Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

A Day in the Life

 

Experience a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep Windsor Castle running smoothly—and on schedule.

 

Windsor Castle is a living castle

A trio of maids descend the stairwell at Windsor Castle.

300 people live and work at Windsor Castle.

160 people live within the castle walls, making it the largest lived-in castle in the world.

Windsor has operated through more than 40 reigns, and over 1000 years.

Two men dust the chandelier with brushes.

In 1992, a worker's lamp started a fire that took 16 hours to extinguish. The fire seriously damaged more than 100 rooms.

The castle was restored in 1997. The fire is commemorated with a stained glass window in the royal family's chapel.

 

 

State Banquets

Workers polish a table before an event.

State occasions can require up to six months of planning.

There is an official measuring stick to measure distance from a chair to the table in the dining hall.

Precise timing at each event is crucial to ensure the event goes as planned: Servers are prompted by a light to begin serving in unison.

Chefs preparing dinner in the kitchens.

Every pat of butter is individually hand stamped with an image of the crown, a task the Queen herself used to perform as a child.

Each vegetable is scrutinized before being served at a banquet.

 

 

Castle Employees

Exterior of Windsor Castle with trees

Major Alan L. Denman is the Castle Superintendent. He inspects the castle grounds each day before it is opened to the public. The grounds are so vast, that there are still areas of the castle he hasn't seen yet.

Tony Martin is the Castle Flagman. His job is to raise the royal standard the moment the Queen enters the ramparts.

Castle Flagman, Tony Martin raises the flag as the Queen enters the grounds.

Mark Flanagan, the Queen's Chef, oversees the preparation of all food in the castle, including ensuring the beef is cooked to the Queen's satisfaction.

Steve Davidson, Windsor's timekeeper, is responsible for maintaining Windsor's 450 clocks. It can take 16 hours to change them all for Daylight Savings Time.

Lady Roberts, the Royal Librarian, manages the collection of over 300,000 books, drawings and prints at Windsor.

The Queen and her family keep their horses at Windsor Castle. She knows names all her horses and ponies herself, and keeps an extensive database of their lineages.

 

 

Order of the Garter

Men marching in the Garter Day parade.

In 1348, Edward the III established the Order of the Garter.

Every year on Garter Day the Queen, her 24 Garter Knights, Military Knights, and others, process from the top of Windsor Castle, down the hill to St. George's Chapel.

The Order of the Garter is the senior British order of Chivalry. The Garter Knights motto is "Honi soit qui mal y pense," or "Shame on him who thinks evil of it."

The procession consists of Military Knights, Garter Knights, the Queen and others.

Every Garter Day, seating charts for the luncheons are rotated so no one sits next to the same person more than once every 10 years.

Staff rehearse the procession thoroughly to ensure precision.

The Garter Knights are selected from former politicians, national heroes, and long-serving representatives of the crown.

 

Sources: Windsor Castle, A Royal Year, The Official Web Site of the British Monarchy

 

Back to top

ECOMMERCE END -->