Her Majesty The Queen is set to begin her traditional one-month stay at Windsor Castle next week over the easter period, known as ‘Easter Court’. During this time, The Queen will conduct all her business from the Castle, where she normally only resides at weekends.
The first engagement during Easter Court this year is the unveiling of a Windsor Greys statue in Windsor during which Prince William and Prince Philip will accompany her.
During her stay this year, The Queen is set to receive the President of Ireland on a 4-day state visit at the Castle from 8th-11th April – one of two state visits Her Majesty will receive throughout the course of this year. She and The Duke of Edinburgh will also be making their own overseas visit to Italy on 3rd April, where they will also meet the new Pope at the Vatican. It is the first time The Queen has been overseas since 2011.
Royal Maundy will also be marked in the traditional way, this year on 17th April in Lancashire’s Blackburn Cathedral. The Queen traditionally hands out coins (symbolic) to local pensioners – the value of the coins is equivalent to Her Majesty’s age.
Other members of the Royal Family will join The Queen at Windsor Castle closer to Easter – they will attend a service at St George’s Chapel within the castle on Easter Sunday. The following day (Easter Monday), The Queen will be celebrating her 88th birthday.
Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, is ordinarily The Queen’s weekend residence though as well as Easter Court, Her Majesty spends a week in June at the castle over Royal Ascot week, she also resides there on the day of the Order of the Garter service.
As is usual during Easter Court, The Queen will also be hosting several ‘dine and sleeps’ at Windsor Castle, where politicians, diplomats and other figures are invited to stay for a dinner and are also given a room for the night.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George will be in Australia over the easter period this year, so will not be joining The Queen for the traditional service at St George’s Chapel.