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Windsor Castle set to reopen on 17 May


By Josep Renalias - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Along with many other historic sites, Windsor Castle will be reopening on Monday, 17 May. The UK entered its third lockdown in January 2021 and has slowly been easing restrictions since mid-April. In England, museums, theatres, and historic sites can reopen on Monday. 

Windsor Castle has been home to English and then British monarchs for nearly 1,000 years. The Queen has spent most of the COVID-19 pandemic at Windsor, with a small bubble of staff with her. Before the pandemic, she spent most weekends at the castle. With Prince Philip’s death on 9 April and his funeral on 17 April at St George’s Chapel, Windsor has been on display to the world. However, visitors will soon be able to tour the castle again. 

Staff at Windsor Castle have been working to clean and dust everything to be ready for the reopening. In several images released, staff are seen cleaning the 1.8-metre tall Malachite Urn and busts of Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoleon III from the Royal Collection. The Royal Collection Trust holds over one million objects and dates back over 500 years. Visitors can visit the State Apartments and the 15th century St George’s Chapel, and enjoy Queen Mary’s Dollhouse, the Pantomime Pictures, Changing of the Guard, and more. 

Staff dust the Malachite Urn in the Grand Reception Room. The vase was presented to Queen Victoria in 1839 by Tsar Nicholas I after the visit of his eldest son, the future Alexander II, to England. Queen Victoria’s first Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, reported that the vase was considered the ‘finest in the world’. It was one of the few objects in the Grand Reception Room to survive the fire of 1992, though considerable restoration work was required to restore it to its former magnificence. Copyright: Royal Collection Trust / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021

There is now a timed ticket system in place; tickets should be booked ahead to guarantee entry. Visitors are asked to stay home if they show any COVID-19 symptoms, and tickets can be rebooked for a future date. Opening times can change at any time (Windsor is a working residence) – it is normally open from Wednesday to Monday, but this can change. Tickets can be booked here: https://www.rct.uk/visit/windsor-castle

Buckingham Palace in London will be reopening later this week on 21 May, while the Palace of Holyroodhouse reopens on 6 July 2021. 

About author

Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com