The Queen’s Private Garden at Windsor Castle is Now Open to the Public For the First Time in Decades

updated Aug 15, 2020
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For the first time in over 40 years, the East Terrace Gardens at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth II’s estate in Windsor, England, will be open to the public. The British monarch’s charity The Royal Collection Trust announced that the private garden will now be open to visitors (ticket purchase necessary) on the weekends in August and September. Since the 1970s, the garden—created by George IV in the 1820s—has so far only been accessible by the Windsor family.

The lush garden is overlooked by the castle’s east façade. It features clipped domes of yew, a type of tree with red berrylike fruits, and beds of 3,500 rose bushes planted around a fountain. It was first designed between 1824 and 1826 by architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville to create a scenic view for George IV’s royal apartment suites along the eastern front of the castle, according to the Royal Collection Trust. It’s also served as a backdrop for several royal family portraits, such as the recent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Annie Leibovitz in 2016.

The garden’s public opening comes after the Queen spent a few months quarantined at Windsor Castle. She and her husband, Prince Phillip, have since relocated to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the royal family’s official summer estate that they retreat to at the end of every summer for a holiday. The Scottish castle is reportedly the Queen’s favorite of her many estates, per Town & Country. “I think Granny is the most happy there,” Princess Eugenie, the Queen’s granddaughter, said in the 2016 documentary “Our Queen At Ninety.” She continued, “Walks, picnics, dogs—a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs—and people coming in and out all the time. It’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa.”

A socially-distanced stroll in the Queen’s garden while she vacations at her summer estate? Sounds like a regal dream.