Windsor Castle’s beds are getting a modern update with the transformation of traditional eiderdown bedding to duvets. However, the staff at the castle feel that tradition should be kept in place.
One member of staff has even gone as far as relating the new duvets to a hotel saying: “They’ll be putting chocolates on the pillows next.”
Eiderdowns are flat traditional quilts that are filled with down (normally from an eider duck) that are layered on the bed with sheets, bedspreads and blankets so one may add or remove layers to create their own optimal temperature. They are stitched to prevent the padding from moving around and are meant to be placed over the top of the bed linen.
A duvet is a bag-like blanket filled with feathers, synthetic fibres or wool. They come in different thicknesses for different temperatures and are meant to be used on their own.
Considering the nine-hundred-year-old castle has a less than efficient central heating system, it would seem that duvets would be a sensible option over excessive blankets to stay warm, but the downstairs staff seem to think otherwise. “It’s rather old fashioned nowadays but many of those in the Royal Household believe that using sheets, blankets and eiderdowns is one of those traditions that should be retained,’ said one source. they continued: “It’s rather old fashioned nowadays but many of those in the Royal Household believe that using sheets, blankets and eiderdowns is one of those traditions that should be retained,”.
“It’s quite time consuming to make the beds up in this way but that’s why it is liked so much. It shows a certain attention to detail that people don’t tend to have nowadays but that the Royal Household prides itself on.
“It’s been remarked on that it seems, well, a little like something that a hotel chain might do. And we are definitely not that! Fortunately we haven’t started putting on those awful decorative cushions, though.”
A favourite residence of Queen Elizabeth, she will host the Spanish King and Queen, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain later this year at Windsor on a state visit to the UK.
The Household sources their bed linen from a variety of Royal Warrant suppliers including Dorma, Her Majesty’s Supplier of Linen Drapery and Soft Furnishings, Heirlooms Fine Linens, McCaw Allan and Co and Peter Reed International.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment but according to a source: “The option of an eiderdown or a duvet has been offered in the guest bedrooms for some time.”