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Plan Your Visit to Windsor Castle - The Queen's Weekend Home

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St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle
Chivalry, windsor castle, order of the garter

Procession leaves St Georges's Chapel after the annual Garter Ceremony. The Order of the Garter is the oldest British Order of Chivalry, founded by Edward III in 1348. Membership is limited to the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and only 24 others.

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images
St. George's Chapel was built 1475 and 1528, with the last elements of fan vaulting completed under Henry VIII. It's considered a masterpiece of Late Medieval Perpendicular Gothic.
Top Tip: Look for the mirror table in the central aisle of the nave. It provides a good view of the elaborate ceiling.

Officially, St. George's Chapel is what is known as a Royal Peculiar which means it is not part of the usual Anglican hierarchy, under the supervision of a bishop and archbishop. Instead, the Queen appoints its clergy. It is the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter, the site of several important royal tombs and the occasional royal wedding ceremony. Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys Jones were married there. Prince Charle and Camilla Parker-Bowles had a blessing at St. George's Chapel after their civil ceremony in Windsor.

Royal Tombs and Memorials

  • The tombs of King George V and Queen Mary. Anyone who has seen pictures of the British royal family in the early part of the 20th century will instantly recognise Queen Mary's distinctive hairdo in the carving.
  • Look for the elaborate but rather moving carved memorial to Princess Charlotte, only child of King George IV, who died in childbirth. The memorial is in a side chapel toward the back of the nave.
  • A side chapel that can be seen off the north Quire aisle, holds the relatively simply memorials of Queen Elizabeth II's parents (George VI and Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) and her sister, Princess Margaret.
  • A simple stone slab in the center aisle of the Quire is the entrance to a vault that holds the tombs of Henry VIII, Charles I (beheaded by Cromwell's forces, after the English Civil War) and Jane Seymour (Henry VIII's third wife, who died following the birth of Henry VIII's only son).

The Quire

Medieval carved wooden stalls in the Quire are where the Knights of the Order of the Garter gather during their annual ceremony. The banners hang over their individual stalls and about 700 engraved and enamelled brass plates of former knights are attached to the backs of the stalls. In 2008, Prince William became the 1,000th knight of the order.

Attending A Service at St. George's Chapel

The Chapel is open to visitors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. During worship services, including Sunday services, the Chapel is closed to visitors but the public is welcome to attend to take part.

There are at least three services day and sometimes more. Check the St. George's Chapel diary to find out when to attend a service.

It isn't necessary to visit Windsor Castle and pay admission to worship at St. George's Chapel and, in fact, worshippers may enter the castle grounds before and after its normal opening hours to take part in services.

Just approach a Guard at the King Henry VIII Gate (normally the exit for visitors to Windsor Castle). He will direct you to an usher from the chapel who will take you in for the service.
Listen to the Bells of St. George's Chapel

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