Tudorphile: a person who is obsessed and has a great love of all things Tudor.
For anyone that knows even just a little about Henry VIII then Hampton Court Palace will be something that rings a bell. For anyone that knows even just a little about London then Hampton Court Palace will also be something that rings a bell.
If, like me, you find the Tudor dynasty fascinating with the majority of your non-fiction ‘to buy’ list about Henry VIII or his six wives then Hampton Court Palace is a place you are very much aware of. If, also like me, the majority of the documentaries you watch are about the Tudors then you will have seen Hampton Court Palace on screen a lot.
For a Tudorphile going to Hampton Court Palace is a big deal. Being immersed in all things Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and all the relics from this period in time is kind of like a Harry Potter fanatic going to the Harry Potter studio and seeing all of the props from the film whilst overdosing on butterbeer and excitement.
The below is a step by step guide to a Tudorphiles experience of going back in time to Henry VIII and his Tudor world.
- Seeing the palace from afar:
“AHHH HENRY VIII AND ALL THE TUDOR GLORY IS SO CLOSE…SOOOO CLOSE”
- Driving through the Palace gates:
“HENRY RODE THROUGH THESE GATES ON HIS HORSE…KATHERINE OF ARAGON WALKED THROUGH THESE GATE…ANNE BOLEYN…ANNE FREAKING BOLEYN WALKED THROUGH THESE GATES”
- Walking up to the palace walking through the West Gate:
“Remain calm Lucy, you need to act calm. The ticket guards will think you are weird if you act too enthusiastic”
- Base Court:
“DRUNK TUDORS…LOOK AT THE DRUNK TUDORS.”
- Going in to the ‘Young Henry VIII’s Story’ exhibition:
“Young Henry…before all the drama began. Oh the future. Dearest Young Henry, if only you knew the drama to come. If only you knew that your two daughters would be better monarchs than your son ever was…”
- Going through the next exhibition in ‘William III’s apartments’:
“Eughhh. I get that other monarchs lived here but I’m so bored. Who even is William III? Bring back Henry. Henry is BAE.”
- Walking out in to the ‘Clock Tower’:
“Henry VIII and all his friends looked at this clock. Guys imagine being Henry’s friend and standing here looking at the clock with him.”
- The time has come; walking in to Henry’s Apartments:
“THIS. IS. THE. MOMENT. Everything is about to come to life. OPEN. THE. DOOR.”
- The Great Hall:
“TOO. MUCH. Imagine all the feasts held here. Imagine Henry flirting with Anne Boleyn here. Imagine Henry flirting with Katherine Howard here. Imagine all the sights, smells and sounds.”
- Processional Route:
“Guys. Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I…all of them walked this route EVERY DAY to go to the Chapel. I am literally touching the same ground as Anne Boleyn and Henry. This is too much.”
- Leaving the Palace:
“I LOVE THE TUDORS MORE THAN EVER! NOW TO THE GIFT SHOP!!!”
- Browsing the shop:
“I need a Tudor spoon don’t I? That is legit a thing I need isn’t it? Oh wait…BOOKS. Look. LOOK. So many books about the Tudors, Elizabeth I, Henry’s six wives. I need at least three of them don’t I? You can never read too much about the Tudors can you?”
- The end:
“It’s all over. The time has come to leave my Tudor bubble and go back to reality. It was so beautiful while it lasted.”
In summery you will spend a lot of time geeking out about how Henry, or Anne, or one of the Katherine’s touched/walked/slept in different places.
To make the most of your time at Hampton Court Palace, I have also got a few top tips for you:
1. If the Gardens aren’t too appealing to you then try to go in January or February. Not only is it a lot less busy but the entry ticket (if bought online) is half price.
2. Get an audio guide: this is a must. I didn’t get an audio guide as I went with someone else so I didn’t want to appear rude but I do feel like I missed a lot by not utilising this.
3. Give yourself time. We only had a couple of hours to look around and whilst this may seem enough time I really think to get the true experience you need a little longer.
4. GET A CAPE. They offer capes alongside your audio guide for you to wear while walking around and I cannot express how JEALOUS I was of those prancing around with a tudoresque cape on. You must do it.