Caledonians meet royalty at Hampton Court
We recently visited one of London's most iconic palaces, Hampton Court, situated on the Thames, in the once small village of Richmond.
On a sunny Monday morning, our coach took us to the home of Henry V111 and the Tudor dynasty.
Approached from the front this imposing red brick edifice is spectacular. Cardinal Wolsey had the idea of transforming an ordinary country manor house into a magnificent palace as befitted his elevated position. Its location on the river made it an easy journey from central London with sweet clean air and quiet, peaceful surroundings.
As Lord Chancellor of England, he wanted to entertain Henry and his court, as well as Kings and Queens and Papal dignitaries from across Europe.
Henry of course was envious and covetous and brought all his six wives there, travelling comfortably up river on his royal barge
Wolsey fell out of favour with his Majesty in 1529 and to placate the King, handed over Hampton Court.
B y 1530 it had become a palace, hotel, theatre and vast leisure complex. following massive extensions.
William 111 did much rebuilding and expanded it too, so there are two distinct architectural styles -Tudor and Baroque. Of course many of us preferred Tudor.
Attractions are many. It has gorgeous formal gardens with beautiful fountains and has the famous Maze and the Great vine royal tennis court and the sumptuous royal apartments
It is said to be haunted by Jane Seymour Henry's third wife who gave Henry his longed for son, Edward V1. On the anniversary of her death she floats about the royal apartments all in white.
We had an audience with a very handsome Henry, who allowed us to ask questions about his life. He didn't give much away though!!
Catherine Parr and Anne Boleyn were much more informative, and held court in the Great Hall. Anne told us she was not allowed to give evidence at her own trial and the guilty verdict was a foregone conclusion. She was never allowed to see Henry again once the trial had begun. When we asked her was she set up she agreed she was.
There is so much to see and all in perfect condition. As if the Tudors had gone out for the day 😃
A truly worthwhile visit, which we all enjoyed.
Our thanks to Alex and the committee for yet another great outing