Hampton Court Palace

28 Apr

On the 17th it was mid-sixties and sunny, the perfect day to head a half hour outside of London to visit Hampton Court Palace, home to Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII, and later, William and Mary. Cardinal Wolsey took a lavish house and turned it into a palace fit for the then-archbishop of York. After Wolsey failed to help Henry get a divorce from Katherine of Aragon (to marry the much prettier and younger Anne Boleyn) Henry took Hampton Court Palace for his own and proceeded to live there with all of his wives (at different times, of course). Henry even rebuilt rooms for his brides. Later, Hampton Court was a retreat for his children and succeeding monarchs James I and Charles I. When Oliver Cromwell took over as Lord Protector during those crazy days where the monarchy fell, he used the palace for his own enjoyment (quite interesting considering he was “puritan” and believed monarchs to be greedy…). After the monarchy was restored with Charles II the Palace underwent changes. Charles II preferred Windsor Castle and before you knew it, William and Mary took over. Queen Anne liked Hampton Court for its hunting grounds. George I preferred to stay in his native Germany and his son, George II, was the last royal family to stay at Hampton Court. Queen Victoria made the decision to open the palace to visitors.

Now that the background information is over, let’s talk about Hampton Court today. It is separated into the William and Mary apartments, Young Henry’s story, the Tudor kitchens, and Henry’s apartments. There’s also vast gardens and a hedge maze.

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