|The Copper Horse (Monument to George III) by Sir Richard Westmacott (1775-1856) 1824-30; |
erected October 1831. Bronze, on a rocky platform in Snow Hill, Windsor Great Park, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
When Harry Met the Queen
Based on a True Encounter by the Author while on Horseback
by Tim Truelan
Harry Hunter, event rider that is, while riding across Windsor Great Park one summer’s day, the huge Royal Standard atop the great round tower was streaming magnificently in the wind, calling me to come and look inside the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world.
My tour started through a portcullis gate and inside, a regiment of Lifeguards – resplendent in shiny black, thigh-high riding boots, red tunics and gleaming breastplates – marched to the regimental band.
I continued into a horseshoe-shaped Tudor Cloister, to my right a grand flight of steps led up to St. George’s Chapel – where Prince Harry and Meghan will marry in May. Inside the Chapel shafts of sunlight shone down from beautiful tall windows, a sublime setting for any wedding. Embedded in the flagstones, tombs from history: Henry the Eighth, Jane Seymour and Charles the First.
I went inside the Castle. The entrance hall was built to impress, likewise the huge Waterloo Banqueting Chamber with its great vaulted roof and an immense carpet brought from India – which took forty men to carry up the hill from the railway station when it arrived.
I strolled along the battlements, looking out towards the playing fields of Eton, where many a foreign battle had been won, or so it has been said.
Everywhere throughout the Castle were amazing artifacts, two stuck in my memory: the Bible that ‘Gordon’ was holding when he perished at the Battle of Khartoum, and the musket ball that felled Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.
One could not fail to be impressed by the interior of Windsor castle: the Great Hall, its roof covered in hundreds of Coats of Arms; the green Drawing Room; and the Crimson Room of red and flaming gold!
I strolled into the garden before ending my visit and came across a guardsman, resplendent in his black Busby and scarlet tunic, gazing out over the treetops towards Eton; I wondered if he was musing on the fable of the playing fields.
Riding once again across Windsor Great Park, close to the Castle, Harry bumps into its owner, The Queen. They exchanged greetings, she from a Bentley Sedan and Harry on horseback…
Which prompted the author to title his latest novel, Horseback.
From the novel Horseback by Tim Truelan, available onAmazon.
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