Symbol of Momentous Change (02:51)
The oldest and largest still-inhabited castle in the world, Windsor Castle, is the creation of multiple monarchs with varying styles. It appears formidable on the outside and retains luxury and artistry on the inside.
Glory and Tragedy (02:05)
In a state apartment, a triple-headed painting of Charles I encompasses the melancholy air of the king. The painting was supposed to serve as a reference for a later sculpture, but the painting itself is a masterful work of art.
Warlike Origins (02:44)
William the Conqueror built what became Windsor Castle, selecting the highest location for miles around in order to strategically command London and defend the fortress. Fiona Bruce displays a secret trapdoor through an office that leads to a passage that was used as an escape route when Windsor came under siege.
Transforming Windsor (02:11)
Edward III became the ruler in 1327. The Windsor prophecy predicted that Edward III would take over France and become the Savior of England. It became a reality.
Flowerings of English Gothic (02:40)
Windsor Castle was the home of Edward III's Order of the Garter, the highest order of chivalry. St. George's Chapel was considered the spiritual home of the knights and is decorated with 76 symbolic sculptures of animals.
Bitter Civil War (02:34)
In the 1640s, England endured a civil war. King Charles I was imprisoned in Windsor Castle before his execution. Monarchy was abolished and England fell to the charge of Oliver Cromwell until Charles II re-established authority, using the castle as a tool to reconnect with royal past.
Grandeur and Ambition (03:30)
Anna Keay describes baroque style which was the latest trend in Europe during the time of Charles II's reign. He used the lavish style to decorate the castle to show the dawning of a new era of royalty. Charles II revealed more of his domestic and human side to his subjects, which was a way he gained respect for the monarchy.
Monarch of Arts and Sciences (03:09)
Martin Clayton of the Royal Collection shows the album where Charles II's collection of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings was once kept until they were removed during Queen Victoria's reign. Da Vinci's drawings showed his dissection of pre-term fetuses.
Not a Royal Castle (02:48)
After the designs were completed in 1685, Charles II died and monarchs spent their time elsewhere, allowing Windsor Castle to fall into a state of decline. Watercolor paintings of the castle show that in the 1770s, it was practically open to the general public. Historian Jane Roberts and Bruce examine paintings of the castle at that time.
King Who Went Mad (03:33)
The fate of Windsor Castle changed from a public thoroughfare in 1776, when King George III moved the royal household to the castle once again. He was a simple fellow and chose to move his family into a building called the Queen's Lodge, but eventually switched to the Castle.
Unpopular Monarch (03:01)
After the passing of King George III, George IV came into power and created Windsor Castle as it is today. He modernized the castle using the highest luxuries of his time.
The Brain (02:49)
King George IV collected well-crafted, extravagant art pieces, like a German-made ornamental cup, gilded in silver and bedecked with emeralds, rubies, and turquoise. In June 1815, Britain defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, which George IV considered his greatest achievement.
War Memorabilia (03:05)
King George IV created a tribute to the Waterloo battle in a room that is now called the Waterloo Chamber. A portrait of the Duke of Wellington, who led Britain to victory against Napoleon, portrays the royal in a victorious stance.
House of Windsor (01:58)
Queen Victoria lived at Windsor Castle with a young family, entertaining royal visitors. She mourned so dramatically at the death of her husband Albert that she became known as the Widow of Windsor. The royal family later adopted the name of Windsor during World War I, as a symbol of strength.
The King's Library (03:58)
Many European monarchies did not last longer than the first World War, but the House of Windsor persevered. Over a thousand British artists worked together to create Queen Mary's dollhouse, a miniature celebration of the royal family. The miniature clocks were made by Cartier and actually function.
Astonishing Detail (02:10)
The dollhouse at Windsor Castle is fully wired and equipped with functioning plumbing. The miniature royal garden sits in a drawer beneath the house.
Specialist Restorers (03:21)
In November 1992, Windsor Castle caught fire, incurring much damage. The then-director of the Royal Collection, Sir Hugh Roberts, assisted in the efforts to rescue the art in the castle.
Effective Reinventions (02:38)
The fire and alterations following it revealed the original medieval timber ceiling in the castle. St. George's Hall was torn down and rebuilt with a medieval spirit, complete with an intricately designed oak ceiling.
Credits: Windsor Castle: The Queen's Palaces (00:33)
Credits: Windsor Castle: The Queen's Palaces
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