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Windsor Castle’s East Terrace Garden Opens to Public

The east façade of Windsor Castle and the East Terrace Garden
The east façade of Windsor Castle and the East Terrace Garden - Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020 Photographer: Will Pryce

Windsor Castle’s East Terrace Garden opens to the public for the first time in more than 40 years

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

The large formal garden, overlooked by Windsor Castle’s famous east façade, features clipped domes of yew and beds of 3,500 rose bushes planted in a geometric pattern around a central fountain. On weekends in August and September, visitors with tickets to Windsor Castle will be able to explore the garden and enjoy the view from its terraces across the surrounding area.

The East Terrace Garden was first designed for George IV by the architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville between 1824 and 1826, to provide a pleasant view from the King’s new suite of royal apartments along the east front of the Castle. It was created on the site of an old bowling green made for Charles II in the 1670s. Plants were specially imported for the new scheme, including 34 orange trees, sent to George IV by the French King, Charles X. Statues were brought from the Privy Gardens at Hampton Court, including a set of four bronze figures by Hubert Le Sueur, made for Charles I in the 1630s and which remain in the garden today.

In the 19th century, Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, took particular interest in the garden’s planting scheme. Victoria recorded in her diary: Albert is daily occupied…in superintending the planting of the garden in the inside of the Terrace. The plots were before so
scrubby & scraggy, but are now being very nicely arranged with laurustinus, bays, &c. During their 20 Christmases spent at Windsor, Victoria and Albert were woken early on New Year’s morning by a band playing from the East Terrace beneath the royal apartments.

The garden has been open to the public intermittently over the centuries. George IV sought total privacy there, but public access was granted by his brother, William IV, and continued throughout the 19th century. In the early 20th century, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra held large garden parties there each summer.

During the Second World War, some of the flowerbeds were repurposed as allotments to grow vegetables. Her Majesty The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and her sister, Princess Margaret, were each assigned a small plot on which to cultivate tomatoes, sweetcorn and dwarf beans. After the War, the planting scheme was simplified into the pattern of formal rose beds seen today. In 1971 His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh redesigned the flowerbeds and commissioned a new bronze lotus fountain based on his own design for the centre of garden. The East Terrace Garden has served as a backdrop for several official portraits of members of the Royal Family, including a photograph of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh by Patrick Lichfield in 1997, and a portrait of Her Majesty by Annie Leibovitz in 2016.

In addition, on Thursdays and Fridays in August, visitors with young children will be given special access to the Castle’s Moat Garden beneath the iconic Round Tower. 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 his The Canterbury Tales. Visitors to the Moat Garden will be able to join guided walks, take part in family art activities, relax with a picnic on the lawn and climb the Castle motte for magnificent views of the surrounding area.

The Duchess of Cornwall Undertakes Engagements in London

The Duchess of Cornwall with therapy dog, Meg, and Liam Curtis at Kerikeri Primary School, the Bay of Islands

Tuesday 28th July 2020

Engagement 1

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit the recently reopened National Gallery to meet with staff involved in the organisation’s Covid-19 response and reopening process.

Her Royal Highness will arrive at the National Gallery where she will be received by Director, Gabriele Finaldi and Chair, Lord Hall. The Duchess will then meet a number of National Gallery staff who assisted with the organisation’s response to the Covid-19 lockdown and facilitated the building’s safe reopening for the public. Larry Keith, Head of Conservation and Keeper will next direct Her Royal Highness to the newly restored Anthony van Dyck painting, Equestrian Portrait of Charles I. The Duchess will view the recently renovated Room 32 before departing. 

After an unprecedented 111 days with its doors closed, the National Gallery started welcoming visitors again on Wednesday 8 July – the first major national art museum to reopen in the UK after the Covid-19 shutdown. 

In line with best practice learnt from colleagues in European and American museums, some changes have been made to the Gallery that puts the safety of their visitors and staff first. All visits are now booked online and in advance, in order to manage the number of people in the Gallery, limit queueing and reduce contact. There are two meter social distancing measures in place throughout the Gallery, and three, one-way art routes to guide visitors through different areas of the collection have been introduced. An enhanced cleaning regime is in operation and hand sanitizer stations can be found at regular intervals throughout the building. All staff are wearing face coverings and it is recommended that all visitors do too. From 22 July, the Gallery extended its opening hours to meet demand. 

Room 32 – the largest and one of the most visited rooms displaying 17th-century Italian paintings by artists including Caravaggio, Artemisia and Orazio Gentileschi, Guido Reni and Guercino – has reopened after a 21-month refurbishment project, as the Julia and Hans Rausing Room. Thanks to their support, the Gallery has re-instated the decorative design of its original architect, Edward M Barry, replaced the wooden floors and wall fabrics, and installed an air conditioning system. 

Another highlight is the newly restored Equestrian Portrait of Charles I by Van Dyck (about 1637/8) back on show in Room 21 after more than two years. This monumental work (measuring 367 × 292.1 cm) has been off display since September 2017 undergoing conservation. 

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has been Patron of the National Gallery since 2017. 

Engagement 2

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Boots Piccadilly Store to hear about their support of the charity Hestia’s Safe Spaces programme for victims of domestic violence, and receive an update on the Wash Bags project initiated by Her Royal Highness. The Duchess will also meet store and pharmacy staff to learn about the company’s response to the coronavirus crisis. 

Arriving at Boots Piccadilly, The Duchess will be greeted by Tracey Clements, Chief Operating Officer for Boots as well as the Chief Pharmacist for Boots, Marc Donovan, and move upstairs to the pharmacy area. There she will see a consultation room which can be used for the Safe Spaces programme and speak to Lyndsey Dearlove from the charity Hestia on how the initiative is helping those who have been affected by domestic violence, especially during the lockdown period. In this consultation room, The Duchess will also see an example of a Boots washbag and receive an update on the project with Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs). Before departing, Her Royal Highness will meet store and pharmacy colleagues to learn how they have adapted to support the NHS, its patients and customers in the communities it serves during the pandemic. 

Her Royal Highness first visited a rape crisis centre (RASASC) in Croydon, in November 2009. Since then, The Duchess has made frequent visits to other Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Referral Centres throughout the UK and overseas. The stories she heard during these visits have left Her Royal Highness with a strong desire to raise awareness about rape and sexual abuse and to try to help those affected. In June of this year The Duchess became Patron of domestic abuse charity Safe Lives. 

Boots Safe Spaces 

Beginning in May, Boots UK announced that it was working in partnership with the charity Hestia and its UK SAYS NO MORE campaign to offer victims of domestic abuse access to safe spaces in Boots pharmacy consultation rooms across its 2,400 stores. Once inside the consultation room, victims can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice, including information on Hestia’s Bright Sky app, which saw an increase of 47% in downloads during lockdown. The scheme is in response to the desperate situation facing many victims who were/are isolating with perpetrators during lockdown. It’s times like these that accessibility to services from convenient high street locations takes on an increased importance. Across all Boots stores, in the first week of the spaces being available, it is estimated over 100 people accessed them. 

The Wash Bag Project 

Launched in 2017, the Wash Bag Project is a scheme in which wash bags containing a range of toiletries (shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrush etc.) are provided to victims of rape or sexual abuse. The wash bags are provided to Sexual Assault Referral Centre clients who have undergone a forensic examination so that they can use them when having a shower and getting dressed afterwards. The aim is that this gesture provides them with a small degree of comfort and familiarity at a very sensitive and often dehumanising time. 

The Wash Bag Project, conceived by The Duchess of Cornwall, is inspired by the stories Her Royal Highness heard during visits to Sexual Assault Referral Centres. The scheme was developed in consultation with UK Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and successfully piloted since 2013 at The Haven in London. It launched nationally in March 2017 when The Duchess visited the Boots Support Office in Nottingham. Since 2017, Boots UK has supplied 36,385 bags to over 50 SARCs across the UK. Last month, a delivery of 3,993 was made to SARCs across the UK, this also included six new SARCs in remote areas of Scotland. 

Boots’ role in the COVID-19 pandemic 

Boots has been at the heart of healthcare in the UK for 171 years. It has lived through many crises, some as life-changing as the one we are facing today, but each time Boots has believed that it is its duty to step forward and do all it can to care the nation in its time of need. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. The vast majority of its stores remained open throughout lock down, supporting patients and customers throughout by providing essential pharmacy services. 

Throughout this time, it has also worked to support the UK Government, setting up and running the first drive-through COVID-19 testing station for NHS workers in just 5 days. Today it continues to support over 30 sites across the UK, with hundreds of Boots colleagues performing swab tests on those with suspected COVID-19 symptoms. 

Among other initiatives, throughout the pandemic, Boots has also donated over half a million products to those who need them most, including to: 

  • The Hygiene Bank/Fareshare, and getting important hygiene products including sanitary items/soaps into foodbanks to help the most vulnerable 
  • NHS front line workers – including more soap/hand wash and moisturisers to help protect their skin after wearing additional PPE 
  • Care home staff as a thank you for all that they are doing 


Hestia supports adults and children in times of crisis. It delivers services across London and the surrounding regions, as well as campaign and advocate nationally on the issues that affect the people it works with. This includes victims of modern slavery, women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, young care leavers and older people. From giving someone a home, to helping them to get the right mental health support, Hestia supports people at the moment of crisis and enable them to build a life beyond a crisis.

It is proud to be the home of UK SAYS NO MORE, bringing together a diverse coalition of individuals, charities, businesses and public sector organisations to campaign for an end to domestic abuse and sexual violence. The Safe Spaces initiative was in response to the challenges faced by victims of domestic abuse during the COVID-19 lockdown and their inability to access specialist support services. 


Prince George 7th Birthday
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share two new photographs of Prince George ahead of his seventh birthday. © TRH THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE


Today we’re celebrating the seventh birthday of Prince George Alexander Louis, born on 22nd July 2013 at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London.

We’re delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have again chosen to release photographs to mark His Royal Highness’s special day. The two images (one shown above and the other below) were taken earlier this month by The Duchess of Cambridge.

To celebrate Prince George’s special day, we’re sharing some lovely quotes, made by Members of the Royal Family, about the birthday boy!

Prince George 7th Birthday
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share two new photographs of Prince George ahead of his seventh birthday. © TRH THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE

Quotes about Prince George

– Prince William comments on his son’s bath time habits: “At the moment, bath time is quite painful, but hopefully donning a snorkel and mask might calm him down.”

– Prince Harry on welcoming Prince George to the family, “It’s fantastic to have another addition to the family. I only hope my brother knows how expensive my babysitting charges are.”

– The Duke of Cambridge reveals Prince George is passionate about TV shows, “Some of them are really good but you have to pretend you’re really interested because George gets very upset if you’re not showing due diligence to the characters.”

– The Duchess of Cambridge, speaking at the Natural History Museum, revealed a family secret: “George loves the T Rex because it’s the noisiest and the scariest.”

– “I hope that George doesn’t keep you up. He has been known to be particularly vocal at 3 am,” Prince William told his governor’s residence hosts during a visit to New Zealand. “I swear I heard him doing the haka this morning.”

Princess Beatrice Marries in Secret Royal Wedding

Princess Beatrice and Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Photo credit: Princess Eugenie


The private wedding ceremony of Princess Beatrice and Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi took place at 11am on Friday 17 July at The Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor. The small ceremony was attended by The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and close family.

The wedding took place in accordance with Government Guidelines.

Anyone For Tennis?


Anyone For Tennis?

This week would have seen the best tennis players in the world walk onto the grass courts of Wimbledon’s All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.

The Championships and the strawberries and cream, which were due to start this week, have now been postponed to 2021 and we’re not the only ones now counting down the days till next year’s event.

Today the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club released a short video, narrated by The Duchess of Cambridge, reminding us of all the special Wimbledon moments over the years and that the wait for next years programme will be worth it. You can watch the video below or by clicking here.

Here are a few fun facts you may not have known about Wimbledon Tennis…

– Considered to be the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon Championships have taken place at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club since 1877 and have been at the current ground, Church Road, since the 1922 tournament. The Championships were originally based off Worple Road, also located in Wimbledon.

– Slazenger has been the Official Supplier of tennis balls to The Championships since 1902, with yellow balls being used for the first time in 1986 so they could be more visible on television. 53,000 balls are used during The Championships’ period.

– 191,930 portions of strawberries and cream were served to spectators and players at the 2019 Championships. Only Grade 1 strawberries from LEAF-registered farms in Kent are used, these are picked the day before and arrive at Wimbledon at 5.30 am prior to being inspected and hulled.

– The grass courts at the Championships are cut to playing height of 8mm and are composed of 100% rye grass.

– Rufus, a Harris Hawk, flies for one hour (9.00 am) most mornings of The Championships, to provide a deterrent to local pigeons. He is trained by Imogen Davis of Avian Control.

Anyone For Tennis? The Royals At Wimbledon
Anyone For Tennis? The Royals At Wimbledon – Issue 24
Anyone For Tennis? The Royals At Wimbledon – Issue 4
Staying Ahead of the Game – Issue 38

The Duchess of Cornwall Sends Message of Support to Mark British Flowers Week


The Duchess of Cornwall sends a message of support to mark British Flowers Week

Today (Monday 15th June), is the start of this year’s British Flowers Week (15th -21st June) and the Duchess of Cornwall has sent a message of support to the initiative which celebrates British growers and florists across the land. Run by New Covent Garden Market, British Flowers Week is asking the public to join in the celebrations by placing British grown flowers in their windows, front porch or gate where passer-by by can see them.

The Duchess of Cornwall, herself a keen gardener and with a strong interest in British flowers, has also created her very own arrangement from flowers grown and picked by her at her home in Birkhall, Scotland. Her bouquet includes forgot-me-nots, cranesbill, Alchemilla, tulips, peonies, poppies, cow parsley and Solomon’s Seal. Her Royal Highness is also Patron of Floral Angels, a charity based at New Covent Garden’s Flower Market who recycle flowers used at weddings and events into smaller bouquets to send out to community organisations, such as care homes and hospices. Her Royal Highness mentions them in her message.

Photograph of HRH’s flower arrangement – British Flowers Week. Credit: Clarence House

Script of the video message as recorded by The Duchess of Cornwall:

“In these difficult times, when we are all searching for something to brighten our lives, there is nothing that can lift our spirits more than our native flowers and plants. They are nature’s healers. In our gardens, in our window boxes, or even in just a simple vase, their glorious scents and myriad of colours are veritable life enhancers.

She continued: “That is why, this year in particular, British Flowers Week is even more important than ever. As the Patron of Floral Angels, who are based at the Market, I would like to say a huge thank you to the New Covent Garden Market and The Garden Museum for making this celebration of the wealth and variety of British-grown flowers possible, and to the people behind them; the growers, the gardeners, the florists and everyone who appreciates their beauty and their contribution to our well-being. Keep safe and ‘say it with flowers’.”

This year, British Flowers Week also has the support of a number of prominent UK florists including Simon Lycett and Shane Connolly – both of whom have worked for the British Royal Family. Shane also holds The Prince of Wales’ Royal Warrant. The Garden Museum, which the Prince of Wales is a Patron of, The Real Flower Company and Flowers from the Farm are also working with New Covent Garden Market to celebrate the week. Shane Connolly said: “In the UK we have world-class growers producing an amazing variety of beautiful, natural, scented flowers and foliage. Every season brings something new and wonderful that will soothe or inspire us and remind us what nature really looks like. So I am proud and delighted to be a part of this year’s New Covent Garden Market British Flower Week celebrations and I encourage all of you to join in too, by placing your own British flowers or drawings in your window for others to enjoy”

Rebecca Barrett, Communications and Marketing Director at Covent Garden Market Authority who run British Flowers Week, said: “We are delighted and grateful for the support of The Duchess of Cornwall this year. I’m sure the stunning bouquet that she hand-picked herself will encourage others to put all things British in their own windows so that passersby can see them. This year, as we see non-essential retailers including florists and New Covent Garden’s Flower Market itself reopen to the public on Monday 15th June, it’s more important than ever to show your support for independent British florists and growers.”

Make sure you’re celebrating this British Flowers Week (15-21 June) by adding a beautiful British flower, bouquet, bunch of foliage or drawing to your window, and share a picture on social media using the hashtag #BritishFlowersWeek and tagging @MarketFlowers to show your support. Those who want to buy British flowers can find a nationwide list of where to buy them https://www.britishflowersweek.com/buying-british-flowers

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Receive President Emmanuel Macron at Clarence House

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall looking at graves during the Royal British Legion's Service of Remembrance, at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, in Bayeux, France, as part of commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

On behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will receive The President of the French Republic at Clarence House to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of General de Gaulle’s ‘Appel’ on 18th June 1940.

The President of the French Republic will visit London on Thursday 18th June 2020 to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of General de Gaulle’s ‘Appel’ to the French population to resist the German occupation of France during WWII.  On behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will formally receive President Emmanuel Macron at Clarence House with a Guard of Honour found by Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards accompanied by the Band of the Coldstream Guards.

Happy 99th Birthday Prince Philip

A new photograph of Her majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh has been released to celebrate his 99th birthday, Wednesday 10th June. The image was taken in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Images

Happy 99th Birthday Prince Philip

Today we’re celebrating the 99th birthday of The Duke of Edinburgh!

Buckingham Palace has released a new photograph (above) of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate his special day. The image was taken by Steve Parsons in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle.

Born in Corfu, Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice went into labour on June 10th, 1921 and was placed on the dining room table, which was deemed the most comfortable place in the house for the 36-year-old mother to give birth. 

At 10am, the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece, arrived. Sixth in line to the Greek throne, he was registered in nearby Corfu town under the name of Philippos.

“He is a splendid, healthy child, thank God,” wrote Princess Alice to a relative three weeks later. 

Today, instead of facts, we’re looking at a few funny quotes made by The Duke of Edinburgh…

  • After being told that Madonna was singing the Die Another Day theme in 2002, the Duke commented: “Are we going to need ear plugs?” 
  • On a visit to Canada in 1969, Prince Philip announced: “I declare this thing open, whatever it is.” 
  • When asked to stroke a Koala bear, Australia 1992: “Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease.” 
  • Shouting from the deck of Britannia in 1994 to the Queen who was chatting to her hosts on the quayside: “Yak, yak, yak; come on get a move on.”
  • On seeing Elton John’s gold Aston Martin in 2001 he said to the singer: “Oh it’s you that owns that ghastly car is it? We often see it when driving to Windsor Castle.” 
  • To a wealthy islander in the Cayman Islands, 1994: “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”
  • Meeting actress Cate Blanchett in 2008 he asked her to fix his DVD player because she worked in the film industry. “There’s a cord sticking out of the back,” he said. “Might you tell me where it goes?” 
  • Addressing a group of industrialists in 1961, he said: “I’ve never been noticeably reticent about talking on subjects about which I know nothing.” 
  • Meeting a young fashion designer at Buckingham Palace in 2009 he told him: “You didn’t design your beard too well, did you? You really must try better with your beard.” 

We’d love to hear your birthday messages for the Duke on his special day, so please head to our Facebook and Twitter pages to share.

Trooping The Colour 2020

Trooping the Colour 2019
Queen Elizabeth II rides to Buckingham Palace in London, on June 08, 2019, after attending Trooping the Colour at the Horse Guards Parade, the Queens birthday parade

Trooping The Colour 2020

Normally on the second Saturday of June, we see over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in an event to mark The Queen’s official birthday.

The Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 250 years. But this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trooping of the Colour will be a private, scaled-back version of the celebration and will be held at Windsor Castle.

The parade, Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher, will have a small group of Welsh Guards march and troop their colour, accompanied by a diminished group of the massed Bands of the Household Division.

Coverage of this year’s Trooping of the Colour will be shown on 13th June 2020 on BBC One from 10:30am BST.

In the meantime, here are a few facts you may not have known about the Trooping of the Colour…

  • Trooping the Colour has been a tradition of British infantry regiments since the 17th century, although the roots go back much earlier.
  • Traditionally on battlefields, a regiments colours were used as rallying points, ensigns would slowly march with the colours and flags to make sure that every soldier could recognise others of his own regiment. 
  • Since 1748 the Trooping of the Colour has also marked the official birthday of the British sovereign.
  • In 1981, 17-year-old Marcus Serjeant fired six blank cartridges directly at the Queen at the start of the Trooping the Colour ceremony. The shots startled the Queen’s horse, but she was able to bring it back under control within a few seconds. The teen was jailed for 5 years.
  • Some 113 words of command are given by the Officer in Command of the Parade.
  • It’s not uncommon for the guardsmen to faint during the parade, last year eight guardsmen fainted during a rehearsal for the event.
  • The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, first attended in 1947 and has never missed Trooping the Colour since becoming Queen, apart from in 1955 when the whole event was cancelled due to a national rail strike.
  • Since 1987, The Queen has attended in a carriage rather than riding, which she did before that on 36 occasions, riding side-saddle and wearing the uniform of the regiment whose Colour was being trooped.

View coverage from previous years in the following issues of Royal Life:

Trooping The Colour 2019
Trooping The Colour 2019 Royal Life Magazine – Issue 43
Trooping the Colour
Trooping The Colour 2018 Royal Life Magazine – Issue 37
Trooping The Colour Issue 24
Trooping The Colour 2017 Royal Life Magazine – Issue 24
Trooping The Colour
Trooping The Colour 2015 Royal Life Magazine – Issue 17
Celebrating The Birth Of A Monarch- Trooping The Colour
Trooping The Colour 2014 Royal Life Magazine – Issue 11

HRH The Prince of Wales Sends Message of Thanks to Teachers


HRH The Prince of Wales sends message of thanks to teachers

The Prince of Wales, as Patron of Teach First, has recorded a video message of support, thanking teachers, parents and schools for all they are doing during this time.

In the message, His Royal Highness highlights: “Parents have done an astonishing job in such trying circumstances and to see teachers and schools going above and beyond for their pupils in response to this pandemic has been, in many instances, quite remarkable.”

Teach First is an education charity with a mission to build a fair education for all, by recruiting and training brilliant teachers to work in schools serving disadvantaged communities. The charity is working alongside their wider community to support the schools, teachers and pupils most affected by the pandemic and to help them to recover when schools fully return.

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