As most of us would anticipate, the biggest house in the world in not owned by any common billionaire; rather it is inhabited by some of England’s elite. The Windsor Palace- the biggest house in the world- is one of the main residences of The British Monarch. The Queen reportedly spends a good number of her weekends here.
The Windsor Palace stands as the largest palace inhabited by human beings and it covers an area of 45,000 square meters. It is also the oldest Palace or house, for some, in continuous occupation since the time of William the Conqueror. The palace has been restructured time and again on the demands of various monarchs that the British Empire has given birth to over the centuries. Serving as a garrison, a fortress and a prison too, the Castle has evolved in all magnificence over the last 3 to 4 centuries.
The castle has grown and shrunk according to the political and economic condition of the country, and the growth process of the castle is underway even today. The first castle is reported to have been built over a knoll or an artificial hill by William the Conqueror. The Castle has expanded like mad from then on, with this initial wooden castle as the geographic and political epicenter. Consisting of private apartments, wards, gardens, Chapels, fountains and a lot more, the Castle represents the eloquence and the magnanimity of the British Rule.
The immediate environment of the castle, which is mostly open to the public round the year, is mainly composed of parks and smaller private cottages. These cottages are occupied by the staff members employed at the castle. The Frogmore estate is the main area which the general public sees at first sight. The Frogmore estate is one of the parts comprising of the larger Home Park, with the rest of the Home Park being private and remains closed to the public. A private school- St. Georges, Windsor Castle, is also a part of the area. The castle has had a glorious, rather checkered, history and today, it stands as one of the most sought after and important tourist destinations of Europe.
The Victorian Era is said to be one of those periods which have been responsible for the present popularity of the biggest house in the world. Queen Victoria used to frequent the place quite often, and more often after the death of her husband. She was seen thinking and pondering within the walls of the castle, and this earned her the title of the “Widow of Windsor”. It was the duo of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert only, who were responsible for making the biggest house in the world a private residence of a British Monarch.
The Home Park area, which is private today, is also said to have been enclosed during the Victorian era itself. Comprising of a large area, the biggest house in the world at that time, had roads connecting Old Windsor and Datchet running across it. These roads were common to the public at that time. The treaty of “Windsor Castle and Town Approaches” modified these routes and resulted in an increased ‘private area’.
With the dawn of the 19th century and the rise of King Edward the VIIth in early 20th century, the Windsor Castle had started beginning to loose charm as primary residence, amongst the new age rules of Britain. Edward would come to visit the palace only twice or thrice in a year. He is responsible for giving the biggest house in the world, a golf course.
During the tenure of the Queen, at present, a lot has been done for the betterment of the Castle as a tourist place and in general. Some reports of oil being discovered on the Castle grounds had also come back in 1994, and the Queen is said to have granted permissions for digging and setting up an exploratory well there. This castle has been a “home” to the Royal family, in the words of Prince Charles and remains as a testimony to the strength of the British Empire, where the Sun never sets.