Monday, June 01, 2009

London: Windsor Castle and the Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo

After spending the morning at the Tate Modern and St. Paul's, we took the train to Windsor, less than an hour outside of London.

The imposing image of Queen Victoria seen as one approaches the castle:

The centuries-old Castle, the Queen's weekend home, is beautiful, as seen below:

There is a lovely waterfall to the left in this photo; click to enlarge and see the details:

This is St. George's Chapel, the burial place of Henry VIII, Charles I, and many other members of the royal family:

Besides the State Apartments and the Chapel, one of the most fascinating things to see at Windsor is Queen Mary's Dolls' House. My husband gave me a beautiful hardcover book on the dollhouse around 20 years ago, shortly after we saw it for the first time. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to visit it once more!

That evening we had tickets to attend the Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo, a stirring military spectacular which raises funds for the Royal British Legion.

The Tattoo takes place near Windsor Castle on the grounds of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. There were displays by all sorts of military units, spectacular horse riding, cannons, bands, and bagpipers. Photos of this year's event are posted online.

Between the darkness and the action, taking good pictures myself was nearly impossible, but this photo captures some of the excitement, with a horse racing past pulling an old-fashioned cannon:

Each evening a member of the royal family attended the tattoo. The night we were there Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, sat in the royal box directly opposite our seats and "took the salute" from the troops several times on behalf of his mother, the Queen.

More horses, facing the royal box:

We had to leave before the grand finale, in order to arrive back in London before certain Tube lines shut down for the evening, but we were able to see over two hours of the Tattoo and thoroughly enjoyed it. A very memorable experience.

Late that evening we were standing with another family on the train platform at Slough, a few minutes outside Windsor, waiting for our train to London. It turned out that not only was the other family from a nearby city here in Orange County, their son who was with them is a graduate student at USC's Cinema School. Talk about a small world! Our cinema students had plenty to chat about until the train arrived.

Previously: Day One (London museums); Hampton Court Palace; Kensington Palace and the Albert Memorial; The Tate Modern Collection and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Coming Soon: Blenheim Palace; The Imperial War Museum; and more on Disneyland Paris.


Blogger Missy said...

The Tattoo looks great! And fantastic pictures of Windsor's gardens. Thanks for continuing to share!


10:40 AM  
Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

I haven't been commenting but I wanted to let you know that I've been enjoying this series of entries on your trip!

10:58 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you both! I'm glad to know others are enjoying some of my trip snapshots. :)

Best wishes,

11:07 AM  
Blogger Irene said...

What great photos. I would have loved to see the Tattoo. When I was growing up my dad was all about bagpipes and all things Scottish. We used to go to the shows that would come to LA, like the Blackwatch, etc.

I love the Small World story. Lately that kind of thing has been happening a lot to me, especially with some new friends I've met at the Billy Hill show and a photographer I met at the Civil War event this past weekend. Of course we have a kind of Small World connection in that we both know Daryl and Diane :)

4:30 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Irene,

I was just talking to a homeschooling mom last weekend whose son was at the Civil War event at El Dorado Park. I meant to ask if you were there!

We have had some other fun "small world" things happen to us over time. Hopefully you and I will be able to make it a smaller world and meet up sometime this summer. :) It's amazing to me that this is June already, how did that happen?

Best wishes,

5:08 PM  

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