St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in England, is a chapel designed in the high-medieval Gothic style. It is both a Royal Peculiar, a church under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch, the Chapel of the Order of the Garter. Seating 800, it is located in the Lower Ward of the castle. St. George's castle chapel was established in the 14th century by King Edward III and began extensive enlargement in the late 15th century, it has been the location of many royal ceremonies and burials. Windsor Castle is a principal residence for Queen Elizabeth II; the day-to-day running of the Chapel is the responsibility of the Dean and Canons of Windsor who make up the religious College of St George, directed by a Chapter of the Dean and four Canons, assisted by a Clerk and other staff. The Society of the Friends of St George's and Descendants of the Knights of the Garter, a registered charity, was established in 1931 to assist the College in maintaining the Chapel. In 1348, King Edward III founded two new religious colleges: St Stephen's at Westminster and St George's at Windsor.
The new college at Windsor was attached to the Chapel of St Edward the Confessor, constructed by Henry III in the early thirteenth century. The chapel was rededicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, George the Martyr and Edward the Confessor, but soon after became known only by the dedication to St. George. Edward III built the Aerary Porch in 1353–54, it was used as the entrance to the new college. St George's Chapel became the Mother Church of the Order of the Garter, a special service is still held in the chapel every June and is attended by the members of the order, their heraldic banners hang above the upper stalls of the choir. The period 1475–1528 saw a radical redevelopment of St George's Chapel under the designs of King Henry VII's most prized counsellor Sir Reginald Bray, set in motion by Edward IV and continued by Henry VII and Henry VIII; the thirteenth-century Chapel of Edward the Confessor was expanded into a huge new Cathedral-like chapel under the supervision of Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, the direction of the master mason Henry Janyns.
The Horseshoe Cloister was constructed for the new community of 45 junior members: 16 vicars, a deacon gospeller, 13 lay clerks, 2 clerks epistoler and 13 choristers. The choristers of St George's Chapel are still in existence to this day, although the total number is not fixed and is nearer to 20; the choristers are educated at Windsor Castle. They are full boarders at the school. In term time they attend practice in the castle every morning and sing Matins and Eucharist on Sundays and sing Evensong throughout the entire week, with the exception of Wednesdays. St George's Chapel was a popular destination for pilgrims during the late medieval period; the chapel was purported to contain several important relics: the bodies of John Schorne and Henry VI and a fragment of the True Cross held in a reliquary called the Cross of Gneth. It was taken from the Welsh by Edward II after his conquest along with other sacred relics; these relics all appear to have been displayed at the east end of the south choir aisle.
The Chapel suffered a great deal of destruction during the English Civil War. Parliamentary forces broke into and plundered the chapel and treasury on 23 October 1642. Further pillaging occurred in 1643 when the fifteenth-century chapter house was destroyed, lead was stripped off the chapel roofs, elements of Henry VIII's unfinished funeral monument were stolen. Following his execution in 1649, Charles I was buried in a small vault in the centre of the choir at St George's Chapel which contained the coffins of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. A programme of repair was undertaken at St George's Chapel following the Restoration of the monarchy; the reign of Queen Victoria saw further changes made to the architecture of the chapel. The east end of the choir was reworked in devotion to Prince Albert. In the 21st century, St George's accommodates 800 persons for services and events. On the roof of the chapel, standing on the pinnacles, on pinnacles on the sides, are seventy-six heraldic statues representing the Queen's Beasts, showing the Royal supporters of England.
They represent fourteen of the heraldic animals: the lion of England, the red dragon of Wales, the panther of Jane Seymour, the falcon of York, the black bull of Clarence, the yale of Beaufort, the white lion of Mortimer, the greyhound of Richmond, the white hart of Richard II, the collared silver antelope of Bohun, the black dragon of Ulster, the white swan of Hereford, the unicorn of Edward III and the golden hind of Kent. The original beasts dated from the sixteenth century, but were removed in 1682 on the advice of Sir Christopher Wren. Wren had condemned the calcareous sandstone of which they were constructed; the present statues date from 1925. Members of the Order of the Garter meet at Windsor Castle every June for the annual Garter Service. After lunch in the State Apartments in the Upper Ward of the Castle they process on foot, wearing their robes and insignia, down to St George's Chapel where the service is held. If any new members have been admitted to the Order they are installed at the service.
After the service, the members of the order return to the Upper Ward by car. The Order had frequent services at the chapel, after becoming infrequent in the 18
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
Albert, Prince Consort
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the husband of Queen Victoria. He was born in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, to a family connected to many of Europe's ruling monarchs. At the age of 20, he married Queen Victoria, he felt constrained by his role of prince consort, which did not afford him power or responsibilities. He developed a reputation for supporting public causes, such as educational reform and the abolition of slavery worldwide, was entrusted with running the Queen's household and estates, he was involved with the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851, a resounding success. Victoria came to depend more on his support and guidance, he aided the development of Britain's constitutional monarchy by persuading his wife to be less partisan in her dealings with Parliament—although he disagreed with the interventionist foreign policy pursued during Lord Palmerston's tenure as Foreign Secretary. Albert died at the young age of 42. Victoria was so devastated at the loss of her husband that she entered into a deep state of mourning and wore black for the rest of her life.
On her death in 1901, their eldest son succeeded as Edward VII, the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, named after the ducal house to which Albert belonged. Albert was born at Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg, the second son of Ernest III, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, his first wife, Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Albert's future wife, was born earlier in the same year with the assistance of the same midwife, Charlotte von Siebold. Albert was baptised into the Lutheran Evangelical Church on 19 September 1819 in the Marble Hall at Schloss Rosenau with water taken from the local river, the Itz, his godparents were the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. In 1825, Albert's great-uncle, Frederick IV, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, died, his death led to a realignment of Saxon duchies the following year and Albert's father became the first reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Albert and his elder brother, spent their youth in a close companionship marred by their parents' turbulent marriage and eventual separation and divorce.
After their mother was exiled from court in 1824, she married her lover, Alexander von Hanstein, Count of Polzig and Beiersdorf. She never saw her children again, died of cancer at the age of 30 in 1831; the following year, their father married his sons' cousin Princess Marie of Württemberg. The brothers were educated at home by Christoph Florschütz and studied in Brussels, where Adolphe Quetelet was one of their tutors. Like many other German princes, Albert attended the University of Bonn, where he studied law, political economy and the history of art, he played music and excelled at sport fencing and riding. His tutors at Bonn included the poet Schlegel; the idea of marriage between Albert and his cousin, was first documented in an 1821 letter from his paternal grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who said that he was "the pendant to the pretty cousin". By 1836, this idea had arisen in the mind of their ambitious uncle Leopold, King of the Belgians since 1831. At this time, Victoria was the heir presumptive to the British throne.
Her father, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III, had died when she was a baby, her elderly uncle, King William IV, had no legitimate children. Her mother, the Duchess of Kent, was the sister of both Albert's father—the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha—and King Leopold. Leopold arranged for his sister, Victoria's mother, to invite the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his two sons to visit her in May 1836, with the purpose of meeting Victoria. William IV, disapproved of any match with the Coburgs, instead favoured the suit of Prince Alexander, second son of the Prince of Orange. Victoria was well aware of the various matrimonial plans and critically appraised a parade of eligible princes, she wrote, " is handsome. Alexander, on the other hand, she described as "very plain". Victoria wrote to her uncle Leopold to thank him "for the prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me, in the person of dear Albert... He possesses every quality that could be desired to render me happy."
Although the parties did not undertake a formal engagement, both the family and their retainers assumed that the match would take place. Victoria came to the throne aged eighteen on 20 June 1837, her letters of the time show interest in Albert's education for the role he would have to play, although she resisted attempts to rush her into marriage. In the winter of 1838–39, the prince visited Italy, accompanied by the Coburg family's confidential adviser, Baron Stockmar. Albert returned to the United Kingdom with Ernest in October 1839 to visit the Queen, with the objective of settling the marriage. Albert and Victoria felt mutual affection and the Queen proposed to him on 15 October 1839. Victoria's intention to marry was declared formally to the Privy Council on 23 November, the couple married on
National Portrait Gallery, London
The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery in London housing a collection of portraits of important and famous British people. It was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856; the gallery moved in 1896 to its current site at St Martin's Place, off Trafalgar Square, adjoining the National Gallery. It has been expanded twice since then; the National Portrait Gallery has regional outposts at Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire and Montacute House in Somerset. It is unconnected to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, with which its remit overlaps; the gallery is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. The gallery houses portraits of important and famous British people, selected on the basis of the significance of the sitter, not that of the artist; the collection includes photographs and caricatures as well as paintings and sculpture. One of its best-known images is the Chandos portrait, the most famous portrait of William Shakespeare although there is some uncertainty about whether the painting is of the playwright.
Not all of the portraits are exceptional artistically, although there are self-portraits by William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and other British artists of note. Some, such as the group portrait of the participants in the Somerset House Conference of 1604, are important historical documents in their own right; the curiosity value is greater than the artistic worth of a work, as in the case of the anamorphic portrait of Edward VI by William Scrots, Patrick Branwell Brontë's painting of his sisters Charlotte and Anne, or a sculpture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in medieval costume. Portraits of living figures were allowed from 1969. In addition to its permanent galleries of historical portraits, the National Portrait Gallery exhibits a changing selection of contemporary work, stages exhibitions of portrait art by individual artists and hosts the annual BP Portrait Prize competition; the three people responsible for the founding of the National Portrait Gallery are commemorated with busts over the main entrance.
At centre is Philip Henry Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope, with his supporters on either side, Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay and Thomas Carlyle. It was Stanhope who, in 1846 as a Member of Parliament, first proposed the idea of a National Portrait Gallery, it was not until his third attempt, in 1856, this time from the House of Lords, that the proposal was accepted. With Queen Victoria's approval, the House of Commons set aside a sum of £2000 to establish the gallery; as well as Stanhope and Macaulay, the founder Trustees included Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Ellesmere. It was the latter. Carlyle became a trustee after the death of Ellesmere in 1857. For the first 40 years, the gallery was housed in various locations in London; the first 13 years were spent at Westminster. There, the collection increased in size from 57 to 208 items, the number of visitors from 5,300 to 34,500. In 1869, the collection moved to Exhibition Road and buildings managed by the Royal Horticultural Society. Following a fire in those buildings, the collection was moved in 1885, this time to the Bethnal Green Museum.
This location was unsuitable due to its distance from the West End and lack of waterproofing. Following calls for a new location to be found, the government accepted an offer of funds from the philanthropist William Henry Alexander. Alexander donated £60,000 followed by another £20,000, chose the architect, Ewan Christian; the government provided the new site, St Martin's Place, adjacent to the National Gallery, £16,000. The buildings, faced in Portland stone, were constructed by Son. Both the architect, Ewan Christian, the gallery's first director, George Scharf, died shortly before the new building was completed; the gallery opened at its new location on 4 April 1896. The site has since been expanded twice; the first extension, in 1933, was funded by Lord Duveen, resulted in the wing by architect Sir Richard Allison on a site occupied by St George's Barracks running along Orange Street. In February 1909, a murder–suicide took place in a gallery known as the Arctic Room. In an planned attack, John Tempest Dawson, aged 70, shot his 58 year–old wife, Nannie Caskie.
His wife died in hospital several hours later. Both were American nationals. Evidence at the inquest suggested that Dawson, a wealthy and well–travelled man, was suffering from a Persecutory delusion; the incident came to public attention in 2010 when the Gallery's archive was put on-line as this included a personal account of the event by James Donald Milner the Assistant Director of the Gallery. The collections of the National Portrait Gallery were stored at Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire during the Second World War, along with pieces from the Royal Collection and paintings from Speaker's House in the Palace of Westminster; the second extension was funded by Sir Christopher Ondaatje and a £12m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, was designed by London-based architects Edward Jones and Jeremy Dixon. The Ondaatje Wing opened in 2000 and occupies a narrow space of land between the two 19th-century buildings of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, is notable for its immense, two-storey escalator that takes visitors to the earliest part of the collection, the Tudor portraits.
In January 2008, the Gallery received its largest single donation to date
Windsor Castle is a royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. It is notable for its long association with the English and British royal family and for its architecture; the original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by the reigning monarch and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe; the castle's lavish early 19th-century State Apartments were described by the art historian Hugh Roberts as "a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms regarded as the finest and most complete expression of Georgian taste". Inside the castle walls is the 15th-century St George's Chapel, considered by the historian John Martin Robinson to be "one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic" design. Designed to protect Norman dominance around the outskirts of London and oversee a strategically important part of the River Thames, Windsor Castle was built as a motte-and-bailey, with three wards surrounding a central mound.
Replaced with stone fortifications, the castle withstood a prolonged siege during the First Barons' War at the start of the 13th century. Henry III built a luxurious royal palace within the castle during the middle of the century, Edward III went further, rebuilding the palace to make an grander set of buildings in what would become "the most expensive secular building project of the entire Middle Ages in England". Edward's core design lasted through the Tudor period, during which Henry VIII and Elizabeth I made increasing use of the castle as a royal court and centre for diplomatic entertainment. Windsor Castle survived the tumultuous period of the English Civil War, when it was used as a military headquarters by Parliamentary forces and a prison for Charles I. At the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Charles II rebuilt much of Windsor Castle with the help of the architect Hugh May, creating a set of extravagant Baroque interiors that are still admired. After a period of neglect during the 18th century, George III and George IV renovated and rebuilt Charles II's palace at colossal expense, producing the current design of the State Apartments, full of Rococo and Baroque furnishings.
Queen Victoria made a few minor changes to the castle, which became the centre for royal entertainment for much of her reign. Windsor Castle was used as a refuge by the royal family during the Luftwaffe bombing campaigns of the Second World War and survived a fire in 1992, it is a popular tourist attraction, a venue for hosting state visits, the preferred weekend home of Elizabeth II. Windsor Castle occupies 13 acres, combines the features of a fortification, a palace, a small town; the present-day castle was created during a sequence of phased building projects, culminating in the reconstruction work after a fire in 1992. It is in essence a Georgian and Victorian design based on a medieval structure, with Gothic features reinvented in a modern style. Since the 14th century, architecture at the castle has attempted to produce a contemporary reinterpretation of older fashions and traditions imitating outmoded or antiquated styles; as a result, architect Sir William Whitfield has pointed to Windsor Castle's architecture as having "a certain fictive quality", the Picturesque and Gothic design generating "a sense that a theatrical performance is being put on here", despite late 20th century efforts to expose more of the older structures to increase the sense of authenticity.
Although there has been some criticism, the castle's architecture and history lends it a "place amongst the greatest European palaces". At the heart of Windsor Castle is the Middle Ward, a bailey formed around the motte or artificial hill in the centre of the ward; the motte is 50 feet high and is made from chalk excavated from the surrounding ditch. The keep, called the Round Tower, on the top of the motte is based on an original 12th-century building, extended upwards in the early 19th century under architect Jeffry Wyatville by 30 ft to produce a more imposing height and silhouette; the interior of the Round Tower was further redesigned in 1991–3 to provide additional space for the Royal Archives, an additional room being built in the space left by Wyatville's hollow extension. The Round Tower is in reality far from cylindrical, due to the shape and structure of the motte beneath it; the current height of the tower has been criticised as being disproportionate to its width. The western entrance to the Middle Ward is now open, a gateway leads north from the ward onto the North Terrace.
The eastern exit from the ward is guarded by the Norman Gatehouse. This gatehouse, despite its name, dates from the 14th century, is vaulted and decorated with carvings, including surviving medieval lion masks, traditional symbols of majesty, to form an impressive entrance to the Upper Ward. Wyatville redesigned the exterior of the gatehouse, the interior was heavily converted in the 19th century for residential use; the Upper Ward of Windsor Castle comprises a number of major buildings enclosed by the upper bailey wall, forming a central quadrangle. The State Apartments run along the north of the ward, with a range of buildings along the east wall, the private royal apartments and the King George IV Gate to the south, with the Edward III Tower in the south-west corner; the motte and the Round Tower form the west edge of the ward. A bronze statue of Charles II on horseback sits beneath the Round Tower. Inspired by Hubert Le Sueur's statue of Charles I in London, the statue was cast by Josias Ibach in 1679, with the marble plinth featuring carvings
Home Park, Windsor
The Home Park known as the Little Park, is a private 655-acre Royal park, administered by the Crown Estate. It lies on the eastern side of Windsor Castle in the town and former civil parish of Windsor in the English county of Berkshire; the Home Park is divided from the main Windsor Great Park by the high-volume Albert Road to Old Windsor. It is the private estate of the castle and, as well as beautiful parkland and avenues of fine trees, contains much farmland, a golf course, a bowling green, a cricket field, tennis courts, the playing fields of St. George's School, Adelaide Cottage and the Frogmore Estate, including Frogmore House and gardens with its large lake, the Royal Mausolea and the Royal Burial Ground. Attached are Shaw Farm, the Prince Consort's Home Farm and the Windsor Farm Shop; the grave of Dash, the favourite spaniel of Queen Victoria, can be found on the grounds. In the manor of Orton and not a Royal possession, part of the area was first emparked by King Edward III in 1368 and expansion continued over many centuries.
Areas of the Home Park are mentioned in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor and show that the main road to Datchet ran through it. The famous Herne's Oak stood nearby. Oliver Cromwell trained his New Model Army in the Park. George III removed the deer in 1785; the modern boundaries of the Park were set by the Windsor Improvement Act in 1846 and the Windsor Castle Act 1848 when the road to Datchet through the Park was closed and public access denied. Frogmore House and gardens alone are open on a few specific days in the summer; the Royal Windsor Horse Show and the Windsor Rose Show take place within the Park. Roberts, J.. Royal Landscape: The Gardens and Parks of Windsor The Crown Estate Windsor Home Park Lawn Tennis Club