12:57PM, Friday 13 August 2021
Residents from Mountbatten Grange Care Home enjoying a virtual tour. Picture from Mountbatten Grange Care Home
Berkshire care homes have been receiving free virtual sessions on the royal palaces after a difficult year for residents.
Organised by the Royal Collection Trust, the sessions were introduced earlier this year to provide residents an opportunity to virtually tour the royal households.
Care home residents have spent much of the past year in lockdown, with precautionary measures including restrictions on visitors in place to protect vulnerable people during the pandemic.
The virtual sessions offer residents the opportunity to tour the royal palaces, including Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and the Royal Collection.
These informal talks are available free to care homes in Berkshire, Surrey and the surrounding areas.
The sessions are interactive, with a mix of images, music and video designed to stimulate memories and stories from residents on their interaction with The Queen and the royal palaces.
A spokesperson for the Royal Collection Trust said that care homes had made the sessions a ‘real celebration’ by providing tea, cake, scones, and decorations for their residents.
They added that participants have continued to talk about the sessions and their memories with other residents in communal areas and at mealtimes.
Margaret and Marie, at Mountbatten Grange Care Home in Windsor, said: “We learnt new things we did not know. It was wonderful being able to be a part of the Castle, and how technology has moved on.
“During lockdown this was so refreshing for us and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was so much fun that we booked three extra sessions - the Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House session, The Queen’s birthday and the day-to-day life of the Royal Family.
“Seeing all the interior of the Castle and learning so much made us feel as though we were actually in Windsor Castle - it was amazing.”
Amy Stocker, access manager at the Royal Collection Trust, said that the virtual sessions had been ‘entertaining’ for both residents and staff running the sessions.
“With the local care homes there is always someone who once worked at Windsor Castle or lived nearby, or who has a great story about meeting a member of the Royal Family,” said Amy.
“During a session with an Ascot home, we met a gentleman who had worked at the castle for 15 years, and seen the devastation and then wonderful restoration after the fire of 1992. It was a real privilege to hear his stories.
“The homes often go to so much trouble as well, flying their bunting and providing afternoon tea.”
For more information, visit: https://www.rct.uk/