Today was the last full day of the tour and John, Tim and I started it off with a wonderful post breakfast walk through the gardens and down to Hever Lake – a great way to start the day.
Hampton Court Palace
After breakfast, we were whisked off to Hampton Court Palace where we enjoyed seeing the wine fountain, the Tudor kitchens, the Great Hall, the Haunted Gallery (we missed Catherine Howard’s ghost unfortunately), the Chapel Royal, the amazing tapestries and the beautiful gardens.
I loved spotting the intertwined H and A ciphers which could still be found on ceilings and in panels – see Henry, you didn’t obliterate Anne Boleyn’s memory completely! Another highlight for me was getting a close look at the Family of Henry VIII portrait and realising that Elizabeth really is wearing an A necklace – good girl!
The Tomb of Thomas Boleyn
As we arrived back at Hever village, I thought it would be good for us to visit St Peter’s Church, which is just outside Hever Castle. I wanted to pay my respects to Thomas Boleyn’s tomb and also see his brass rubbing. A few of us went to the church and were really pleased that we’d made the effort. Despite what you think of the man, he was Anne’s father and the church was the Boleyn family’s church.
Costumer and re-enactor Bess Chilver joined us for our final meal and then gave a talk on costume during the 16th century, including what ladies wore under their gowns! She then picked Julissa and Michelle to dress up as Tudor ladies and we were allowed to go into the main castle for some photos – an amazing experience and a wonderful surprise. We all agreed that Julissa, with her olive skin, dark hair and eyes, looked exactly like how we imagined Anne to be and Michelle was a great Mary Boleyn with her English Rose looks – don’t they look fabulous?!
I’m writing this at just after 1am after an incredible day, a wonderful tour and a lovely time chatting to people this evening. We have had a blast, a fantastic time and I think each of us will have very special memories of this trip.