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Hampton Court Palace is located in Surrey, England, and has been home to many of England’s Kings and Queens. Hampton Court Palace has an interesting history that we discovered more about during our tour.

Hampton Court Palace: view from the garden

Hampton Court Palace: view from the garden

One of the best known Kings to have graced the halls of Hampton Court Palace is King Henry VIII, the son of King Henry VII whose marriage to Elizabeth of York ended the “War of the Roses“, a bloody battle between the houses of Lancaster and York (whose symbols of were respectively red and white roses). Their marriage represented a merger of the two houses and finally brought peace to England.

King Henry VIII was famous for marrying 6 times.

“Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded survived”.

Catherine of Aragon was the Spanish Princess who was the widow of the King’s brother, Prince Arthur. Her marriage to Arthur was never consummated so she later married the King. Catherine was later exiled from the court to make room for Anne Boleyn. The Pope would not give Henry an annulment so he decided to reject papal authority and created the Church of England, where the King became the highest authority over the church.

Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII had a tumultuous relationship and she was later executed for treason. He went on to marry Jane Seymour, who gave birth to his only son and heir but died shortly after childbirth.

Anne of Cleves was his next wife. Their marriage was short-lived and happily granted him a divorce. She was later given the title of “The King’s sister”.

The King became infatuated with the beautiful, young Catherine Howard, who he made Queen. They enjoyed a happy marriage until she had an affair with a member of court. The King was engulfed with rage and ordered their execution.

Catherine Parr, an older widow, was the King’s last wife before his death in 1547. Catherine was historically known for helping the King to make amends with his two daughters, Mary (daughter of Catherine of Aragon) and Elizabeth (daughter of Anne Boleyn). After the death of their half-brother Edward VI, Mary became Queen Mary I (aka “Bloody Mary”) but died childless. Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth I and ascended to the throne after the death of her sister but also died childless and left no heir to the Tudor throne. Elizabeth was the last remaining Tudor monarch and so the dynasty died with her in 1603.

Family Portrait of King Henry VIII with his 3rd wife Jane Seymour and 3 children (this was painted when he was married to his 6th wife).

Family Portrait of King Henry VIII with his 3rd wife Jane Seymour and 3 children (this was painted when he was married to his 6th wife).

Stories of the Tudor dynasty and many other monarchs are told at Hampton Court Palace today. I was most fascinated about the Tudor dynasty so I was so happy to see that throughout the day, the Palace organised reenactments of history. An impersonator of Lady Rochford (Anne Boleyn’s sister-in-law), George Boleyn (Anne’s brother), King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were present to take us back to the 1500s where the ‘love’ story began.

Hampton Court Palace, England: Impersonators of King VIII and Anne Boleyn just before the King promises her that she will be Queen

Hampton Court Palace, England: King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (impersonators) just before the King promises her that she will be Queen

I followed them from the main court to the state rooms to see the events unfold. The events that caused the catastrophic decline of Queen Catherine of Aragon, before she was stripped of her royal title. Before King Henry VIII dismissed the Catholic Faith to create the Church of England and before the title of Queen was passed to the King’s devious mistress, Anne Boleyn.

It was wonderful to watch the characters come alive right in the very Palace where these decisions were made.

Hampton Court Palace: I met the dangerously devious Anne Boleyn (King Henry VIII's 2nd wife)

Hampton Court Palace: I got to wear a replica 15th century robe (left picture) and met the dangerously devious Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s 2nd wife (right picture)

I hope that you enjoyed a little history lesson about my favourite dynasty and this beautiful English Palace.

The state rooms are extravagant and well maintained.

Hampton Court Palace (inside)

Hampton Court Palace, England (inside)

The gardens are lush and green. You can spend hours lying on the soft grass, running through the maze or admiring the landscape.

Hampton Court Palace, England: one of it's many beautiful gardens

Hampton Court Palace, England: one of it’s many beautiful gardens

The architecture is regal and looks fit for a King and Queen!

The main court of Hampton Court Palace, England

At the main court of Hampton Court Palace, England

Add a touch of history and you have yourself a very entertaining day at the Hampton Court Palace!

What is your favourite Palace and why? Comment below and let me know.

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