Insights on Royal entertainment at Windsor Castle

More than 60 members and friends attended the Summer Lecture at Wolfson College on 7th July and were treated to an engaging, fascinating,  entertaining, and sometimes humorous insight into Royal entertaining at Windsor Castle.

Who better to provide this than our speaker Oliver Everett, CVO, Librarian Emeritus of the Royal Library at Windsor Castle?

Oliver is a former diplomat, who served as Assistant Private Secretary to The Prince of Wales, and Private Secretary to Diana, Princess of Wales. He has written and lectured extensively about the Royal Collection.

Oliver took us on a tour of the Library apartments, as though we were guests of HM The Queen being entertained after dinner.

The current library was established by William IV, bringing together the libraries of George III and George IV in a series of rooms in the Upper Ward of the Castle, all private apartments of previous monarchs, including Queen Catherine of Braganza and Queen Elizabeth I.

Prince Albert then masterminded the rearrangement of the rooms which we see today. Although it contains many thousands of books, the library’s chief glories are the works of art on paper, including an unrivalled collection of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Raphael, and Holbein, as well as rare medieval books of hours, heraldic documents, jewellery, the shirt in which Charles I was executed, and a delightful diary account by HM The Queen, aged 11, of her father’s Coronation in 1937.

Oliver illustrated his talk with a wealth of slides, and kept the audience on its toes with a series of questions about the images, most of which we could answer! All good things must come to an end and we retired to the sun-filled gardens of Wolfson College for drinks, canapes and conversation with our excellent speaker.

David Meara