Windsor Castle: From Medieval Fortress to Royal Palace with Barbara Askew

Windsor Castle: From Medieval Fortress to Royal Palace with Barbara Askew


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Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, is thought to be Queen Elizabeth II’s most treasured residence, and has a long and varied history. This seminar traces the Castle's development from an eleventh-century fortress into a magnificent palace, focusing in particular on the reigns of four monarchs, Edward III, Charles II, George IV, and Queen Elizabeth II.

Edward III was born at Windsor Castle in 1312 and using the proceeds of his successful wars against France, he set about changing Windsor Castle from a battle-scarred fortress into a splendid, fortified palace – a ‘New Camelot’.

We’ll learn that in the seventeenth century, King Charles II created new royal apartments, converting the Castle into a splendid Baroque palace and in the nineteenth century King George IV transformed Windsor Castle into the magnificent royal residence that it is today.

To conclude, this seminar will explain the restoration of the Castle after the Great Fire of 1992, the challenges faced by the architects and craftsmen involved, and how they combined traditional skills with modern technology, making the reign of Queen Elizabeth II a key period in the Castle’s post-medieval development.

Led by London-based historian, Blue Badge Tourist Guide, Accredited Lecturer for the Arts Society, and an acknowledged expert on Royalty and Windsor Castle, Barbara Askew. Barbara has been the Site Liaison Representative for the British Guild of Tourist Guides since 1990 and she is the only tour guide who was invited to the weddings of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle, and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank. With such an expert and insider into the Royal Family, this interactive seminar explores the intriguing history of Windsor Castle. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased knowledge of this historical site.

Barbara Askew is a historian, a London Blue Badge Guide, and a lecturer for the Arts Society. She is an expert on royal history and Windsor Castle for which she has been the Blue Badge Guides’ Site Liaison Representative since 1990 and she organises the guided tours of Eton College.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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