This post is for Tuesday, July 26
One of my favorite places to go is Hampton Court. I don’t know why. It is so tied up in the history of the Tudors I guess. I was always fascinated with this time in British history. Henry, his wives, Elizabeth I. Initially, it was the clothes I think. It isn’t particularly attractive but, I loved them all the same. Once I understood that, then maybe it was the intrigue at court and the drama that played out during this time.
Last time I visited, just walking the paths and the rooms, you can feel the history. I think it is, for me, like walking the beaches of Galveston, TX. The history is right there and I connect with it more than most other places. We took an early train. Hampton Court is about a 40 minute trip by train even though it is only 11 miles or so from London. In Henry’s day they rode the river down. We walked across the river and through the palace gates. There are essentially two sides to this palace. The guide book states, ” . . .where you get two palaces for the price of one. The rose red brick Tudor palace is indelibly associated with Henry VIII. The baroque palace, first occupied in 1700, has some of the world’s greatest gardens around it.”
The palace was a gift to Henry VIII from Cardinal Wolsey in 1525. It was the mainstay palace of English kings and queens until Queen Caroline’s death in 1737. After that, George II made only rare appearances and began the tradition of letting out unused apartments to “genteel older ladies deserving of royal grace and favour.”
Before leaving Hampton Court, we had lunch in the Queen’s (Elizabeth) Privy Kitchen, visited the Tennis Courts and the kitchen’s of Henry VIII. The train ride back to London gave us a moment to decompress and relax. In the evening, Kerri was off to see a show and Christina suggested we head over to Royal Albert Hall to see a PROMS concert.
The BBC PROMS are held almost nightly during an 8 week period in the summer. You can buy gallery tickets for 6 pds and stand in the gallery. We bought our tickets and went in to a magnificent space. We stayed for only part of the concert because we were both tired by the time we got in but, I am grateful for the chance to see the inside of that beautiful space and the concert was glorious. Next visit we committed to getting a seat so we could enjoy the whole concert. Ironically, the piece we heard was based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest by Tchaikovsky.