Archive for Royal residences
On Monday, 19th August, I finally was able to return to my beloved Hampton Court Palace during the tail end of my trip to London! So I thought I’d share some of that day with you. (Click on any photo to enlarge it.) Off we go!
We arrived 20 minutes before opening on a Monday, so it was blissfully peaceful as we entered and for about the first hour or so. I’m someone who moves heaven and earth to do things on off times, and the payoff is great. Before the main gate opened, we meandered around the main courtyard, where the recreation of the Tudor wine fountain sits. There are also concrete recreations of ye olde partyers enjoying some wine or having a bit of a lie-down…
as well as feeling quite ill from the festivities.
Interesting! We took some photos of the courtyard and the exterior and then went directly to the Young Henry VIII exhibit. One room holds the gorgeous painting of The Field of the Cloth of Gold, and it is here that I recognized our friends and activities from the main courtyard:
So that explains it! This exhibit also introduces us to Young, Fit Henry and his Regal and Polished Queen, Catherine of Aragon. One of the most striking visual elements of this exhibit is a York/Lancaster family tree that adorns one wall:
But I don’t want to give away the entire exhibit for you … Go and see it!
No trip to Hampton Court is complete without time spent in the impressive Great Hall, bedecked with antlers and tapestries…
and impressive stained glass and fan-vaulting…
And look, there’s Anne Boleyn wafting by a tapestry!
The palace is buzzing with costumed actors, who really lend to the atmosphere of the place. Henry and Wife #2 were kind enough to pose for a photo before continuing with their hallway bickering:
No photos are allowed in the gorgeous Chapel Royal, so this photographic tour now moves to the Secrets of the Bedchamber exhibit. No photos allowed inside this exhibit either, but here’s one from the entrance, reflecting the awesome Queen’s Staircase (and the photographer!)
Now into the gardens on this gorgeous day we go…
and a peek at the Tudor kitchens…
Then a gander at the ceiling in Anne Boleyn’s Gateway, where the intricate design holds the pesky entwined “A” and “H” that got away from Henry VIII’s efforts to destroy any reminders of his saucy second wife:
before heading back to Waterloo Station and grabbing a quick lunch from Marks and Spencer Simply Food to nosh on back in the City, with this lovely view:
(Hint: Lady Diana Spencer was here in a very poufy dress!)
Finally, another Tudor-y part to my day as Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb was kind enough to carve some time out of her day to meet me for coffee. Not only is she a brilliant historian, she is a super-nice person to chat with! (You’re following her on Facebook and Twitter, aren’t you?)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sojourn, and keep your eyes peeled for additional posts about this recent trip to My Favourite City!
I’m happy to say that I can share updated pics of Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, etc after my trip to London next summer!
The painted canvas panels of which Bendor speaks in the post (there is an image as well) are all that remain of Henry VIII’s splendid Nonsuch Palace in Surrey. They are just lovely so please enjoy!
As write this, London burns at the mercy of horrible rioters. Sorry, no sympathy from me! (So you’ve burned your neighborhood down and now you have a brand-new telly you’ve nicked. Congrats?)
I cannot think of a better time to thumb my nose at these thugs and celebrate my favourite city:
The Tudor connections are many…
- Westminster Abbey, where you can see the tombs of Henry VII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.
- The Tower of London, where Elizabeth I was imprisoned, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were executed and are buried, and Lady Jane Grey may be immortalized in graffiti, among lots of other Tudor history
- Hampton Court Palace, my fave Tudor place!
- The Globe Theatre, although it’s a rebuild of the original theater, is a treasure. The exhibition is described here. The ceiling above the stage (“the Heavens”) is gorgeous, as are the wrought-iron gates at the entrance, in front of which I stand here.
But there’s plenty of non-Tudor London to enjoy as well…
- I’m a big fan of the Natural History Museum (and it’s free!); I especially love their dinosaur exhibits. Rawwrr!
- The Sir John Soane Museum is the most interesting crowded collection of art and “stuff” you will ever visit
- The view from St. Paul’s is simply wonderful. I am enjoying it here.
- The church garden of St. Dunstan in the East is charming.
- The Tate Modern is just fab!
- This may be unpopular but I love eating at the Texas Embassy, near Trafalgar Square. It’s a dependable Tex-Mex menu with decent prices and a fun atmosphere.
- The wonderful National Portrait Gallery is also near Trafalgar Square.
- I hear there’s a charming little residence just off Constitution Hill, but I prefer the Victoria Memorial right in front of said residence.
- There are so many things to love about London in this print by Linzie Hunter
- If you are on Twitter and can only follow one Londoner, make it Laura Porter, the knowledgable and dedicated About.com guide to the City
- There are pages and pages of quotes about the City here
- Here’s a clickable map of places with “hidden London” gems
- Lately I’m reading London: A Biography by Peter Ackroyd. I also like London in the Footsteps of the Famous by Nicholas Best, 360º London by Nick Wood, and Frommer’s Irreverent Guide to London by Baillet and Fitzgerald.
- This page offers London recs from Sir Michael Caine, Arlene Phillips, Heather Small, Tom Aikens, and other famous names
- Please never refer toTower Bridge as “London Bridge.” That’s a different bridge. Thanks. =)
Keep London (and other affected areas such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and Bristol) in your thoughts and prayers during the current abuses. Updates continue to be posted via video and text on the BBC news website.
The official YouTube account of London’s historic royal palaces offers a lively and well-produced clip of the Tudor festivities at the beautiful and grand Hampton Court Palace, just outside the city. If you can’t get to the palace this Christmas season, give it a view!
It was 451 years ago today that the 42-year-old Mary I died and her half-sister Elizabeth took the reins (or the reign, as the case may be). The young red-haired girl had been living at Hatfield House on-and-off for most of her life, and got the big news on the morning of 17 November 1558.
She’d been chilling under a lovely oak tree on the property when gentlemen from the court came galloping along on their horses to deliver this life-changing announcement. Her response? “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wondrous in our eyes!” (Kind of more eloquent than “Yes, We Can!”)
This gorgeous house is in the county of Hertfordshire (Herts, for short), in the southeast of England just above London. It has an extensive maze garden, a restaurant, a gift shop, and reportedly a few ghosts as well. It’s currently closed for tours for the winter, but will reopen in 2010 from April to September.
UK schools can take their students to Hatfield for an educational Living History program, details here! (PDF file)