We made a return visit to Hampton Court today, the royal palace built 500 years ago for Cardinal Wolsey, a favorite of Henry VIII. But when he fell out of favor,the cardinal gave the palace to the King to try to soften his disgrace, and luckily died of natural causes before the king could convict him of treason. Henry greatly enlarged his new gift and thoroughly enjoyed it, as did many of his successors.
In the following century, William III’s massive rebuilding and expansion work, which was intended to rival Versailles, destroyed much of the Tudor palace. His work left the palace in two distinct contrasting architectural styles, Tudor and Baroque. George II was the last monarch to actually reside in this dramatic patch-worked royal residence.
The last time we were here, the Great Hall and Henry’s apartments were closed for renovation, but today we saw the Tudor rooms in all their glory.
We traveled through time to the Georgians, who continued to put their personal stamp on another side of the palace.
A glorious day, a glorious palace packed with the march of English monarch, and a wonderful look at some of the most glorious craftsmanship of the western world. Spectacular!