Saturday, 6 January 2007

hampton court

Roople and I went to Hampton Court Palace today. It was cold and wet, but we had a great time! We saw King Henry VII's state rooms and King William III's state and private apartments. The costumed guides were brilliant and we saw several mini dramas, including ones about Queen Anne of Cleves' arrival in England and (later) Queen Katherine Howard's alleged infidelities. Henry picked Anne of Cleves as a political marriage, and when he saw her portrait he thought she was quite attractive. Oddly for a lady, she was painted face on. When she arrived in England it became clear why this was so--she had a huge nose. Henry took an instant aversion to her and never touched her.

We toured the Tudor Kitchens, which were a food factory when the court was full. We heard the Tudor musicians twice, once playing "smutty, common songs" in the kitchens and once playing "more refined music" in the great hall. The kitchen music was played on spoons, bones, and donkey's teeth, with a few more conventional instruments. The upstairs music included lutes (which Henry VIII could play) and recorders (which courtiers could play). We also heard a hugely loud fanfare that would have been played during the procession to the chapel when Edward, Henry's son, was christened.

We thought about going ice skating as well. But just as we left the castle it started to tip down with rain. So we drank a hot chocolate and attempted (unsuccessfully) to dry off before heading back into the city on the train.

1 comment:

JoeBlogs said...

Hampton Court rocks, not tried out the ice rink there yet tho.