By Waverly Winchester, 9 years old *With some help from Mom!
This year’s trip to London was extra wonderful – because we went inside the amazing Windsor Castle! Yes, the same castle that has the chapel where a very important wedding is about to take place. It is an Official Residence of Queen Elizabeth II, and we hear it is her favorite place to stay when she is not in London. After visiting it, we can definitely see why! Neither my mom or I had ever been to The Royal Borough of Windsor before, but when we were invited by The Original Tour to check it out on their new bus tour route, we knew we had to check out the castle also – I was so excited to be inside a real castle, and guess what? It was even more awesome than I imagined. Come inside the castle with me and see for yourself!Credit: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018/Peter Smith
See what I mean?? That is just ONE ROOM – and there is so much more to see! Here is The Grand Reception Room – this beautiful room used to be the main ballroom hundreds of years ago. As I walked around, I imagined how it must have been all those years ago and imagined all the people dressed in their best clothes right here where I was standing, dancing all around me. I love all the gold and chandeliers – don’t you? This room actually had a really bad fire back in 1992, but you would never know it by looking at it now! (How do I know all these facts? We were given a little handheld device that tells you all you need to know while you walk around the rooms at your own pace – no matter what language you speak, they have you covered!). Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018/Mark Fiennes
Here is the Garter Throne Room. This is where Knights are knighted! It was really cool to be in this room and see where the Queen herself sits. The motto of this room is, “You should be ashamed if you have bad thoughts” – there is a funny story behind that and you will have to visit the castle yourself to find it out! Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018
Here is the lovely Queen’s Audience Chamber, where The Queen meets her visitors. The ceiling of this room was so beautiful (well, they all were…). It was a picture of a past Queen being pulled in a chariot by swans. I loved looking up at that ceiling! I felt very royal standing in this room – it is definitely fit for a Queen!Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018/Mark Fiennes
Here is The Waterloo Chamber, a room dedicated to the defeat of Napoleon. This room was created to show off all the portraits of people who helped win the Battle of Waterloo. Look at that amazing table! The Queen herself actually eats here sometimes – every year in June, there is a luncheon for Knights and Ladies – I bet the table looks even more stunning when it is set with all the silver and china. I think I would be too nervous to actually eat anything if I was invited!
Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018/Mark Fiennes
Time for a little break? How about a nap in The King’s Bedroom? I wish!! Actually, I don’t think I would get any sleep in there – I would not want to close my eyes, it’s just too beautiful! This is definitely a royal room! Look at all that purple and gold – and it looks like even the bed has a crown! I like how the top of the bedposts are helmets – this makes the room feel very protected, like someone is looking out in every direction to make sure you are safe! Here is a fun fact for you – The King does NOT sleep here! He lets his visitors sleep there so they can really feel important. Now THAT’s a good friend! Where does the King really sleep? That’s another fun fact you’ll have to discover for yourself!
OK, now it’s time for some fun! We were very lucky because only a few times a year, they bring out Early Tudor style costumes for kids to try on. The day we went was one of them! The dresses were so beautiful!! I picked out my favorite one and had my “Royal Dresser” Simone help me out with putting it on! She told us that these dresses were typical of the style that Queen Charlotte would have worn. Hi, Simone! Thanks for your help!
I was so surprised and happy that I could have some fun at the castle – I walked in as a regular kid and had no idea I would be transformed into a Queen!There was even more fun after that when we went to see Queen Mary’s Dollhouse – and believe me, this is not like any dollhouse you have ever seen! Here is a picture, but this is definitely something you absolutely have to see for yourself! Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018
I learned that this is a special dollhouse not only because it’s huge and really beautiful, but everything in it is real – real silver, real jewels, real pages in each tiny little book, the lights work and the water actually runs! After we checked out the dollhouse, we saw a really cool display of two dolls, France and Marianne, who had a wardrobe you would not believe. These dolls were a gift from the children of France to Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Believe me, they dressed like royalty! I saw all their clothes – designer dresses (for dolls!), dainty gloves, hats and accessories…..they even had a car! We loved seeing the picture of the dolls in their fancy blue car on the Champs Elysees, especially since we had just been in Paris and walked right down that same famous street. These dolls had a really great life, let me tell you!
Next stop: St. George’s Chapel – yes, the exact place where Meghan Markle is about to get married to Prince Henry! This is also where Queen Elizabeth II will be buried. So you see, this is a very important place. I could not believe I was standing there! My mom said pretty soon we will be seeing LOTS of pictures of this place. I’m so happy I got a chance to go!
Our day at Windsor Castle was truly a day we will remember forever. Thank you so much to Royal Collection Trust for having us and for helping with all the pictures! Plan YOUR visit and see Windsor Castle for yourself. You will DEFINITELY say “WOW!”
For more info: windsorcastle