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Windsor Castle: the final refuge of Britain’s longest-reigning King

King George III became heir to the throne after the death of his father in 1751. And almost from the moment he became King, in 1760, George would spend most of his reign reigniting a royal interest in Windsor Castle.

Windsor had been overlooked after the House of Hanover took the British throne in 1714. Alongside his wife, Queen Charlotte, and their growing family, George III made the move to Windsor in 1776. This move would make the Castle their principal residence and the King would later call it: “The place I love best in the world”.

On 12 August 1776, the royal family first attended Sunday morning service at St George’s Chapel, which they called “the Cathedral.” His Majesty’s commitment to St George’s Chapel would become very strong over time. From 1780-1790, the King contributed nearly £14,000 of the total £21,000 restoration costs. This project included the remodeling of Edward IV’s chantry chapel, extending the Garter Knights’ stall and building a new Samuel Green organ which cost £1,000.

The King would earn the nickname of ‘Farmer George’ because of his great interest in farming and the running of the Great Park. In 1791, he had the uncultivated areas enclosed for farming, and two farms were created plus a Royal Dairy. Waking up at 6am, George would frequently visit the farmworkers and leave something out for the poorest of them. The Park would turn from a hunting venue into a profitable agricultural enterprise. Frogmore House was also purchased at this time by the King.

George III marked his Golden Jubilee at Windsor, attending a special service at St. George’s and inspecting a guard of soldiers.

King George III died on 29 January 1820 at the age of 81 years old. He would be buried inside St George’s Chapel a few weeks later.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.