Windsor Castle, William Shakespeare and England's Rose

In the spirit of the Diamond Jubilee
I spent the day at Windsor Castle on my own.
I had planned it that way...
I wanted to take my time and do it my way. :)

I learned many facts about Windsor Castle...
Built by William the Conqueror (r.1066-87)
It has stood it's ground for 900 years.
Today it is the largest occupied castle in the world.
Occupies 13 acres (5 hectares).

Official residence of The Queen
Often used by The Queen to host State Visits.
If you go, be sure to see: the State Apartments
On exhibition now, a must see..
You can visit Windsor Castle via video here.

St. George's Chapel holds the tombs of ten sovereigns 
including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, 
and Charles I. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, 
King George VI and Princess Margaret also lie buried in the Chapel.

The castle is so rich in history, it requires a good read and visit to take it all in.
I am not sure if even then, one could fully grasp the full scope of this magnificent castle.

Interior shots are not I had to make due with what I discovered outside.
If you would like to explore Windsor Castle in more detail...start here.
I promise you, the interior is most definitely worth a visit.

My discoveries....
Up, up and away.. after all, it is a castle. :)

     "Oh Romeo, Romeo...wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I'll no longer be a Capulet." 
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet 

Windsor Castle has a way of making you think like that.

Here lies the Moat Path which leads to the Moat Garden.

Since the eighteenth century, the moat surrounding the 
Round Tower has featured an ornamental garden.

It is one of those scenes that leaves you grounded to your spot...
for the want of taking in every detail.

 There is so much to take in.... it is just a matter of what resonates with you most.

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date".
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet. "
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

                      Before passing through The Norman Gate, I looked to my right...

 and up the stairs to something that intrigued me..

I zoomed...

 and zoomed....

and zoomed...until I found my prize.
A garden statue... a knight of the Round Table perhaps?
I like to think of it as King Arthur standing guard over
his garden kingdom. Yes, I know it is a bit corny...but
it's a castle and I enjoy stories of lore, so there you go. 

and Salisbury Cathedral have been among my favorites places of worship to visit. 
I have to say, St. George's Chapel has now been bumped to the top of my list.

The present Chapel started under the guidance of Edward IV in 1475 
and was completed under Henry VIII in 1528. Dates which are inconceivable to me, 
until I stepped into the Chapel. You need to sit down when you enter, it is that beautiful.
From the Royal tombs and memorials to The Most Noble Order of the Garter, it is captivating.

The Albert Memorial Chapel, an adjunct to St. George Chapel 
is to commemorate Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."
William Shakespeare, Twelth Night

I left Windsor Castle not as I entered. I have a much finer
appreciation for the history of England and it's Queen.
To that end, I offer the words to "Rose of England"
with thoughts of the Diamond Jubilee and Queen Elizabeth.
'Thou shalt blossom to the end of time.'

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Rose of England
Grown in one land alone
Where proud winds have blown
There's not a flower born of the shower
Braver than England's own
Though gales of winter blow
Piercing hail and snow
Shining she stays bright as in the days of yore
Old England's pride still blossoms
Fresh on England's shore

Rose of England thou shall fade not here
Proud and bright from growing year to year
Red shall thy petals be as rich wine untold
Share by thy warriors who served thee of old
Rose of England breathing England's air
Flower of chivalry beyond compare
While hand and heart endure to cherish they prime
Thou shalt blossom to the end of time

Rose of England breathing England's air
Flower of liberty beyond compare
While hand and heart endure to cherish they prime
Thou shalt blossom to the end of time

Written by Ivor Novello, 1937

One last an earlier post, I could not make up my mind
which commemorative items to purchase. If you are looking for
a special item have a look here. I found what I was looking for. 


Best wishes to one and all for a lovely weekend!
Happy Jubilee!

Jeanne xx

except where noted


  1. I don’t know what I enjoyed most, the gorgeous shots that you took or the lyrical words of Shakespeare that you serenaded us with.I felt like I was right next to you when 'we' spotted the garden statue. What shall we do next, a cup of tea maybe?
    Thanks for bringing England to my Californian doorstep. Wink.


    1. Your very welcome Leslie...let's make in high tea with champagne. :)

  2. Looks to me as though you saved the best for last.
    Those grounds are exquisite. I know you had a wonderful day.
    By the way... I found some fabulous Jubilee trinkets on Cath Kidston's website! The corgi bag! Had to have it.

    1. Had to see...yes it's you!! (and now me) :)
      For those interested....

  3. Beautiful Photos. I was there over 20 years ago and I don't remember very much, I especially don't remember seeing the lovely gardens. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jeanne, I loved everything about this post. Oh my goodness, The Moat Garden leaves me speechless. I love finding the unexpected (the statue). Yes, it must be King Arthur. Thank you so much for allowing me to tag along with you. Enjoy your weekend. Bonnie

  5. I didn't expect the vertical aspect of the castle. You know ... I thought it was plopped on a meadow. The gardens built into the sides of the hills are just lovely. Thanks so much for sharing.

    And, a lovely photo of the Queen. She was lovely as a young woman and then not so much in middle age, but she suits her face again in old age. We love her here, as you know.

  6. Great post Jeanne, and I too enjoyed your addition of Shakespeare. I always find it hard to comprehend the time frame of some of those old buildings and the castles and English history in general..

    Love your 'zoom' in of Arthur looking over the gardens, or do you think he is looking for Guinevere?

    Have a great weekend and enjoy the celebrations, it is Queens Birthday Weekend here in NZ, so we are having an extra long weekend. xx

    1. Most definetly Angela...I am not thinking ever garden should have one. :)

  7. Hello Jeanne,

    I loved your account of your visit to Windsor Castle. I can fully appreciate how you wanted to go alone. There is so much to capture and absorb.
    Your photos are superb.
    How exciting that you have been able to take this in at this time in history and it shall be a day you will always remember

    Helen xx

  8. Wow, this post is breathtaking. My family and I enjoyed visiting Windsor Castle many years ago. We have many fond memories there. I would love to visit again. Just like you, I visited by myself the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace and the V&A Museum Exhibit of Cecil Beaton portraits of The Queen to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee. I enjoyed all of it that I can't help sharing them on my blog. Love all of the Shakespeare's quotes and your tribute to The Queen. Enjoy the Jubilee festivities.

  9. What a lovely tour of Windsor Castle. The last time we visited was 25 years ago and I still remember it. I remember how well cared for everything was, and how beautiful the grounds were, and how lovely the doll house was. What fun.

  10. Lovely words and photos, Jeanne. I took a trip down memory lane and so enjoyed the zooming effects. That's some garden. Magical. I love the first wide angle shot of the stairs descending. So much so I 'pinned' it :O) Is that OK? Some travel mag should snap you up as its roving reporter, you know. You visit interesting and diverse places and record your impressions so evocatively. Glad you're caught up in the Jubilee festivities. Waiting on a full report from you and Lisa Miller, ABC Europe Correspondent. If only I had a fancy hat to wear, I'd wear it this weekend. Alas it's beanie weather here. Deb x

    1. I think beanie is the way to go Deborah...surely Canberra wouldn't mind. :) Yes, happy for you to pin! :)

  11. You have just so made my day!! What a lovely post intertwining Shakespeare into your walk. And, doesn't Queen Elizabeth look radiant in her red. I was at Windsor long ago, and somehow you've brought it back to life. I think I was too busy with a little boy who wanted to run wild. xx's

  12. Just piping it to say thank you for your happy that many of you were able to revisit the castle and perhaps one or two may be inspired to visit. :) If you do...I hear tell...Maude's is a great ice cream spot outside the entrance. :)

  13. J,

    you have done such a fine job on this post....
    that all i want to do is BE IN IT!!!


  14. Jeanne your post is tremendous, romantic and brings out the adventurous side of me. I've been to Windsor (although years now) but I've never really "been". You have showed it to us through your magical eyes. Now I can't wait to go visit and take my time. Thank you! x

  15. Thank you for taking us with you - I very much enjoyed your blog post.
    Love leanne

  16. Jeanne what a wonderfully comprehensive yet romantic tour I have just been on... and such a pleasure to read as I have been surrounded by all things England and Royal today as I take it easy watching the BBC after the few days in Paris. Your photos are beautiful.. and what a beautiful day you had! Thank you!

  17. Now I want to go to windsor too Castle Jeanne!.... xv

  18. Aah, Windsor as romantic as I would have imagined.. thanks for your marvelous pics and for being my eyes Jeanne.. and for the heads up re the commemorative ware.. must have that tea caddy.. chin, chin, to a marvelous grand dame.. (jip, you too Jeanne)..

  19. Jeanne, I love this post. We took our daughters when they were little girls to Windsor castle and they adored it. Their favorite part was Queen Mary's Doll House. I have the book about the doll house to this day in my book case. Thanks for the wonderful tour of the castle and the grounds. And I love the poem at the end of your post. You are so lucky to be in London for the Jubilee. Enjoy every minute of it!

  20. This is another place I long to visit. I love English history, have loved it since I was a child. I am fascinated by the Royal Family and, since this island is part of the Commonwealth, I still think of Queen Elizabeth as our queen too. Not too many people would agree with me, but who cares really. A great post Jeanne.

  21. I felt like I have been transported there after I looked at all the beautiful photos and read your narrative.

    What remains for me is to visit Windsor Castle.

    Thank you.

  22. Oh Jeanne, what a glorious post which transported me to shores far away. Thankyou. You know how much I travel vicariously through you! J x PS I suspect George VI is buried there, not Charles VI ☺.

    1. are right Jane! Shall ammend..thank you. :)

  23. Oh my gosh that is the most precious photo of the Queen I've ever seen!
    Long live our Queen.

  24. Astonishing create a lot of magic here with your words and your glimpses of life :).

  25. What a lovely post!

    ♥ Franka

  26. What lovely photos! I want to take off my shoes and run through that green grass.

  27. Oh what a beautiful post! I will save it forever!

    If you can imagine; one of my very first memories was watching the "coronation" on our TV when I was 5 years old!

    (we had all the neighbors because we were the only family with a TV!!" What a lovely memory; and what a lovely queen she has been!

    I am sending you a photo that (in my opinion), shows the reason she is such a wonderful queen!

  28. Nice blog and really very nice information get more information here
    Safari Tours Africa


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