A royal revelation! Windsor Castle’s East Terrace Garden which features 3,500 rose bushes and a fountain designed by Prince Philip is set to open to the public for the first time in more than 40 years

  • Windsor Castle will open its East Terrace Garden to the public for the first time in more than 40 years
  • The garden, created in the 1820s, features 3,500 rose bushes planted around a central fountain
  • The grounds are usually closed because it is feared large number of visitors could damage the grounds
  • This year the Covid-19 crisis means there are far fewer people visiting, reducing the risk of damage 

Windsor Castle is to open its East Terrace Garden to the public for the first time in more than 40 years.

Visitors to the castle, where the Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, spent months in lockdown before travelling to Scotland this week, will be able to tour the garden on weekends in August and September, starting on Saturday. 

Created in the 1820s, the garden features 3,500 rose bushes planted around a central fountain.

Blooming lovely: Windsor Castle is to open its East Terrace Garden to the public for the first time in more than 40 years

Royal paradise: The garden was initially planted to create a pleasing view from the royal apartments along the eastern facade

Final touches: A gardener prunes the roses of Windsor Castle’s East Terrace Garden, which opens to the public on Saturday

It is thought the garden has been kept closed off because caretakers feared large number of visitors could damage the grounds. However this year the Covid-19 crisis means there are far fewer people making the journey. 

The garden was initially planted to create a pleasing view from the royal apartments along the eastern facade of the castle.

‘The first garden built here was created in 1824 during the reign of George IV. But before that, in the Middle Ages, it would have been the defensive ditch,’ said Richard Williams, Learning Curator at Windsor Castle. 

‘To protect the castle walls, Charles II in the 17th century created this terrace that we’re standing on and also put in bowling lawns because he really enjoyed bowling.’ 

Simple but striking: Created in the 1820s, the garden features 3,500 rose bushes planted around a central fountain

Steeped in royal history: In the Middle Ages, before the area became a garden, it would have been the defensive ditch

Favourite hobby: Charles II in the 17th century put in bowling lawns because he really enjoyed bowling

Philip’s creation: The Duke of Edinburgh commissioned the bronze lotus fountain, pictured, based on his own design 

The gardens were later extensively remodelled by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the 19th century. 

During World War Two the garden was completely dug up in order to plant vegetables. 

Mr Williams said: ”There were two separate plots set aside for the young Princess Elizabeth and her sister, the Princess Margaret. They grew sweet corn and tomatoes, beans as well, I think, all as part of the war effort – doing their bit.’ 

The current appearance of the garden is the brainchild of the Duke of Edinburgh. In 1971 he redesigned the flowerbeds and commissioned the bronze lotus fountain based on his own design for the centre of garden.

Visitors will be able to explore the garden and enjoy the view from its terraces across the surrounding Windsor parkland.

Thoughtful design: The current appearance of the garden is the brainchild of the Duke of Edinburgh

Subtle changes: In 1971 the Duke of Edinburgh redesigned the flowerbeds and installed the fountain to create the look 

In full bloom: Some of the thousands of flowers that will be available for viewers to see at the East Terrace Garden

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