During Henry VIII’s reign, he never stayed in one castle for more than a few weeks or months at a time. He had over 60 places of residence throughout England, and the royal family and the court would travel from magnificent palace to magnificent palace.
During the summer months, he would typically go on a summer progress through the English countryside with all of the Tudor court.
Of those 60 residences, Hampton Court was his favorite. It had once belonged to Cardinal Wolsey, but after being charged with treason – and dying on the way to be tried – King Henry claimed the palace for himself.
Hampton Court became Henry’s “pleasure palace,” the center of Tudor sports and games, and is the one place where Henry brought all six of his wives.
This is only one of the many stories that surrounded this giant of an English king – and I mean that literally, as Henry was nearly 400 pounds at the time of his death.
Henry VIII’s other royal residences included Eltham Palace, the Tower of London (which, of course, became a prison from which few of his self-declared enemies, including a wife or two, would escape), Greenwich, Leeds Castle, Ludlow Castle, and, of course, Windsor Castle.
Now, many of these residences are no longer in use by the royal family, but Windsor Castle, which is located just outside London, has been a royal residence for the last nearly thousand years.
Interestingly enough, the royal progress through England, taking residence at the various castles throughout the country, has remained a tradition.
Every March through April, the Queen takes up residency in Windsor Castle. This is known as Easter Court, and select guests such as politicians and public figures are able to participate in special events at the Castle.
I have had the distinct privilege of visiting Windsor Castle every March for the last near decade, coinciding with the Queen’s presence.
This is, of course, for the Windsor Energy Consultation, as Oil & Energy Investor readers are aware. I’ve been able to think – or write – of little else for the last few weeks.
My last several columns have been discussing what I plan on presenting at the Consultation, but today I’d like to talk about the Castle itself.
When The Past Meets the Present
I can personally attest to the beauty of Windsor Castle. It’s a wonderful, royal building with history steeped in every stone.
The fact that the Castle has been under perpetual construction for the last several hundred years only adds to its grandeur. You can see architectural styles of nearly every century – and nearly every decade within those centuries – within its walls.
You can see modern trappings as well – following a fire in 1992, much of the Castle was rebuilt. Not to mention plans for a new café in the Castle’s Inner Hall and other modern conveniences.
After entering through the Henry VII Gate, the entire castle – I hesitate to say building, as it is clearly so much more than that – spans 13 acres, leaving plenty of space for outdoor wanderings.
Granted, my schedule while in England is often tightly-packed, so I haven’t had the time I might have liked to explore the area more fully.
Despite that, I have seen enough of Windsor Castle to be blown away every time I visit, no matter how many times I’ve been there.
And it never fails to amaze me that when attending lectures and discussions at the Windsor Consultations, I am sitting in the very same room, Vicars Hall, that Queen Elizabeth I sat in to watch one of the very first performances of The Merry Wives of Windsor.
There is something about that that is truly remarkable.
Exploring the Castle Along With New Energy Developments
Now, the Windsor Energy Consultations have been going on since 1992, and begun by the Windsor Energy Group (WEG). The purpose of these consultations are to address global energy issues through discussion and analysis by the most knowledgeable experts in the field.
I consider myself privileged to be counted among them.
Apparently, the meetings being held in the historical rooms and halls of Windsor Castle “helps the… participants to think creatively about long-term solutions to key issues.”
I can certainly concur with that.
I have found myself quite inspired when walking within the Castle corridors and discussing pertinent issues with the assembled dignitaries.
This year, I expect it to be no exception.
Because modern times are chock full of new developments, new technology, and new ideas in energy.
Like this one, which has the potential to revolutionize the way we collect, use, and store energy. It could also change the way we “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”
Creating more energy than ever, while reducing toxic landfills that are harmful to ours – and our children’s – lives.
Killing two birds with one stone, as it were.
The original residents of Windsor Castle had no idea what would the years ahead would show.
But we do.
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