Windsor Castle’s grand and opulent Green Drawing Room was the backdrop for Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor's christening photos following the intimate service in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on 6th July 2019. In May 2018 it was also the perfect setting for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s official royal wedding photographs – but what else do you know about the castle's Green Drawing Room?
1. It's a Semi-State room
The Green Drawing Room is a Semi-State Room and is just one of the private apartments on the sunnier, east and south sides of the Castle created for George IV (1762–1830). George IV was known for his love of fine objects and opulent design, and he showed off his refined taste after becoming king in 1820 when he completely remodelled the exterior of Windsor Castle, giving it the picturesque appearance seen today. The renovation included a new suite of private rooms inside the Castle, which included the magnificent Green Drawing Room.
2. Renovations began in 1824
Work began on the rooms in 1824, and after George IV's death in 1830, work on the castle continued under his brother and successor, William IV (1765–1837). However, this was not completed until well into the reign of his niece, Queen Victoria (1819–1901).
3. The decor is very, very grand
The decor is the mastermind of George IV, and he took a personal interest in the decoration and furnishing of the rooms. The interiors were decorated by Morel & Seddon, with a selection of furnishings, fittings and some of the finest 18th and early-19th century French works of art taken from Carlton House, George IV's former London residence.
4. It isn't the only Green Drawing Room
It’s not to be confused with the Green Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace – filled with green silk hangings and an Axminster carpet woven in tones of russet and gold with the national emblems – which leads onto the Throne room.
5. The Semi-State Rooms at Windsor Castle were decorated to make a style statement
The project was George IV’s last and greatest commission, and, according to the Royal Collection Trust, 'one of the most lavish and costly interior decoration schemes ever carried out in England’. Apparently, the renovation was intended to re-establish Windsor as the main home of the British monarchy and the leading example of the national style.
6. It's full of richly-decorated interiors
Furnishings include a suite of Morel & Sneddon seat furniture. In total, four large and two small sofas, four armchairs, and 14 side chairs – all in silk damask – were initially supplied for the room, but this was reduced by 1830. All were green, matching the 740 yards of 'Green flowered Tissue' which papered the walls, and complementing the large Axminster carpet which covered the floor.
7. It was used as a reception room
Despite its name, the Green Drawing Room was always treated as a small reception room, except when used for Privy Council Meetings. The Royal Collection Trust called it 'the most spectacular and architecturally distinguished of the new reception rooms'.
8. It's been the backdrop of family celebrations before
In 1887, the year of her Golden Jubilee, Queen Victoria (1819–1901) chose to be painted in the Green Drawing Room to commemorate the family festivities which took place at Windsor.
9. The fire at Windsor caused huge damage
The fire at Windsor Castle in 1992 severely damaged the Semi-State Rooms, including the Green Drawing Room, but luckily, the contents of the rooms had been moved elsewhere at the time. Each room was restored to its 19th century appearance using the original designs supplied to George IV.
10. It's open to the public
Used by the Queen for official entertaining, you can actually visit the Semi-State Rooms, and the very same Green Drawing Room where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex posed with family after the royal wedding. The Semi-State Rooms are open from autumn until spring each year.
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