Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace. Author’s photo.

Hampton Court is a significant place to Tommy and Nick. It’s where they are brought to meet Henry VIII for the first time in Traveler. I just returned from London where I was able to walk some of the rooms and hallways where Henry actually lived. Much of the palace was updated later for other monarchs, but some of Henry’s rooms have been preserved, as you will see.

In Henry’s time, Hampton Court was a beautiful new palace. (It’s still beautiful, just not new.) It was actually built by Henry’s Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. Henry liked the palace so much that Wolsey was pressured into giving it to him. There’s more to the story, but I’m keeping it short.

All of Henry’s six wives lived/stayed here at some point. His son, Edward, was born here and third wife, Jane Seymour, died here after giving birth to Edward.

This is the palace where fifth wife, Katherine Howard (she’s in the books), was arrested, later beheaded, and where Henry married sixth wife, Katherine Parr.

You can learn more at the Historic Royal Palaces’ official website here: https://www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/history-and-stories/the-story-of-hampton-court-palace/#gs.6pplld

The front gates of the palace (with tourists). Author’s photo.
The inner gates of the palace (and more tourists). Author’s photo.
The steps up to Henry’s rooms. Author’s photo.
The Great Hall, where feasts and parties would happen. Notice all the deer antlers around the walls and the rich tapestries. Author’s photo.
The beautiful ceiling of the Great Hall. This room was meant to show how rich ad powerful the king was. Author’s photo.
The king’s table, not the real one, in the Great Hall. Author’s photo.
The smaller chamber where the king would receive guests. This is where I imagined Tommy and Nick meeting the king. Author’s photo.
Portrait of Henry VIII. Author’s photo.
The Haunted Corridor, where Katherine Howard’s ghost makes frequent appearances. There were only tourists the day I was there. Most disappointing. Author’s photo.
The palace kitchens that are still used today. The roasting chickens look rather small in that huge fireplace, don’t they? Author’s photo.
Visitors sometimes get to help out turning the spit. This would be a hot job! Author’s photo.
More small fireplaces and places to prepare food for hundreds of royal banquet guests. Author’s photo.
One more look at this majestic palace through a field of wildflowers. Author’s photo.

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