A big transformation at the Queen's home isn't going down well with royal fans

Queen Elizabeth II attends the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Windsor Cup polo match
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen left Windsor Castle last month to enjoy her summer break in Scotland, but a dramatic transformation at this royal residence has left fans divided. 

The grounds of the Queen’s Berkshire home, Windsor Castle, have undergone a major change, but some fans aren’t quite so enthusiastic about the new design. Her Majesty spent much of the UK’s lockdowns at Windsor with her beloved husband of 73 years, Prince Philip. Now she has traveled to Balmoral in Scotland for her first summer break since he passed away in April. Whilst it’s thought this trip will be especially “hard” without his organized presence, she has already invited several of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to visit. 

And with the Queen no longer in residence at Windsor Castle for the coming weeks, the East Terrace Garden is now open to visitors until September 5th. In honor of the opening, the Royal Collection Trust has shared an enlightening before-and-after shot of the magnificent garden. 

A photo posted by on

As revealed by the caption, the first image was taken ‘around 1900’, with the Royal Collection Trust declaring that, ‘you can see how the landscape has changed if you swipe to compare it to a modern photo.’

They went on to highlight a few of the major differences, writing, ‘Some of the yew trees have been removed, and there are now large rose beds around the central pool.’ 

The stunning images, the first in black and white and the second in full colour, show just how much has been transformed over the past century. Though the sculptural design elements seen in the flower beds back in the 1900s have also been carried through into the sun-burst shape of the beds today. 

However, it seems some royal fans weren’t convinced the changes were for the better. One person appealed to fellow Instagram users, writing, ‘Am I alone in thinking I preferred the old design 🤔’. 

And indeed they were not alone, as someone else commented, ‘I prefer the old version the new one is too simple’. 

I prefer the original design. Had more class and elegance then the current version’, a third person declared. 

The original was gorgeous’, someone else agreed, yet there were some people who praised today's more streamlined layout. 

Visitors look around Windsor Castle's East Terrace Garden as it prepares to open to the public at Windsor Castle

I generally like older design, but in this case I prefer the modern. Way too many yew trees in the original, and the Victorian fake-classical columns around the pool are a no for me’, one replied.

Whilst another person agreed, writing simply, ‘I love the modern layout’. 

Regardless of design preference, however, it's wonderful to learn about Windsor Castle's unique history.

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.