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Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in East Molesey, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located 11.7 miles (18.8 km) south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames. It was originally built for Cardinal Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII, circa 1514; in 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the palace was passed to the King, who enlarged it. It would serve as the location filmed for the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons, directed by Fred Zinnemann.
*The estate, landscape and gardensof Hampton Court Palace represent a unique historical and horticultural resource of international value. The park covers 750 acres (304 hectares), the formal gardens 60 acres (26 hectares) and the palace buildings 6 acres (2.5 hectares), all set within a loop of the River Thames. Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in East Molesey, Greater London; Today, the palace is open to the public, and is a major tourist attraction. It is cared for by an independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces which receives no funding from the Government or the Crown. The palace's Home Park is the site of the annual Hampton Court Palace Festival and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Along with St. James's Palace, it is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many owned by Henry VIII.
*When he died in 1547Henry VIIIhad more than 60 houses, but in the second half of his reign none were more important to him, nor more sumptuously decorated, than Hampton Court Palace.A magnificent period of expansionBy the time Henry finished his building works at Hampton Court Palace in about 1540, the palace was one of the most modern, sophisticated and magnificent in England. There were tennis courts, bowling alleys and pleasure gardens for recreation, a hunting park of more than 1,100 acres, kitchens covering 36,000 square feet, a fine chapel, a vast communal dining room (the Great Hall) and a multiple garderobe (or lavatory) - known as the Great House of Easement - which could sit 28 people at a time. Water flowed to the palace from Coombe Hill in Kingston, three miles away, through lead pipes.
*Henrys palaceAll of Henrys six wives came to the palace and most had new and lavish lodgings. The King rebuilt his own rooms at least half a dozen times. The palace also provided accommodation for each of the King's children and for a large number of courtiers, visitors and servants. And he used Hampton Court to impress. Most famously in August 1546 Henry feasted and fted the French ambassador and his entourage of two hundred gentlemen as well as 1,300 members of his own court for six days. An encampment of gold and velvet tents surrounded the palace for the occasion. A year later, Henry was dead, with three surviving children the 9-year old Prince Edward and his older sisters Mary and Elizabeth. Each would rule England, and Hampton Court would continue to play an important part in the lives of the Tudor monarchs.
*Each of Henrys three children stayed at Hampton Court. Indeed, Edward had been christened in the Chapel Royal at the palace in 1537, and Mary spent her honeymoon here in 1554. Each continued to use Hampton Court as a country retreat away from the business of politics and away from the more confined and claustrophobic world of the central London royal palaces like Whitehall (Thomas Wolseys old palace of York Place) and St Jamess.Neither Edward nor Mary added much to the buildings at Hampton Court, or indeed anywhere else. Their father had left so many houses of good quality that it was as much as the succeeding monarchs could do to keep them standing, let alone build more.
*Mary I (1516 - 1558)Mary Tudorwas born in 1516 and reigned as Queen from 1553-1558 Mary was born at Greenwich Palace and wasthe only child ofHenry VIII and Katherine of Aragon to survive childhood. AsQueen, she attempted to reverse the reformation and return England to the Catholic faith. After her death, Protestant writers called her 'Bloody Mary', owing to the number of Protestant 'heretics' she had ordered to be executed. Did you know..? Mary married Phillip II of Spain in 1554 and they took their honeymoon at Hampton Court Palace.
*Elizabeth I(1533 - 1603)Elizabeth was born in 1533 and reigned as Queen from 1558-1603 Like her half sister Mary I, Elizabeth was born at Greenwich Palace in London. The only daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife,Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth was only 2 and a halfyears old when her mother was executed. After Anne Boleyn's execution, Elizabeth was declared illegitimateand deprived of the title of 'princess'. However before his death in 1547, Henry VIII reinstated both his daughters in the line of succession. Famous for being the 'virgin queen' as she never married, Elizabeth set England back on the Protestant path after Mary I's attempt to return the country to Catholicism. Did you know..? Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1554 by Mary I.
*Mary I at the palacesMary and her Spanish husband, King Philip II, took their honeymoon at Hampton Court Palace in 1554. Mary returned the following year, believing she was pregnant, but no child was born and the couple remained childless until Marys death in 1558.Mary imprisoned her half-sister Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I) at the Tower of London in 1554. She suspected her of involvement in a plot against her, led by the traitor Sir Thomas Wyatt. It soon became clear that there was not enough evidence against Elizabeth, and she was released into house arrest in the country.
*Also famous for...Having Calais engraved on her heart Mary lost the last English lands in France in 1558. Calais had been part of English territory for hundreds of years.Did you know?Though known as Bloody Mary, historians have frequently claimed that Mary I was no more naturally malevolent than her half-siblings Edward VI and Elizabeth I, but as Protestants, English history has been kinder to them.Certainly, executions for heresy or treason were a common feature of Tudor England. Henry VIII and Elizabeth I sent men and women to the Tower of London for no other reason than for their religious beliefs. Many others were executed.