Executed Queens Tour Day 5 – Hampton Court Palace

The latest diary entry from Tim…

This morning we awoke to glorious sunshine streaming in through the leaded windows of Hever castle – a stunning change to the cold rain of yesterday afternoon. As it was early, I decided to take a stroll around some of the grounds, and with the clear light and no breeze to ripple the water, I think I’ve taken some of my best photos of the castle yet. It is SO beautiful.

Our day trip was to Hampton Court Palace and it was brilliant. We were met at the castle by Siobhan, who has been our HCP expert for the past two years. We saw the key Tudor parts of the palace, such as the great hall (with its hidden Henry + Anne “HA” monograms) and then on to the more private rooms that King Henry VIII would have known. We were very lucky to see a full length portrait of the young Elizabeth I which is on loan to Hampton Court from a private owner. She really was a beauty in her youth.

After lunch in the Tiltyard Café I took a few of our guests to see the lovely gardens, including visiting the “Capability” Brown vine which was planted in 1768 and which is still growing strong today. Others went off to see the more “modern” additions to the palace, and those parts are stunning in their opulence and beauty too.

After our return to Hever and our feast in the Astor wing, we had a riveting evening talk and discussion with Gareth Russell about the myths and common perceptions of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. It was interesting and very enlightening to hear his perceptive thoughts on what brought down each of these two executed queens and I think we all learned a lot.

Tomorrow we are off to the Tower of London. Hopefully we’ll have a happier ending than both Catherine and Anne…

Hampton Court Palace Photos

Gareth Russell at Hever Castle

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