Windsor Castle to mark Shakespeare anniversary with new group tour and exhibition

Date Posted: 03/02/2016

Windsor Castle will commemorate the 400th anniversary of playwright William Shakespeare’s death with a new exhibition and a tour exclusively for groups.

The castle is said to be one of the oldest and largest inhabited castles in the world. It has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years, and is an official residence of The Queen.

Throughout his career, Shakespeare had strong connections with the Royal Court. His plays were performed in front of Elizabeth I, and when James I ascended to the throne he supposedly styled Shakespeare's acting company into his own 'King's Men'.

Some of Shakespeare's plays were written with performance at court in mind and through his comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare formed a bond with the town and castle of Windsor.

The new exhibition and tour aim to commemorate these ties.

Shakespeare in the Royal Library

The new exhibition, Shakespeare in the Royal Library, will be included as part of a visit to the castle. It will be open from 13th February until January next year.

Visitors can see early copies of Shakespeare's work drawn from a collection of over 500 volumes currently housed in the Royal Library, as well as art by members of the royal family inspired by his plays.

Shakespeare in the Royal Library will reveal the wealth of Shakespeare material in the Royal Collection and show how generations of monarchs since Elizabeth I have enjoyed his work.

The group tour

Coinciding with the exhibition is a new tour, available for prebooked groups only, that lasts between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half hours. 

The tour is called The King's Man: Shakespeare and the Royal Court, and begins in the Winchester Tower with refreshments and a talk by a member of Royal Collection Trust staff.

This is followed by an opportunity to see the Shakespeare in the Royal Library exhibition and a walk through the state apartments.

The tours are available between 1st March and 22nd December, and can be booked for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

For further information call 030-3123 7321 or visit www.royalcollection.org.uk.

(Photo credit: Royal Collection Trust, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016).

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