I am Henry the 8th I am! Henry the 8th I am I am!OKay, so I couldn't stop singing this song the whole time we were at Hampton court palace.
it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century.
Henry the 8th built it for his favorite, Cardinal Wolsey but upon seeing it thought to himself..."This is nice" and in his kingly way, coerced the Cardinal into giving it to the King.
This palace is such a palimpsest! It was expanded by King Henry and again by WIlliam the 3rd who hired Christopher Wren to build additional palaces to the existing building, one that he hoped would rival Versailles. (Yeah Right) but it was still gorgeous. This was one of the first times on the trip I was able to do what I love best, and that's wander on my own, lost in my own thoughts, and taking everything in.
While wandering, I could just see in my mind, nobles and aristocrats and kings wandering these halls. I could picture them hiding away into rooms and nooks and crannies for clandestine meetings or resting in their closets. (In Elizabethan times, a closet wasn't where you put your clothes, it was a room in which you sat in, reading, or doing some other mundane passing of time activity. :)
The hallways just echoed with the ghosts of the past. It was beautiful. It was almost like the people were still there with you. (Not in a creepy ghost story kind of way!)
I sat in the gardens and ate my lunch and watched this adorable family of ducks play. Eventually the little ones snuggled up (like a snuggly duckling) underneath their mom who protected them from the cold wind.
I fell in love with this field of purple flowers in the garden. They reminded me of my Aunt Sandy, and I knew she would love them if she could see them!
This is the facade facing the River, which had a grand gate with gold leafing on it. So when visitors came to see William III at his palace, this was the facade they say when they left their boats at the Thames. His attempt to Rival Versailles. The Grounds were beautiful!
I didn't take the above photo.
They didn't allow photos in the chapel, but it was my favorite place at Hampton Court Palace by far. I'm always amazed at the spirit that is in any place that gets set apart to be devoted to the worship of God. I love how we will devote some of our finest design, paint, and building materials to make a place of worship so beautiful. It's like when we wear dresses and suits to church. Anyway, it was a beautiful day