Saturday we spent at Hampton Court which was absolutely fabulous. I visited it many years ago but can only remember the maze (probably because I panicked when I couldn't get out of there)! The castle has recently been renovated and the tours through the various apartments is a real treat. Furthermore, the audio guides are really great and give you exactly what you need to know to enjoy what you see.
Hampton Court is forever connected to Henry VIII who never cease to fascinate us. However, part of the castle was renovated in the Baroque stile in the end of the 17th century by William III and Mary II which adds to the fascination of the place. The gardens was renovated accordingly and are quite fantastic even on a late September day.
|Dinner in preparation|
|The Great Hall|
|Henry VIII and Katherine Howard|
We also had a look at Mantegna's grand painting 'Triumphs of Ceasar' which was rather fantastic. To know more about this master piece read 'The Seventeenth Century Lady' blog on the subject
Having spent 4,5 hours around the apartments it was time for a quick lunch and then a quick stroll around the gardens. There are a lot of activities going on during the year so if you are interested check up http://www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace/
Having spent a day with royals I was thinking it would be interesting to read a book about the kings and queens of England from the beginning to the end. Just a little bit about everyone so you can get an idea in which order they came and who was the father/mother, son/daughter, brother/sister. Going to the WH Smith bookshop at Standstead airport I looked through the book cases. In the very end I came to history and biography books and what is hitting me? Exactly. The book I was thinking of. It turned out to be 'The Kings and Queens of England: A Biography' by David Loades. It is one of these books that is difficult to put down so in a few days I had gone through all the famous and less famous royals. I can only say that it was not easy to be a royal in the old times either. You never knew whether you would stay on the throne, be put away or even made away with, maybe ending up in the Tower? Having been visiting Hampton Court, come to think of it, you never knew what would happen if you were a wife either!