Now we’ve been to Legoland Windsor quite a lot, but never Windsor itself, despite living relatively close, so we rectified that today. We met up with my sister and went to visit the castle, something which despite a childhood of being dragged round every historic attraction you can think of (which was a sort of cruelty for someone who was, at least at the time, far more of a science geek) , I’d never been to.
It’s a very large castle and you get to see quite a bit of the outside, albeit quite a lot behind bars.
My favourite bit was this almost fairytale-esque garden tumbling down from one of the castle turrets.
The kids’ favourite bit had to be the guard. Boy Lacer was utterly convinced that the guard was not real, he stood and stared at him for a while and then went to Mr. Lacer.
“His eyes are moving, how’s it doing that?”
We tried to tell Boy Lacer he was real, but he wasn’t having any of it.
Lots of people were posing for photos with the poor guard and I did feel a bit sorry for him, so it was a bit funny when one of the people posing jumped back in fright as the guard suddenly shouldered his weapon and with a sharp click of his boots began to march up and down outside his guard box, on a stretch of tarmac that had obviously been marched up and down on so often, there was a white almost groove (which you can just about see the beginning of in the photo above).
Now when the soldier started moving Boy Lacer was even more fascinated.
The castle as I said is massive but you only get to really see a small bit of the inside; we saw St. George’s Chapel, which was rather beautiful and not that I’m much of a royalist I did think the Queen Mum’s final resting place with her husband was rather nice and it was quite surprising to see the little alcove that they were in reflected the century that they had lived in, as opposed to looking exactly like the alcoves of people who had died in the 1800s and earlier. We also saw the stone laid to mark where Henry VIII, amongst others was buried. Me and Girl Lacer have a bit of a fascination with Henry VIII, ok, well Girl Lacer knows him as the fat king who chopped a lot of people’s heads off, but we live in an area so associated with him, that he comes up in conversation every now and then. Anyway I was quite surprised to see the Henry VIII’s final resting place was marked with such a simple, if large and well placed, stone and buried with other people to, you’d sort of expect such a larger than life King to have a larger than life tombstone.
After St. George’s Chapel, we went onto the State Rooms, to get there you get a great view out over the castle walls and you really see how high up you are.
Boy Lacer was also fascinated by this, convinced we were “higher than the sky”.
We got to the State Rooms via Queen Mary’s dolls house which just superb (and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really have a thing about dolls houses), this wasn’t just a dolls house, this was a palace! Then on to see an exquisite display of two dolls given to the Queen and her sister when they were children as gifts from the children of France, the dolls were about toddler size and had a beautiful wardrobe of designer French clothes.
We went to see the royal photography display before finally getting to the State Rooms, it was quite charming seeing the royal family in seemingly happier more innocent times and it was very sweet the family portraits of the Queen Mum with her two daughters, they obviously had a habit of getting everyone to sign under their picture and you see a slightly scrawly LILLIBET in capitals under pictures of the Queen when she was very small, progressing to a far more stately Lillibet as she got older.
We then finally got to the State Rooms, which were nice but all historic palace state rooms tend to look the same after a while.
After the castle we went and explored Windsor itself a little bit, there are quite a lot of very posh clothes shops and then a well stocked high street a little further away. There were far too many nice sweet and chocolate shops for my own good.