The Queen is opening part of Windsor Castle for the first time in 40 years for visitors

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The Queen is opening a part of Windsor Castle which has been closed to the public for 40 years to try and entice visitors following the coronavirus pandemic.

From Saturday 8 August, the East Terrace Garden at Windsor Castle, which was created by George IV in the 1820s, will open to the visitors at weekends.

As the Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, have headed off to Balmoral for their late summer holidays, after spending months in lockdown at the Windsor, the royal residence is gearing up for visitors.

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The formal East Terrace Garden was where the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and her sister Princess Margaret would grow vegetables for the war efforts after each being assigned their own plots to plant tomatoes, sweetcorn and dwarf beans.

It has been closed off for decades as there was fears the grounds were not big enough to welcome so many visitors.

But now as the pandemic restrictions ease, it's hoped that more visitors will come to see the garden which was created in the 1820s by George IV and features 3,500 rose bushes.

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In the 19th century, Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, took particular interest in the garden’s planting scheme, and in the early 20th century, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra held large garden parties there each summer.

In 1971 The Duke of Edinburgh redesigned the flowerbeds and commissioned a new bronze lotus fountain based on his own design for the centre of garden.


In the centre of the garden there's a beautiful fountain which is surrounded by rose bushes, and was built initially to be pleasing to the eye from the windows of the Castle.

Richard Williams, Windsor Castle’s learning curator said during a sneak peek tour on BBC Breakfast: “Well, it’s been a great favourite for members of the royal family for just coming up to 200 years which is when it was first laid out by George IV.”

“Queen Victoria had a great affection for it because her husband Prince Albert took part in laying out the design for it."

He added: "It also has a significance for Her Majesty the Queen, because during the war years the whole garden was dug up in order to grow vegetables, and the then young Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret had their own individual plots to grow vegetables for the war effort.

“And I suppose the other significance for the Queen is that in 1971 it was the Duke of Edinburgh who effectively designed the garden as we see it today, with the flower beds and the beautiful fountain at the centre.”

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The Castle’s Moat Garden beneath the iconic Round Tower, will also open for visitors and young children to join family activities on Thursdays and Fridays in August.

This secluded informal garden is thought to date from the reign of Edward III, and it is believed that Geoffrey Chaucer used it as the setting for The Knight’s Tale, the first story from The Canterbury Tales.

Most recently Windsor Castle played host for Princess Beatrice's wedding to her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, of which Her Majesty and Prince Philip were in attendance.

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