Blowout bash: think it takes you a long time to prep for your dinner party? At Windsor Castle it takes two days JUST to lay the table!

If you're planning a dinner party, spare a thought for the staff at Windsor Castle who have to lay out 1,200 glasses, 2,000 pieces of silver cutlery and 200 napkins - it takes three weeks just to prepare it!

Love a good dinner party? Proud of your ‘Come Dine With Me’-inspired hosting skills? Well if you thought you put a lot of prep into your gatherings spare a thought for the staff at Windsor Castle who take two days just to lay the table!

So how do you put on a spread that’s fit for a Queen? We’ll give you a clue – it involves 1,200 glasses, 2,000 pieces of silver cutlery, a 175 ft table, 100 footmen, a whole lot of food, and probably a whole cellar of wine!

After the state visit of the Irish president Michael D Higgins – who
the Queen entertained at Windsor Castle this week – we got a glimpse
into the preparation that goes into entertaining in the castle’s famous
St George’s Hall (that’s a dining room to you and me).

Her Maj employs a host of palace stewards to oversee the preparations, ensuring each place setting measures 45cm (they even have to use a rod to achieve the exact alignment of chair and table!).

And if you thought you had too much tableware, you ain’t seen nothing… At the royal palace the yeoman of the silver pantry unpack a 4,000-piece ‘grand service’, dismantle it into its 8,000 precious components, handwash, dry and polish every last spoon, and put it all back together again! Phew, we don’t envy that job!

In total it takes a team of eight servants three weeks to get everything right, with two days set aside to lay the table for dinner.

If you love a bit of origami, try folding some 200 linen napkins, each
embroidered with the Queen’s monogram, in the shape of a Dutch bonnet…

And if you’ve ever imaginged having a butler, check this out…At Windsor Castle a team of 100 footmen and pages are despatched to serve the food.

So next time you’re feeling a bit frazzled before a dinner party, remember what it’s like for the staff at Windsor Castle (but, lets face it, they do get paid to do it!)

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