Episode 40: Everything About A Very Royal Brain Junk
Haunting of Windsor Castle!
- Windsor Castle: Originally built in the 11th century, British royalty has been adding on to an changing the castle since then. It was used by the royal family during the bombing campagins of WWII and survived a fire in 1992. Today it is a tourist attraction, a venue for holding state visits and a weekend home for Queen Elizabeth II. Most recently, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married there.
- Lets get to the ghosty bits cause it’s a 1000 year old fortress. It’s got some history.
- Supposedly Henry VIII haunts the cloisters groaning and dragging footsteps are heard.
- The Deanery is haunted by a young boy who shouts, “I don’t want to go riding today.” There are also footsteps heard in the building. They might be his.
- The kitchen in one of the buildings that used to be the stables is haunted by a man leading a horse. They walk straight through the wall. A young girl has also been seen there standing by a Christmas tree.
- Queen Elizabeth I is a very busy ghost. Said to haunt the Royal Library at the castle, the sound of her high heels and then her figure appears. King George !! claimed to have had a conversation with a ghostly woman who claimed to be married to England. And the present queen’s father George VI is said to have observed Elizabeth’s ghost 8 nights in a row during the first days of WWII.
Weird jobs for the Monarchy:
Master of Music:
- Except for a brief period between 1649 when the monarchy was overthrown, There has been a master of music since 1625.
- back in the day this person regulated minstrels…they wanted them to be part of a guild.
- Today the post is compared to a poet laureate and is given to people in the field of classical music for a period of ten years. The current Master of the Queen’s Music is British composer, Judith Weir.
Piper to the Sovereign:
- This position started in 1843 by Queen Victoria
- Since then, only 15 pipers have held the position. It is their job to play under the queen’s window every weekday when she is in residence at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, The Palace of Holyroodhouse or Balmoral Castle.
- Every weekday at 9 am for around 15minutes.
Keeper of the Swans:
- Job was to tend and swan-upping. Gathering the swans on the Thames for royal banquets.
- As of 1993 it’s now two jobs.
- Warden of the Swans and Marker of the Swans.
- They health check and census them instead of eat them.
NEW position as of 2000ish. Royal Shoe-Wearer:
- Person breaks in the Queen’s shoes so she doesn’t have sore feet. While wearing them at events.
The Royal Horological Conservator:
- Winds, cares for and repairs over 1,000 clocks thermometers and barometers at the royal residences.
Groom of the Stool
‘Groom of the King’s Close Stool’ (or just Groom of the Stool for short)
- a role created during the reign of Henry VIII to monitor and assist in the King’s bowel motions.
- The word ‘Stool’ was in reference to a portable commode which would have been carried around at all times,
- along with water, towels and a wash bowl.
- The Groom of the Stool would also have closely monitored the king’s diet and mealtimes,
- Would have organized his day around the king’s predicted motions.
- The sons of noblemen or members of the gentry that were usually awarded the job
- Over time, they came to act more as personal secretaries to the king and
- were rewarded with high pay and some great benefits such as the
- right to lodgings in every palace,
- the Sovereign’s old clothes, and
- the option to have any used bedchamber furnishings.
- There are no historical records to suggest that the Groom went to these extremes, although he
- would have almost certainly helped the monarch undress for each occasion.
- ‘mad’ King George III who employed the most Grooms throughout a single reign;
- a total of nine,
- including John Stuart who would later go on to be Prime Minister of Great Britain!
- Quite amazingly, the role of Groom of the Stool carried on all the way until 1901 when King Edward VII decided to abolish it.