The robust extravagance of the Royal Family, gives Hampton Court Palace that something, no other palace or castle has – a unique personality of its own. This wonderful royal home evolved from a humble manor in 1515 to the marvellous Hampton Court we see today.
Cardinal Wolsey, the most powerful man in England after the king, purchased the manor and immediately started work on it. He was however, unable to get permission from the Pope for King Henry to divorce his Spain queen, which led to the Cardinal’s downfall. Henry seized Hampton court from the out-of-favour cardinal and created the palace into a luxurious home for his mistress Anne Boleyn.
But, before work, according to Anne’s taste, was completed, Henry had moved his affections to beautiful Jane Seymour. Builders, workmen, palace staff and gardeners all worked through the night to ensure Jane’s tastes were displayed and to erase all evidence of Anne.
Can you imagine what life must’ve been like during this time – parties, feasts, celebrations, over indulgence of food, drink and sex! Courtiers, noblemen and women, workers and officials, all took part in the wild entertainment of the day!
Foreigners who visited the castle were in awe and humbled by what they saw, ate and experienced! And it seems nothing much has changed in the centuries since Henry was lord of his Hampton Court Palace…foreigners today are still totally enthralled by this experience!