Inside Windsor Castle – take the tour before Prince William and Kate Middleton move in

We take a look inside Windsor Castle before the new royals move to the historic home

Exterior of windsor castle with the henry tower
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While Windsor castle is often open to the public, it can be difficult to get in to see the astounding architecture. The chance to see inside Windsor Castle is a thrilling opportunity to get a glimpse into the long history of one of the world's most famous families.

Windsor Castle is one of the most famous royal residences in the Royal Collection Trust (opens in new tab), with the castle being the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Founded in the eleventh century, Windsor castle is easily one of the world's best homes, and has been the home of over 40 monarchs and will be the new residence of Prince William and Princess Kate of Wales in the coming year. 

Here, we go inside Windsor castle to take a look at some of the impressive state rooms where the royals perform their state duties and relax away from the public eye. 

Inside Windsor Castle

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The castle contains two types of apartments; the State apartments and the private residences, such as the suite Harry and Meghan requested and the rooms William and Kate will relocate to with their children. While it is rare to see inside the private residences, with only one single glimpse of the queen's private sitting room offered through a video call during the pandemic, the historical halls are really what makes the castle special. 

Fittingly for royalty, the walls of the castle look almost as if they have been taken from the pages of a fairytale. Intricate gold leaf and sculpted plaster decorate the walls and ceiling ideas throughout the castle, a clear sign of its astounding opulence and long history. 

The castles lighting ideas are no less impressive, of course, with numerous chandeliers hanging in hallways and ballrooms. 

Inside windsor castle - The entrance to the state apartments

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The State Apartments were designed during the right of King Charles II and, while originally used for state officials and dignitaries, this section is now readily open to the public. 

The Grand Vestibule, found in the Upper Ward of the castle, is stuffed with ornate decorating ideas. The space marks the entrance to the rest of the state apartments and offers a masterclass in decorating with art with pieces selected from the royal's private collections used to adorn the space.

Some of the most notable inclusions are a selection of Prince Albert's most beloved Rubens. The Crown Prince was so enamored by the artist that one room in the castle, dedicated exclusively to the artist was affectionately renamed 'the Ruben room'.

Inside windsor castle - Ceiling of the entrance to the state apartments

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The plaster fan ceiling of the Vestibule is one to shock and delight. Designed for King Charles II by Francis Bernasconi, the plasterwork is adorned with images of angels and foliage and is bound to be a source of audacious inspiration for commissioning decorative plasterwork

Inside windsor castle - The monarchs bedroom

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Bedroom ideas are nothing short of daring in the castle, with brilliant red room ideas found in the so-called King's Bed Chamber. The chamber itself showcases fantastical red damask paper which immediately speaks to the historical affluence of the Castle.

The bed itself is nothing short of show-stopping, with the frame crafted by French woodworker Georges Jacob in 1855. The bed was created first for a visit by Emperor Napoleon III and his wife, with their initials visible on the fabric of the footboard. 

The bedroom is not purely historical, however, with the marble chimneypiece originating from Buckingham House.

Inside windsor castle - Semi-State rooms

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The Green Drawing Room can be found in the Castle's semi-state apartments but is closed to the public due to the fragile nature of the carpet and furniture after a fire in 1992.

The Green Drawing Room features some of the most spectacular carpet ideas in the Castle, with the beautiful Axminster carpet dating back to the Great Exhibition of 1851. It is one of the best-preserved examples of English manufacturing of the time and was installed during the reign of Queen Victoria. 

Inside windsor castle - the throne room

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Easily one of the most historic rooms inside Windsor Castle is The Garter Throne Room – having played host to centuries of monarchs, knights, and ladies of the Order of the Garter.

This room has become infamous for its drapery and curtain ideas, with the large Guiltwood canopy framed with luxurious velvet hangings. The throne itself is another relatively new addition to the castle, having been made in 1953 for the late Queen Elizabeth IIs coronation. Accompanying is a large state portrait, painted by James Gunn, depicting the late monarch in her coronation robes. 

Inside windsor castle - The dining room

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While it is typically the state dining room at Buckingham palace that hosts many of today's formal banquets, the dining room ideas inside Windsor Castle have seen their fair share of important events and figures. 

Originally used by King Charles II, the room once again displays aspirational painting ideas, with the immaculately painted ceiling depicting a banquet of the gods, featuring fruit, fowl, and fish. This incredible artwork is accompanied by wonderful wood-carved wall ideas.

Inside windsor castle - St Georges Hall

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St. Georges Hall is an eccentric 180-foot-long space, designed in a Gothic style with original military weapons and suits of armor displayed on the walls. 

This section of the castle was heavily damaged by the fires, meaning that much of the original 1820s plasterwork and painstakingly handcrafted art was lost. Much of what was destroyed, such as the original plaster ceiling complete with painted knights' shields and plaster beams, was delicately recreated to restore the hall to its former glory.

Inside windsor castle - The Waterloo Chamber

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By far one of the largest rooms inside Windsor Castle, the Waterloo Chamber is dedicated to the British victory at the Battle of Waterloo (hence the name). 

The room's most stunning features include the elaborate wall paneling ideas and enclosed ceiling, designed to emulate the inside timbers of a great ship.

The carpets in the space are also nothing less than impressive, having been made to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The Indian carpet is said to be the largest seamless carpet in the world but it has not been without its issues. In 1992 when the fire destroyed vast swathes of the castle, it took over 50 soldiers to roll the immense floor covering to be moved to safety during the renovations. 

Chiana Dickson
Junior Writer

Chiana is a junior writer for Homes & Gardens having joined Future plc as a new graduate in 2022 after achieving a 1st class degree in Literature at university. She first became interested in design as a child after spending her summers helping her parents redecorate her childhood home. As a long-time reader of Future’s homes titles, Chiana is constantly finding new inspiration at work as she focuses on emerging trends, how-to’s, and news pieces.