’
The timing of the work is interesting given the £150 million backlog of outstanding repairs at royal residences including Buckingham Palace and Windsor.