This would be amazing news if it didn't include the little fact that Buckingham Palace already has a Muslim prayer room. I was not aware the Anglican Church sanctioned Islam. On the other hand, rumor has it that Prince Charles has converted to Islam, so it might be useful.
Does anybody know if there are prayer rooms for other religions in British castles?
Muslims often complain that they are discriminated due to the basic fact that Islam is not a religion like Christianity is. It doesn't have a structured ministry like Christianity, for example, and therefore doesn't fit into the bureaucratic definition of religious institutions in several European countries. When it comes to praying, Islam is not like Christianity. When the time for prayer comes, a Muslim is expected to pray wherever he is.
The Queen is allowing a room at Windsor Castle to be used as a Muslim prayer zone.
The move came after a request from 19-year-old student Nagina Chaudhry, who works in the visitors' shop, a royal spokeswoman said.
An office at the castle has now been set aside for her to offer lunchtime prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting.
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace, where such a facility already exists for Muslims, said: "Miss Chaudhry made a request for somewhere to pray.
"During Ramadan if she wants to use this office for praying then that's fine.
"We are an equal opportunities employer and we do our best to facilitate any requests made by our employees."
When not being used as a prayer chamber, the room will continue to be used as an office.
Miss Chaudhry, speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, said: "It feels amazing to be the first Muslim to read namaz (prayers) at Windsor Castle.
"The Queen is the head of the Church of England so it's great to know she respects other people's faith.
"I think I'm the only Muslim who works here so I feel special knowing they've made such an effort for me."
Source: The Guardian (English)
A few more details, from Islam Online. This is a bit more than setting aside an office for an employee to be able to pray alone, or to sit out her lunch break in a place where it would be easier to fast. The office has been essentially turned into a mosque.
"It feels amazing to be the first Muslim to read namaz (prayers) at Windsor Castle," said Nagina Chaudhry, 19.
"I was reciting the prayer with more power than usual because I knew I was making history."
Chaudhry, who works at the 11th century Windsor Castle gift shop at weekends, has requested for a special room to perform prayers during the fasting month.
Within days, an office in the castle's Saxon Tower, a stone's throw from the royal family's private St George's Chapel, had been converted.
Portraits were removed from the walls and a small marker indicating qiblah (direction of the Ka`bah) was set.
Copies of the Noble Qur’an and prayer mats were provided.
"I think I am the only Muslim working here, so I feel special knowing that they have made such an effort for me," said Chaudhry.
A spokesman for the Royal Household confirmed that the room had been set aside for prayers during Ramadan.
"We have had Muslim employees before who have taken time out to pray, but a decision has been made to make a particular room available during Ramadan," he said.
There are no mosques in Windsor. Muslims who want to perform prayers during Ramadan must travel into Slough, three miles away.
Source: Islam Online (English)