London Day 8 – Friday, August 22, 2014

Itinerary: Hampton Court PalaceToday we ventured out of London to visit the home of Henry VIII and recall our Tudors knowledge.

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You start off in the Base Court. From there you can take three different routes. Henry VIII’s apartments, William III’s apartments, or the Georgian story.

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Following a self guided audio tour, we started with Henry VIII’s apartments. The Great Hall: Tapestries with gold thread hung from the walls. The windows were made of stained glass.
I couldn’t find it, but somewhere in the room were Henry and Anne’s initials. Henry had them all removed after her beheading, but they missed one. I looked and looked but never found it.
We also sat in the king and queen’s dinning chairs.

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The hallway in which this painting (a copy) hangs is said to be haunted by Catherine Howard. When it was discovered that she committed adultery, Henry VIII confined her to her rooms. She managed to escape and ran down the hallway pleading with the king for her life. She was beheaded at the Tower of London.
Tourists have felt lightheaded and have fainted. Palace employees have claimed to see her or hear her screams. I did not feel, see, nor hear anything. Catherine Howard was not present that day.

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Next we went to see the Georgian story and I learned a lot about George II and Caroline. 

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Their son, Frederick applied to Parliament, unsuccessfully, for an increased financial allowance that had previously been denied by the king. Public disagreement over the money drove a further wedge between him and his parents.

In July 1737, when Frederick’s pregnant wife, Princess Augusta, went into labor he snuck her out of Hampton Court Palace in the middle of the night. He wanted to ensure that the king and queen would not be present, as was customary, for the birth. Poor Augusta had been forced by her husband to ride in a rattling carriage for an hour and half while heavily pregnant and in pain.

His mother, Caroline, raced to St. James Palace where he took Augusta. When seeing her granddaughter, Caroline called her a “poor, ugly little she mouse.”

That November Caroline was on her death bed. Frederick wanted to see his mother one last time. Caroline refused him and said she “never wanted to see that monster again.”

I don’t know why after The Tudors ended that Showtime didn’t make a series about this family. Talk about drama! The gift shop had the complete series of The Tudors on DVD.

What a beautiful grand staircase.

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The Great Fountain Garden was closed because they were setting up for the BBC Food Festival. So we took a stroll through the Privy Garden. Which is absolutely divine. I noticed that while being outside of London that my sinuses cleared up and my voice was no longer hoarse, as it had been for a few days. Being in the country did some good. 

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The Pond Gardens.

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It was getting later in the day and we decided to skip William III’s apartments. We really wanted to see the Hedge Maze. Plus we had not eaten since breakfast, so I had ice cream with a flake. Flakes are this chocolate bar that, like it sounds, are flaky. It looks like a tree bark in a way. It tastes really good.

Then we went through the hedge maze. It was not as tall or as confusing as I imagined. I was thinking it would be like the maze in The Shining. I then found out it used to be much bigger and part of The Wilderness. It was the first maze in the U.K. with a choice of paths, twists, and dead ends. Before mazes were unicursal (single path).

Speaking of The Shining, Daniela was leading us through the maze and we’d call out to her like Jack Torrence did, “Danny!” LOL
Victoria and I also partially acted out Cedric and Harry’s scenes from The Goblet of Fire. 

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After touring for about 5 hours we decided to take the rail back to London. The train ride was about 35 minutes and I needed a nap.

We had dinner at the same place where we saw Lee Pace. Lee Pace and company were not there :(. 


This is a funny photo though. Trying to get rid of all our change at the end of our trip. 

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I must go back one day to Hampton Court, because it is such a beautiful palace, and I want to see the William III’s apartments that we didn’t have time for. Hampton Court Palace was a definite highlight of this whole trip. We all loved it.

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