The Queen and Prince Philip’s homes set for major change this weekend

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  • Her Majesty the Queen’s staff will be kept very busy this weekend as changing all of the clocks could take hours.

    It could take royal staff up to 40 hours to change all the clocks inside the royal residences by hand this weekend.

    Credit: Getty

    While the change to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) happened automatically for most with smartphones, staff at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House must change all the clocks by hand.

    There are 350 clocks alone at Buckingham Palace, 400 on the Windsor Estate and 50 at the Palace of Hollyrood House. 

    And it’s Fjodor van den Broek’s job to amend all the clocks in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. 

    He is the current horological conservator of the castle – and this autumn’s clock change will be his first since taking on the role. 

    Credit: Getty

    Fjodor told the BBC, ‘It’s just myself, and I have one colleague at Buckingham Palace who changes all the clocks there.’

    But it’s not as easy as simply turning the clocks back an hour, as Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace have time zones of their own.

    “People are still amazed that at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace there is a small time zone in the kitchens, where the clocks are always five minutes fast,” he explained. 

    “This is so that the food arrives on time… it’s a constant reminder that this is important.”

    It is Fjodor’s job to maintain accurate timekeeping throughout the castle and repair clocks in his workshop.

    “Most of the clocks are quite accurate but every now and then, for no reason, they will suddenly start losing or gaining time – something which I’ve just started calling ‘life’.

    “So I do have to keep a constant eye on them.”

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