Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Visit to Hampton Court Palace

Yesterday was a bank holiday in UK, and taking advantage of the sunny weather I visited Hampton Court Palace with my wife and daughter. The palace is only about five miles from where I live. It is on the banks of the River Thames in the London suburb of Hampton.

We didn't go inside the palace but wandered around the gardens. The gardens were pretty and immaculately well kept. The British have a love of gardens that date back to Roman times. On this particular day, we were fortunate to see a re-enactment of events in the sixteenth century with actors dressed in costumes of the time. There were a lot of people there who came to see it.

The palace was the residence of Henry VIII, the Tudor king who reigned in England from 1509 to 1547. He wanted a son in order to enable the Tudor family to rule England for a long time. Since his first wife failed to bear him a son he tried to annul his marriage but the Pope refused. Henry broke away from the Catholic Church, established the Church of England with him as the head and remarried.

Henry married six times in total. His wives were Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. The following rhyme describe their fate:

"Divorced, Beheaded, Died
Divorced, Beheaded, Survived"

Although we did not have time to go into the palace, we enjoyed walking around the beautiful gardens.


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi JL:)

Very interesting post with lovely photos and interesting historical information.

It is wonderful to spend such quality time with family. Beautiful flowers and green surroundings and an imposing palace.

I suppose this is the king who created the split in the Catholic Church because of his obsession with succession problem. I wonder why one of his daughters could not be crowned as queen.

Best wishes:)

JI said...

Hi Joseph,

Henry VIII was a tyrant. He wanted a male heir to feel secure about the continuance of the Tudor dynasty. He really started the permanent rupture between England and Rome.

The palace is a popular tourist attraction. I especially like the gardens, which are maintained so well.

Best wishes,

Amrita said...

Lovely photos JL. Your daughter is so sweet.

My sister and family have been to all these places. Good to see them through the eyes of friends