In November, 1992 a major fire destroyed major portions of Windsor Castle. The fire began in the Queen’s Private Chapel when a spotlight ignited a curtain, but it soon spread to several neighbouring rooms, and the major part of the State Apartments was soon ablaze. According to published reports, the major loss was to the core of the Castle. The false roof above St. George’s Hall in the Upper Ward and the void beneath the floors for coal trucks had allowed the fire to spread. St George’s Hall partially survived, with the wall largely intact, but with the ceiling collapsed. The State Dining Room and the Grand Reception Room were also devastated. Smaller apartments and over 100 rooms were damaged or destroyed in the fire. The seven most seriously damaged rooms had largely been emptied the previous day for rewiring. The Castle had just completed an 18-month phase of rewiring in most of the rooms destroyed.
A major unprecedented restoration was undertaken, and the State Apartments reopened early 1993 after rewiring was completed; all major rooms were open by Easter, and only St George’s Hall and the Grand Reception Room remained closed at that time. Eleven of the fifteen principal rooms of the State Apartments were open, with two still undergoing long-term restoration, and two more completely destroyed.