Windsor Castle, a home of Queen Elizabeth II and one of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions, is to get an extensive facelift to improve facilities for visitors. Tourist areas at the medieval castle west of London will be redeveloped at an expected cost of £27mil (RM160.65mil), said the Royal Collection, which looks after the British monarchy’s art.

A further £10mil (RM59.54mil) will be similarly spent at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, the sovereign’s official residence in Scotland.

“People have been visiting Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse for centuries and now more than 1.5 million do so every year,” said Jonathan Marsden, director of the Royal Collection Trust.

“We will interpret the palaces and collections in new ways, open up new spaces to the public and we’re going to create two purpose-built learning centres.”

Windsor, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, dates back to the late 11th century. It survived an extensive fire in 1992 and was repaired at a cost of £36.5mil (RM217.22mil).

The queen often spends the weekend there and it is said to be her favourite official residence.

The work will start next year and should be completed by the end of 2018, during which time the castle will remain open to visitors. The original entrance hall will be reinstated and there will be greater public access to the ground floor state apartments.

The work will be funded by the Royal Collection Trust charity, which generates its income from admissions to royal residences and from its souvenir shops. – AFP Relaxnews