Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages
Matt Reid, producer, director and cameraman of the documentary Windsor: The Queen's Castle
, was given unprecedented access to the home of Queen Elizabeth and her family. It took over a year of negotiations before crews were allowed to film.
Once inside, they captured everything from Christmas carols to state dinners.What fun facts did they learn about this famous residence?
Windsor Castle is 1,000 years old and 484,000 square feet. Its grounds are spread over 13 acres. In all, 300 people live and work there.
A royal librarian oversees a priceless collection of 300,000 books, prints and drawings.
The fendersmith, whose family has worked at Windsor Castle for generations, maintains more than 300 fireplaces throughout the castle.
Every second counts for Steve, the castle clockmaker who keeps the 450 clocks ticking. It takes him about 16 hours to change all the clocks.
Rain or shine, the castle flagman, a retired soldier, raises the royal standard above the castle whenever the Queen is in residence.
Guests at Windsor Castle get the ultimate royal treatment. From precisely folded towels and crisp linens to delicate soaps handpicked by the Queen, every need is anticipated. The housekeeping staff even rehearses packing and unpacking a guest's luggage.
Down in the castle's cellar, world-class wines and champagnes are stored. Before an official state dinner, the perfect selections are brought up to complement the meal.
At Queen Elizabeth's state dinners, each pat of butter is individually hand rolled and stamped with a royal crown.
Before dinner, Darryl, a palace staff member, measures the cutlery and plates so that they're exactly 1 inch away from the edge of the table.
According to Matt Reid, director of the documentary, Windsor Castle advertises employment opportunities like most small businesses—in the back of trade journals and newspapers. Some staff members, like the head of household, are retired military personnel, while others follow in family members' footsteps.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is the official park ranger at Windsor. He oversees the vast fields and farmland known as the Great Park—which covers 4,000 acres. It's here that Queen Elizabeth keeps her prize-winning horses. She names all of them herself.
The palace staff also adores the Queen's horses. At Christmastime, carolers serenade the Queen's horses before singing for Her Majesty.