The Queen’s Life at Windsor Castle - her fondest residence

Windsor Castle is believed to have been the Queen's favourite residence. Credit: ITV News

Out of all her residences, the Queen is considered to have been most fond of Windsor Castle.

She chose to spend most of her private weekends there, and as an official residence where she undertook formal duties.

It eventually became her main residence, in the two years before her death. She had left Windsor to travel to Balmoral - where she passed away on Thursday.

ITV Meridian has been looking back at her time at her ‘favourite Royal residence’ and some of her most memorable moments at the castle.

Windsor Castle is said to have been the Queen's favourite residences. Credit: British Pathe

History of Windsor Castle

According to the Royal Collection Trust, Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.

It was founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and has been home to 39 monarchs.

The castle has over 1,000 rooms and spans more than 13 acres.

While the Queen would spend the majority of her time at Buckingham Palace, the she spent most of her weekends in Windsor, and would take up official residence between March and April for Easter Court.

It eventually became her main residence in 2020 where she lived with her late husband Prince Philip until his death in 2021.

The Queen pictured as a child with Princess Margaret. Credit: British Pathe

Childhood at Windsor

The Queen grew up in London with her parents and sister Princess Margaret. 

However during the Second World War they were moved to Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. 

They spent their time there while their mother and father were aiding the war effort in London and across the country. 

The Queen and her sister would perform a pantomime in the Waterloo Chamber every Christmas.

Windsor castle burns in 1992 Credit: PA

The fire at Windsor Castle

In November 1992, a major fire broke out at the castle, which hundreds of firefighters struggled to contain.

The fire which started after a faulty spotlight ignited a curtain, destroyed 115 rooms of the castle.

It took 15 hours for crews to put the fire out. 

The damage was extensive, and soon after, the Queen famously described it as the culmination of her "horrible year."

Captain Sir Thomas Moore was knighted by the Queen. Credit: Chris Jackson/PA

Royal duties at the castle

The Queen carried out many formal duties at the castle, including state visits and awarding honours, knighthoods and damehoods. 

Sir Captain Tom Moore, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Elton John, and Dame Judi Dench are among those who have received honours from Her Majesty.

Former ITV News Meridian was awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to broadcasting.

St George’s Chapel

The chapel was the Queen’s place of worship and held a special place in her heart. It is where her late husband Prince Philip is buried following his death in April 2021.

Her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, her father King George VI, and her sister Princess Margaret are also buried there.

The chapel has also hosted many royal weddings throughout the years.

In 2005, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were married at a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, with a service of prayer at St George’s Chapel.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in St George's Chapel at Windsor Caslte Credit: PA

In May 2018, the Queen attended the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at St George’s chapel.

2,640 members of the public were invited to watch the wedding from the ground of Windsor Castle.

 Most recently in October 2018, Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel.

Windsor Horse Show 

The Windsor Horse Show was considered to be the Queen’s favourite equestrian event.

It was first staged in 1943 to help raise funds for the War effort.

It is now the only show in the UK to host international competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving and Endurance.

The Windsor Horse show was said to be the Queen's favourite event. Credit: PA

Royal celebrations

A number of celebrations have been held at Windsor Castle.

The Queen returned to the Castle in May this year ready to join the nation’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark her 70 years on the throne.

In May 2012, The Diamond Jubilee Pageant, also branded The World Comes to Windsor, was held in the grounds of the castle.