03:35PM, Tuesday 17 September 2019
Photo: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019 Photographer: Hayley Madden
Windsor Castle Family Festival came alive with the spirit of the circus on Saturday to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.
The event was inspired by George Wombwell’s travelling menagerie which visited the Royal household in 1847 and took place in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle.
“The castle was heaving with lots of local people and others who came specially for the event,” said Emma Head, senior family programme co-ordinator at the Royal Collection Trust.
“They couldn’t believe their eyes.
“Victoria and Albert loved performance and the performing arts.
“I found a reference to George Wombwell’s circus in Queen Victoria’s diaries and it actually took place in the exact same location we used for the festival.”
Life-sized elephant puppets delighted visitors alongside stilt walkers, jugglers and aerial acrobats while falconry demonstrations allowed children to get up close to birds of prey.
Children could also become a fully trained circus members by collecting stamps on their ‘Passport to the Big Top’ and enter a prize draw to win a toy corgi.
“These events are all about encouraging families to come to Windsor Castle to retell and recreate history,” added Emma.
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