Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Friday, 7 June 2013

Henry VIII at Hampton Court




Can you imagine that in the short time I have been here in London I have visited Hampton Court twice?
First with my friend Anne, with whom I visited the Chelsea Flower Show, and then with Louise, my Facebook friend from Dover. Both times were so fabulous!




Of course coming twice did not escape the attention of Henry VIII - and so I met him in the courtyard. In his youth, they said, he was a beautiful man "with a very fine calf" - most important in those days, because they wore silk stockings (see, Tom: he wouldn't have faced any problems at the security control of an airport). We pondered on the role of women, marriage, love, faith and politics in those days. I don't envy them!



The weather was quite up and down - so at first we could throw only a few longing glances onto the gardens outside.


But then - lucky us - the sun came out and we really raptured. I have many fine photographs, also from the little Tudor Garden, but I will not bore you (more than I do by my daily 'telegrams' from London :-)  




We admired the Great Vine, planted in 1768  for King George by Lancelot Capability Brown. The plant in the hothouse is incredibly huge, and even up until 1920 the (numbered) Hampton Court grapes were only for the Royal Family. 
And behind these gates the Thames, "The river glideth at his own sweet will" - as William Wordsworth said in his poem 'Composed on Westminster Bridge'.







 For information see: http://www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace/


8 comments:

  1. Sillyish comment but do you know that is one thing my husband has? A very fine calf!

    Thank you for these gorgeous images and words, Britta.

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    1. Dear Suze,
      thank you! And to have good legs is definitely an asset!

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  2. I remember visiting Hampton Court as a child and thinking that this was where I was meant to be. Illusions of grandeur...

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    1. But it would be nice, Tom, wouldn't it? Maybe a bit cold in winter - but to have all these large rooms one can walk through: great!

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  3. Ah, good old Henry! Have you read Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies? If not, take a look, particularly now that you've met HVIII!

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    1. Dear Sue,
      I haven't read anything by Hilary Mantle up til now - so I'll make a not for winter-reading, thank you!

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  4. Oh Britta, what a wonderful trip you are having. I read back through about 5 or 6 of your posts. From your leaving Berlin and a very thoughtful discussion of Nostalgia, to touring with your friend Anne to getting stuck in the turnstile (thank goodness for the woman behind you!) to this adventure at Hampton Court. For all my time in Europe I have never been to England. hmmm, one day. Love your photo of the river Avon.

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  5. Dear Janet,
    I'm glad you like it. England is absolutely lovely (well - the weather is cold, but Husband told me, in Germany he couldn't go by train from Hannover to Berlin, because of the floods - so: it isn't better there). I have so many adventures he - I could write every day :-)

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