season five of The Crownthat Netflix premiered this November 9, covers the one that the Queen isabel II described as “annus horribilis”. That year of 1992, the late monarch faced the divorces of three of her children: Carlos, Ana and Andrés; as well as to terrible fire at Windsor Castle.
The fire started at 11:37 a.m. on November 20, 1992, in Queen Victoria’s private chapel, where a faulty spotlight ignited a curtain by the altar. The fire spread quickly due to the large amount of wood used in the construction and the 40 meter curtains that adorned St George’s Hallthe largest hall in the castle.
The flames also affected the State Chambers, the King John Tower, the Prince of Wales Tower and the Chester Tower; while private apartments were isolated from the fire.
In the place there was only the servants and the prince andrew, who joined the staff to save as many valuable objects as works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Canaletto and Van Dyck. The emergency was attended by patrols, 225 firefighters and four cranes.
The fire at the sovereign’s favorite castle lasted 15 hours, destroying nine of the main halls and damaging approximately 100 more rooms. The column of smoke was seen 20 kilometers away.
Was the Queen at Windsor Castle during the fire?
When the fire broke out, the Queen isabel II she was celebrating her 45th wedding anniversary with Prince Philip at one of his weekend homes. She received a phone call from Prince Andrew, who notified her of what had happened.
Once informed of the situation, the queen arrived at the castle at 2 pm to supervise the work.
The fire was finally extinguished at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 21, and according to a later balance, only two works of art were lost: a rosewood sideboard and a very large painting by Sir William Beechey that could not be removed from the wall in time.
The next thing was the task of restoring the castle, a task carried out by the architecture studio Donald Insall Associatesappointed by the Royal House to lead the project.
Four days after the fire, His Majesty went to the Guildhall Palace in the City of London to celebrate his 40 years as head of the kingdom. The monarch noted: “1992 is not a year I look back on with pleasure. In the words of one of my most sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an ‘annus horribilis’. I suspect I am not the only one who thinks so,” she said. .
The 1,000-room castle, the largest inhabited residence in the world, was built on a site chosen in 1070 by King William I.