Windsor Castle has stood for hundreds of years, dating back to the Dark Ages. It has seen kings and queens come and go…from the mad to the shy. It’s walls have witnessed civil war under King Charles I, who was beheaded, and many other amazing events.
The Castle was a birthplace to a number of monarchs, but was often used as a prison. King Edward III kept his prisoners in the Devil’s Tower or in the dungeons of the Curfew Tower. When executed, their bodies were hung from the Curfew Tower as a warning to others.
Names were given to some, such as “The Black King”, “The Virgin Queen”, ” The Mad King”and the “Witch Queen”
A few of the monarchs, some quite colorful, include:
- 1491 The notorious Dowager Queen of England, Joan of Navarre, was accused by her step son, Henry V, of witchcraft and necromancy (sorcery). She was found not guilty.
- Edward III established the Order of the Garter which is the oldest order of chivalry in the world.
- 1640 Civil War during Charles I, who was beheaded.
- Oliver Cromwell takes over and the monarchy is out!
- 1660 Charles II revived the glory of the monarchy. Founder of the Royal Society with commissions in art and science from Leonardo Da Vinci.
- George III, known as the mad king, but also founded the Royal Academy.
- George IV was self-indulgent, but loved the arts. He transformed the castle with Gothic statues, making Windsor into a truly medieval castle. During his reign, the French Revolution took place which gave him a chance to bring many French masterpieces to England. Britain also defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.
- Queen Victoria, the niece of George, was known as “The Widow of Windsor”
- George V renamed the royal family “The House of Windsor” in 1917.
VIDEO OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT CASTLES (starting with King George III) Under the present day monarch, Queen Elizabeth, a more modern view of Windsor, the effects of the fire in 1992 and the renovation, is shown.
Queen Mary’s Doll House, a miniature replica of the castle, is amazing.