In Hampton Court Palace, we learnt so much about the history of the British Monarchy. It’s surprising that most British people are very knowledgeable about the system and the people in it. Henry VIII’s palace is stunning in architecture and rare paintings. Normally, when I visit such tourist attractions I do not really mind whether there is an audio tour or not, however, my experiences today changed my mind.
With an audio guide, Henry VIII’s history amused me. He was powerful and luxurious whilst taking the British Empire to one of its most glorious moments. The saddest part however is he had never managed to raise a son, despite many marriage attempts. The King must receive his guests well to prove his royalty and power. This palace definitely shows this with all the displays of wealth and culture through paintings and jewels. The armory is also a spectacular show of weapons, showing coming guests the power of the King and warning potential enemies.
We also visited Windsor Castle, the place where the Queen sometimes takes residence. The castle was majestic against the blue sky with the flag of England. Many exhibits were beautiful ranging for porcelain to Queen Mary’s doll house which was carefully designed to even have working plumbing systems! The weather in London is great.
Despite the happiness, the riot in London is concerning. Although we are safe, it is dreadful to see something like this happening. Hope everything will settle soon.
Today we went on excursions to the Windsor Castle and Hampton Court. In one day, we retraced the footsteps of royal men and women in their luxurious residencies. The experience was quite exhilarating. At certain moments, as I stood at the center of grand dining halls or magnificent ball rooms, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of importance rising from within me. I am standing in the same hall, and possibly same spot, where Queen Elizabeth or Henry VIII once stood! How awesome is that? Prior to today, I have studied a fair bit of British History, and was therefore extremely eager to see many of the things I have read in the pages with my own eyes.
Our first stop was the Windsor Castle. This was one of the current official residence of Her Queen the Majesty. We were led through the castle grounds and into some of the residence areas by our trusted audio commentary gadgets, and listened as it told of the profoundly interesting history behind every item in every room. We even saw Queen Mary’s dollhouse, which contained a miniature mansion housing scaled down items donated by the people of England. The delicate handiwork in everything from the beds to the plates on the tables impressed me most.
Next stop was the Hampton Court. This was once King Henry VIII’s primary residential estate, and later became that of William III’s when he ruled England. We were given access to some of the inner rooms where the monarchs once resided, and learned quite a great deal about their personal life behind the throne. Again, I was captivated almost every painting and furniture in the rooms, with the knowledge that these very important men once walked the very rooms where I stand.
It was indeed a Sunday well spent!