On December 27, 1997, Windsor Castle reopens after extensive restoration following the 1992 fire that destroyed a great deal of the structure. The castle is notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by succeeding monarchs and it is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The 1992 Windsor Castle fire occurred on Friday, November 20, 1992, the largest inhabited castle in the world and one of the official residences of the British monarch, Elizabeth II. The castle suffered severe damage in a fire, which destroyed some of the most historic parts of the building. Over the next few years the castle was fully repaired at a huge cost. The question of how the funds required should be found raised important issues about the financing of the monarchy, and led to Buckingham Palace being opened to the public for the first time to help to pay for the restoration.