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Grandiose Hampton Court Palace, home of King Henry VIII

Building of Hampton Court Palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Wolsey but as Wolsey fell out of favor with King Henry VIII he decided to give the palace to the king

Building of Hampton Court Palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Wolsey but as Wolsey fell out of favor with King Henry VIII he decided to give the palace to the king

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547; he was the second Tudor monarch and is well-known for his six marriages

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547; he was the second Tudor monarch and is well-known for his six marriages

The Great Hall was built in 1532 and is famous for its hammerbeam roof; it was designed to impress and to proclaim Henry VIII’s power and magnificence

The Great Hall was built in 1532 and is famous for its hammerbeam roof; it was designed to impress and to proclaim Henry VIII’s power and magnificence

A highlight of the palace is the astronomical clock, designed in 1540; it shows the hours, days of the week, high tides, phases of the moon and signs of the Zodiac

A highlight of the palace is the astronomical clock, designed in 1540; it shows the hours, days of the week, high tides, phases of the moon and signs of the Zodiac

Fountain Court; Hampton Court Palace lies 12 miles SW and upstream of Central London on the River Thames

Fountain Court; Hampton Court Palace lies 12 miles SW and upstream of Central London on the River Thames

When constructed Hampton Court Palace possessed a 36,000 square foot kitchen, a toilet area that could seat 30 people, bowling greens and 60 acres of gardens; the world's oldest surviving hedge maze, designed in 1700, is here too

When constructed Hampton Court Palace possessed a 36,000 square foot kitchen, a toilet area that could seat 30 people, bowling greens and 60 acres of gardens; the world's oldest surviving hedge maze, designed in 1700, is here too

The King's Bedchamber is the most splendid room in the State Apartments; the ceiling is painted with the mythological story of Diana

The King's Bedchamber is the most splendid room in the State Apartments; the ceiling is painted with the mythological story of Diana

King's Privy Garden; first constructed in 1533, the privy garden was transformed into the Baroque style in 1702

King's Privy Garden; first constructed in 1533, the privy garden was transformed into the Baroque style in 1702

King's Privy Chamber; the timber and plaster ceiling of the Chapel (no photos allowed) is considered the most important and magnificent in Britain, but is all that remains of the Tudor decoration, after redecoration supervised by Sir Christopher Wren

King's Privy Chamber; the timber and plaster ceiling of the Chapel (no photos allowed) is considered the most important and magnificent in Britain, but is all that remains of the Tudor decoration, after redecoration supervised by Sir Christopher Wren

Hampton Court was the birthplace of the Church of England when Henry broke with the Roman Catholic church after Pope Clement VII failed to grant him an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn

Hampton Court was the birthplace of the Church of England when Henry broke with the Roman Catholic church after Pope Clement VII failed to grant him an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn

William III's toilet;  Hampton Court Palace was first opened for public tours during Queen Victoria’s reign and one of the many visitors at the time was Vincent Van Gogh

William III's toilet; Hampton Court Palace was first opened for public tours during Queen Victoria’s reign and one of the many visitors at the time was Vincent Van Gogh

The Pond Gardens; of Henry’s six wives, only one of them actually survived the marriage without execution, divorce or death from other causes

The Pond Gardens; of Henry’s six wives, only one of them actually survived the marriage without execution, divorce or death from other causes

The Great Vine is 250  years old and the largest grape vine in the world according to Guinness; grown on the extension method where one plant fills a glasshouse, as Victorian gardeners thought this method would produce a larger crop

The Great Vine is 250+ years old and the largest grape vine in the world according to Guinness; grown on the extension method where one plant fills a glasshouse, as Victorian gardeners thought this method would produce a larger crop

This is the King's Withdrawing Room (I loved the name!) where the king and his chief ministers could withdraw to meet and conduct business

This is the King's Withdrawing Room (I loved the name!) where the king and his chief ministers could withdraw to meet and conduct business

The Magic Garden was a crazy kid's playland with all types of activities to keep children occupied for hours; we joined in for some of the fun including the slides and obstacle course

The Magic Garden was a crazy kid's playland with all types of activities to keep children occupied for hours; we joined in for some of the fun including the slides and obstacle course

Painted by Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna between 1484 and 1492, the Triumphs of Caesar depict a triumphal military parade; thought to be Mantegna’s greatest masterpiece, the paintings are the best examples of their kind ever created

Painted by Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna between 1484 and 1492, the Triumphs of Caesar depict a triumphal military parade; thought to be Mantegna’s greatest masterpiece, the paintings are the best examples of their kind ever created

Reigning Queens: Queen Elizabeth II, Andy Warhol, 1985; the Cumberland Art Gallery featured hundreds of paintings from the Queen's Royal Collection

Reigning Queens: Queen Elizabeth II, Andy Warhol, 1985; the Cumberland Art Gallery featured hundreds of paintings from the Queen's Royal Collection

Portrait of Henry VIII, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1542; this is one of the few surviving portraits of Henry VIII painted during the King's lifetime

Portrait of Henry VIII, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1542; this is one of the few surviving portraits of Henry VIII painted during the King's lifetime

The Base Court is just one of several huge courtyards enclosed by the palace; the Royal Tennis Court, built in 1529, was closed during our visit as the palace prepared for a big food festival

The Base Court is just one of several huge courtyards enclosed by the palace; the Royal Tennis Court, built in 1529, was closed during our visit as the palace prepared for a big food festival

The Queen's Drawing Room; King William III undertook a massive building project in the 1600s as he intended for Hampton Court Palace to rival Versailles

The Queen's Drawing Room; King William III undertook a massive building project in the 1600s as he intended for Hampton Court Palace to rival Versailles

The Great Fountain Garden; Hampton Court Palace is easily reached by train from Waterloo station in London

The Great Fountain Garden; Hampton Court Palace is easily reached by train from Waterloo station in London

This opulent bedchamber was completed in 1715 to receive leading courtiers at the morning ceremony called the levee; the palace was the venue for the Road Cycling Time Trial of the 2012 Summer Olympics

This opulent bedchamber was completed in 1715 to receive leading courtiers at the morning ceremony called the levee; the palace was the venue for the Road Cycling Time Trial of the 2012 Summer Olympics

When the King dined he did it in style with starched linen intricately folded and shaped into heraldic beasts, vegetables and animals; maybe Mike and/or Gary can add this to their creative skill set!

When the King dined he did it in style with starched linen intricately folded and shaped into heraldic beasts, vegetables and animals; maybe Mike and/or Gary can add this to their creative skill set!

The King's Staircase; Hampton Court Palace has the largest surviving 16th-century kitchens in the world (200 cooks worked slavishly from sunup to sundown to feed 800 guests when Henry’s entourage was staying at the palace)

The King's Staircase; Hampton Court Palace has the largest surviving 16th-century kitchens in the world (200 cooks worked slavishly from sunup to sundown to feed 800 guests when Henry’s entourage was staying at the palace)

The King's Guard Chamber, completed in 1699, includes almost 3000 weapons and pieces of armor which were used to deter any adversaries

The King's Guard Chamber, completed in 1699, includes almost 3000 weapons and pieces of armor which were used to deter any adversaries

The kids playing in the Magic Garden didn't realize they were at the home of England's most famous king; the Palace did an excellent job though of having attractions to suit everyone

The kids playing in the Magic Garden didn't realize they were at the home of England's most famous king; the Palace did an excellent job though of having attractions to suit everyone

The Queen's Bedroom; King George II was the last monarch to live in the palace (he served from 1727 until 1760)

The Queen's Bedroom; King George II was the last monarch to live in the palace (he served from 1727 until 1760)

The Rose Garden mainly had British tea roses and they were past their prime; William Shakespeare and his company, the King’s Men, performed several of their plays for King James I in 1603 and 1604

The Rose Garden mainly had British tea roses and they were past their prime; William Shakespeare and his company, the King’s Men, performed several of their plays for King James I in 1603 and 1604

Posted by VagabondCowboy 11:08

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