Today was one of the most surreal days so far, up before dawn and at Windsor Castle before breakfast! Windsor is a quiet town, an hour west of London. The drive made for a memorable “mini road-trip” through the countryside of England. Imagine the narrow, winding roads and fairy tale-like towns leading to our destination. To sum it up, we spent the day in a Windsor Wonderland.
Upon arrival, our eyes were immediately drawn to the most splendid view of the Castle nestled in the hills of Windsor. William the Conqueror chose the site for Windsor Castle, high above the River Thames. Construction began around 1070, and 16 years later the Castle was complete. Today, the Castle opened earlier than the regular visiting hours, exclusively for the Varsity Spirit London Tour. We walked past a long line of visitors, directly through security and into the gates of the Castle property. Talk about getting the royal treatment.
St. George’s Chapel was our first stop. The Chapel’s history speaks without saying a word and is the chosen location of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s highly anticipated wedding. Even though photography wasn’t allowed, Liza and I couldn’t resist checking out the view that Meghan and the Prince will share at the alter, a crazy surreal moment and a memory we’ll share forever. In case you’re unaware, Meghan is from our side of the “pond”, and we were so excited to hear from the locals that they feel she’s a “breath of fresh air”. Thank you future “Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales” for representing America well! Did you know Prince Harry’s real name is Henry? I may be a bit biased, but I love it! Make sure to tune in on May 19, 2018 to see the two become Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The grand finale of the day was the Castle itself, but first, let me give you a little background info. Windsor Castle encompasses an official residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Do you remember which flag flies when her Majesty is home? The Royal Standard! Unfortunately, the Union Flag was proudly watching over the property when we arrived, but we did learn that the Queen spends most of her private weekends at Windsor Castle. There are no words grand enough to describe the feeling of being in the presence of royalty.
When we first stepped into the Queen’s residence, we had to take a moment to embrace the experience we were about to have. It’s a quiet, intimate environment where one of the first sights seen is Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, built in the roaring 20s. Given to Queen Mary as a gift from the nation, the famous miniature royal palace was designed by a renowned architect of that time. The house is over three feet tall, complete with fully furnished rooms that include electricity, running water and working lifts. After exploring this area of the estate, we continued our tour around the castle completely in awe of the authenticity and value that surrounded us.
The remainder of our afternoon was spent traveling throughout the town of Windsor, window-shopping, visiting the Royal Guards and soaking up every second of this enchanting day!
– Henry and Liza, your #VarsityLondon Correspondents