As the oldest and largest continuously occupied castle in the world, Windsor Castle can boast being home to 40 Monarchs. The castle was built by William the Conqueror at the end of the 11th Century to protect Norman dominance around the outskirts of London. The Castle has been extended and shaped by various Kings and Queens over the years, in particular Charles II wanted Windsor Palace to rival Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles.
The Royal family take their name from the Castle; due to anti-German sentiment spreading during WWI the royal family dropped their German House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and became the House of Windsor.
During the second world war Windsor Castle was fortified and used as a safe place for the Royal Family and their member of staff both from Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. At the time King George VI and Queen Elisabeth I would travel in absolute secrecy to Windsor Castle each night from Buckingham Palace to be with their two Daughters Elisabeth and Margret.
In 1992 a fire broke out in the Queens Chapel after a curtain caught alight, the fire claimed 20% of the castle. It cost the £37 million to restore the Castle and recreate the rooms. In order to cover the costs of restoration both Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace were opened to the public. Today Windsor Castle is a popular tourist attraction bringing in over one million people each year. It is often used to host state visits and is the preferred weekend home of Queen Elisabeth II.