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Hampton Court Palace

This impressive palace has been home to some of Britain’s most famous kings and queens. Here’s a brief history of the palace (pilfered unashamedly from the Official Guidebook we purchased on our visit today):

Hampton Court started out as residence to Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York. After building lodgings for Henry VIII, Wolsey was forced to surrender ownership of the palace to the King. Henry’s only son was born at Hampton Court and his wife, Jane Seymour died there a few days later.

In the early 1600’s James I presides over the Hampton Court Conference which results in the institution of the Authorised Version of the Bible. (King James Bible.)

Mid-1600’s Charles I is held prisoner at Hampton Court by Oliver Cromwell’s army. He was kept there for three months before escaping. When Oliver is made Lord Protector of the Commonwealth he moves into Hampton Court.

Early 1700’s William III fell from his horse at Hampton Court Park and later dies.

The Prince and Princess of Wales (future King George II and Queen Caroline) move in to Hampton Court 1716. After Queen Caroline dies (1737) the King never visits the palace again with his full court and it is the last year that the entire palace is used by the Royal Family.

Lastly, in 1838 Queen Victoria opened up Hampton Court to the public. Apparently by the mid 19th century up to 180,000 people are visiting the palace each year.

It’s really a lovely place with a grand history.

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Categories: Bookish Things
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