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See behind the scenes at Windsor Castle as we get ready to reopen

Release date: Tuesday, 11 May 2021

A member of staff dusts a bronze bust of Charles I in the Grand Reception Room at Windsor Castle

A member of staff dusts a bust of Charles I in the Grand Reception Room ©

Windsor Castle will reopen to visitors on Monday, 17 May, and staff have been busy working behind the scenes on conservation and cleaning to ensure everything is ready to welcome you back.

The safety and wellbeing of both our visitors and staff are our priority. Therefore, in line with Government guidance, we have measures in place to ensure that the Palaces, Galleries and shops reopen safely and you can return with confidence. Find out more about these measures on our dedicated page

 

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In the Inner Hall, a magnificent welcome area for visitors to the Castle that was restored and opened up to the public in 2018, staff have installed marble busts of Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoleon III from the Royal Collection. It was in the Inner Hall that Queen Victoria welcomed Emperor Napoleon III when he arrived at Windsor during his State Visit in 1855. Victoria commissioned the bust of herself as a birthday present to Prince Albert that same year.

A member of staff carefully cleans a newly installed marble bust of Queen Victoria in Windsor Castle's Inner Hall

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A marble bust of Emperor Napoleon III is installed in the Inner Hall at Windsor Castle

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The suits of armour that flank the Castle's Grand Staircase have been carefully dusted by specially trained staff. While the Castle has been closed to visitors, new displays of some of the finest examples of arms and armour in the Royal Collection have been installed in the Castle's State Entrance.

Members of staff dust the suits of armour that flank the Grand Staircase at Windsor Castle

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In the opulent Grand Reception Room, staff needed step ladders to clean the 1.8-metre-high Malachite Urn. The vase was presented to Queen Victoria in 1839 by Tsar Nicholas I after the visit of his eldest son, the future Alexander II, to England. Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, reported that the vase was considered to be the 'finest in the world'. It was one of the few objects in the Grand Reception Room to survive the fire of 1992, though considerable restoration work was required to restore it to its former magnificence.

Members of staff dust the 1.8-metre-high Malachite Urn in the Grand Reception Room at Windsor Castle

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Members of staff dust the 1.8-metre-high Malachite Urn in the Grand Reception Room at Windsor Castle

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In St George's Hall, the largest room in the Castle, staff have been busy dusting each of the 18 marble busts that line the room, including this bust of George III.

A member of staff dusts a marble bust in St George's Hall, the largest room in Windsor Castle

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Find out more about what there is to see and do on a visit to Windsor Castle on our Highlights page.