Friday, 16 August 2013

Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber at Hampton Court Palace Thursday 15 August

Continuing my theme of Great Brands make Britain Great a visit to one of our leading brands that dates from the 16th Century seemed an obvious choice. Thanks to Event Manager, Freeman Gill Whitelegg, who lives at nearby Twickenham, a special visit to Hampton Court Palace was arranged. We were greeted on arrival by Amanda Cole, Head of Marketing, who outlined the plan for the day.
Thomas Wolsey, King Henry V111's Lord Chancellor, built a magnificent Palace for himself with private chambers for his own use and a host of bedrooms and other spectacular rooms for Henry. After time to wander through the Palace and the spectacular gardens we enjoyed an excellent lunch in the Tiltyard Cafe.  In the afternoon we were exposed to a life of outrageous extravagance, through the good offices of Jo Neill, Interpretation Manager. The theme on this occasion was to learn about the Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber, an excellent exhibition to unlock the world of the bedroom (and closet!) with magnificently restored baroque beds on display. The picture below shows a magnificent monarch's bed with a canopy that literally hung from the stunningly painted ceiling. These bedrooms were home to King Henry VIII and subsequent Kings and Queens whose 'levees'  - preparing to receive important visitors in your bedroom - exposed the salacious gossip, secrets, intrigue and plotting of those times. The Palace has certainly been home to some of our racier English monarchs! With costumed State Apartment Warders we were taken back in time, sharing the delicious scandals of the Court as we made our way through the baroque parts of the Palace. The beautiful Royal Chapel felt like the only place where serenity and orderliness was evident - no doubt Henry VIII spent some time there seeking forgiveness for his sins! I highly recommend a visit and the exhibition remains open until September.

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