If someone asked me who would I want to talk to living or dead, my answer would be Henry VIII. I’ve been interested in the Tudor dynasty since I first watched The Tudors. Yes, I realize that’s me getting interested in something due to pop culture, but that’s usually how things go for me.
Jeff still thinks it funny that I say my favorite flower is the daisy due to You’ve Got Mail when Meg Ryan says daisies are the friendliest flower. (But actually, my favorite flower is the rose. And that’s me being traditional and romantic.)
Well, the more research I did into the Tudors, the more I actually came to admire an find fascinating than the show. In all honesty, I found it to be a lot more accurate than I would have thought initially.
So, when Jeff suggested we go to Windsor as our first out of London trip, that was pretty exciting. That’s where Henry, among others, are buried. Let alone the rest of the ancient history.
We first got to the city, and I was a little surprised to see that it was almost like an outlet mall that happened to have a thousand year old castle in the middle of it. Take a left and you are at the front of the castle. It was beyond stunning and almost seemed fake! I was actually expecting to turn again and see it was a large canvas facade.
We got the audio guide and followed step by step the path through the insane estate. There was a gorgeous garden that took the place of the ancient moat. It’s the beginning of March and the flowers are starting to bud and bloom. The daffodils were stunning on the hillside.
The changing of the guard occurs on the odd numbers of every other week, so thankfully, being the first, we fell into that very random categorization and watched the thirty minute ordeal of changing of the guard with a band presence. For my awesome phone film skills, check out a bit of the ceremony here.
The marching band played the traditional song, and then two rather modern and out of place ones. The third was Moment in Time by Whitney Houston. That seemed rather inappropriate for a marching band to play at Windsor Castle during the March 1 changing of the guard, but they didn’t ask me.
We walked around the outside and then into the Queen’s Dolls’ House which was a past time of Queen Mary. It was spectacular with working electricity in this enormous little house. The entire room was completely dark to preserve the wallpaper, so I very gracefully tripped over someone and then held on to Jeff like a child on a leash.
Then we went over to St. George’s Chapel. That is what took my breath away. Yes, when we went to Westminster Abbey, seeing Mary Tudor I and Elizabeth I interred with Queen Anne of Cleves’ monument on the wall, it was overwhelming, but since my fantasy conversation partner is Henry VIII, I was very excited to see him.
He was buried with “his favorite wife” Jane Seymour, but also sharing a cubicle with King Charles I. It was really amazing. I stood there in the Quire and was standing over his grave and staring up at the wooden box where Queen Catherine of Aragon sat to watch the church services.
We then headed out to walk around the town before our train headed back to Ealing. We thought we would take a walk around the entire castle property, but then we realized the castle was much bigger than it looked in the distance, so we turned back. But we did get to catch a little bit of a high school rugby game in the sunlight.
We headed back home and we have already started to plan our first overnight trip. It was incredibly eye-opening and amazing to see the castle from the train window and realize it is a good thirty miles between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. It would take several hours by cart or horse to get there when it took us about thirty minutes by train for us.
Here are a few more photos from the day.