The Princess of Wales films a surprise performance from a Windsor room where Queen Charlotte once lived

Princess Catherine opened the Eurovision Song Contest in the Crimson Drawing Room at Windsor Castle – and we were distracted by the interiors

Windsor Castle
(Image credit: GettyImages)

Last weekend, the eyes of the world fell on Liverpool – the northern English host city of The Eurovision Song Contest. However, while the contest itself was a spectacle, we couldn't help but feel briefly distracted by the backdrop of the opening sequence  –featuring Catherine, Princess of Wales.

Making a surprise appearance, the Princess was seen in a pre-recorded video at the start of the show – alongside famed Phantom of the Opera and Cats composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and singers Sam Ryder and Joss Stone. 

Of course, the Princess' performance quickly made headlines – but we think the opulent backdrop, The Crimson Drawing Room at the medieval Windsor Castle, deserves recognition, too.

As one of the most beautiful rooms in the Berkshire royal residence, the Crimson Drawing Room was the perfect setting, with its crimson drapes, gold paint, and chandeliers, to showcase Windsor's luxury to the world. 

The royals are no strangers to decorating with red – most notably in Buckingham Palace – the famous London home around 24 miles from Windsor. Recently, similar shades of red and gold were also seen in the backdrop of King Charles' official coronation portraits

 Everything we know about The Crimson Drawing Room 

The Crimson Drawing Room is a semi-State Room that was regularly used by Queen Elizabeth for private events. It overlooks the East Terrace Garden, with Home Park in the distance, and was originally created by Sir Jeffry Wyatville as the principal reception room in an interconnecting suite; previously, the room had been part of the apartments where Queen Charlotte, whose life is fictionalized by Shonda Rhimes on Netflix currently, lived.

According to the Royal Collection Trust, 'Great attention and expenditure were lavished on the curtains, passementerie, and wall hangings throughout the new apartments. The material shown in the "miniature designs" was a striped poppy-colored velvet, supplied by the mercer W.E. King at a cost of £3 13s. per yard; this was by some margin the most expensive fabric used at Windsor.'

Crimson Drawing Room, Windsor Castle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Windsor Castle fire destroyed the room in 1992 – along with 114 other rooms (and nine State Rooms) in the castle. However, it has since been returned to its former glory (above) – and is open to the public for part of the year.

In the footage, Catherine is seated at the grand piano playing a piece of music specially created for her by pianists Joe Price and Kojo Samuel. The full video also featured last year's Eurovision winner's Kalush Orchestra singing Stefania in the iconic Maidan Nezalezhnosti metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine.

You can discover more about Windsor Castle's history, and the fire, in this book below.

Windsor Castle: An Illustrated History

Windsor Castle: An Illustrated History – $20.20 on Amazon
This beautifully illustrated book explores the history of Windsor Castle – the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It has been a site of fundamental historical, cultural, and architectural importance for nearly one thousand years – and continues to serve the royal family to this day. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.