Got off at Hampton Court Station and found the palace quite easily. The moment that I rounded the corner and saw it my breath was taken away. I knew that it was going to be large but not THAT large! I’d already bought a ticket, so I bought a guide book and hurried to entrance. As I stood in front of the huge wooden gates waiting for the palace to open I started to get teary – I was standing possibly where Anne Boleyn stood, where she entered the palace. I know it’s crazy to most people, but to me it held huge significance. I saw many MANY Tudor Rose emblems and engravings and I couldn’t help but squee with excitement.
When the gates were entered I can proudly say that I was the FIRST VISITOR to enter Hampton Court on October 30th 2009. The moment I stepped inside my breath was taken away. I cannot even begin to think of the words to describe how awe-inspiring and breathtaking the palace was! It was just…….. God, AMAZING! I walked through the Base Court to the Clock Court and there it was… Anne Boleyn’s gate. That’s when I started to cry. I stepped inside the gate and looked up, seeing the Tudor Rose KNOWING for sure that Anne would have stood there. I wept and wept and wept, honoured, privileged, touched. Anne, my idol, my hero and hundreds of years later I stood where she had stood.
Stepping through the gateway I turned around and was instantly drawn to a window – I had no idea why. I asked the guide what that window was and he told me it was Anne Boleyn’s rooms. HER ROOMS! She drew me instantly to them. I don’t care what anyone says; I was drawn to that window only to discover it was one of the windows of Anne’s rooms. She held the entire second floor above her gate and I just happened to look up and be intrigued by that one window. I KNOW in my heart she stood by that one window – I felt it.
ANYWAYS after taking about a squillion photos of the outside of the Palace and then the courts I went inside to the dinning hall. OH MY FREAKING GOSH Henry never did anything small did he? Bloody hell it was AMAZING! I took a million more photos, but I don’t know how they will come as it was quite dark. And… being the nosey Anne Boleyn freak that I am I instantly set out to find the few reminding remnants of her memory. After she was executed Henry ordered that ALL signs or reminders of her be removed from Hampton Court. So all the engraved H and A’s were removed, all the Boleyn Falcon insignia’s were taken down. BUT there were a few that were forgotten and of course I found them! I found the falcon in the roof and the two H and A’s on the wooden wall. *G* I’m such a nerd. The room was HUGE and there were massive stained glass windows with images of Henry and his insignias, the Tudor Rose and the Fleur De Lis and Lions. The room was STUNNING!
We weren’t able to go to Anne Boleyn’s rooms, but we were able to see much of the court. It was breathtaking. We saw the Waiting Room where Henry and the members of the royal court ate. The hallways that lead to his Privy Council – onside the Privy Council. The wall in which Catherine Howard ran down screaming, begging Henry for mercy once she was arrested for treason. (I seriously got a shiver walking down that hall – legend says that she still haunts it to this day!) We saw the great chapel and so many other mind blowing rooms.
But what was the REAL spectacular of Hampton Court was the live show that was put on throughout the day. To commemorate 500 years since Henry VIII came to the thrown, Hampton Court puts on a show each day of Henry[‘s marriage to Catherine Parr. It was BRILLIANT! We were introduced to Catherine’s sister and Thomas Seymour and the Master of the Palace and of course Henry himself. They did 30 minutes shows which all lead into one another all across the palace. So basically we just followed the actors around from 11:30am to 3:30pm watching different performances. It was AMAZING! I even got my photo taken with Catherine Parr, Thomas Seymour, the Master of the Palace and of course with King Henry!
OMG the actor that played Henry was brilliant! I introduced myself to him saying that I had come from the far land Australia to wish him well on his marriage. He turned to me and grinned, saying that he had heard of Australasia and said that he would have to send men to go explore it further if there were more beautiful women like me there! I totally blushed! King Henry VIII was calling me beautiful!!! It was awesome!
The different performances were set throughout the palace and we wandered around from room to room so we got to see a lot of the palace while seeing the performances. It was very cleverly done and the actors were so talented!
I have LOTS of photos, so I will have to try and find some time to put them up ‘cause they are really cool!
Again I bought way to much stuff, but you know what? I don’t care! I’ve been to Hampton Court! I’ve seen the windows in which Anne Boleyn would have stood at. I’ve seen the same views of the court that she would have seen. Walked the halls that she and Henry would have walked. I’ve seen the insignias that still remain – HA – and I’ve stood under Anne Boleyn’s gate – just as she would have. Just like the Tower, this is one day that I will never forget. I laughed, I cried and I was touched to the core.
But now I must end this wrap up of the day because
Long live Queen Anne Boleyn!
Note: 17 and cloudy