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England's Historic Royal Palaces: A Step Inside

4-Session Daytime Course on Zoom

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2128
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Kensington Palace and statue of Queen Victoria (Photo: Shisha-Tom)

Palaces were the residences of monarchs, but they were also buildings where the business of state was carried out. Within their walls, intrigues, murders, love affairs, and deaths—the full pageant of British history—took place and royal magnificence was displayed.

Join Historic Royal Palaces guide Siobhan Clarke for a virtual look inside four great historic royal palaces. Using maps, paintings, photographs, and music, Clarke introduces the splendid corridors of royal power and pleasure.

MAY 25  Majesty and Menace: The Tower of London

The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history since 1066 and today is one of the world’s major visitor attractions and a World Heritage Site. Made famous as a prison and royal execution site, it has been much more than that. Discover a colorful royal palace, menagerie, armory, and home to the spectacular Crown Jewels, still regularly used by HM the Queen.

JUN 1  Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace: Hampton Court

Trace the footsteps of the most famous English king, through his only surviving pleasure palace and find out how Henry created an image of himself as a magnificent monarch. Step back in time to get a sense of being alive in 16th-century England and discover the food, dress, tapestries, and art collection of the Tudor court.

JUN 8  The Jewel in the Lost Crown: The Palladian Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace

This palace was built for grandeur and has a magnificent ceiling painted by Peter Paul Rubens, but it became famous as the scene of the execution of King Charles I. Discover its classical architecture and Baroque-style art, seismic events in constitutional history, and how Parliament dared to kill a king!

JUN 15  Royals at Home: Kensington Palace

Go behind the scenes of generations of the British royal family, exploring life inside the spectacular 300-year-old Kensington Palace, renowned for its royal residents from Queen Victoria and Princess Diana to the present Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Learn how they have used the palace from the late 17th century to the present day.

Clarke has written books on the Tudor period, been featured on BBC radio and television, and has given tours and lectured for Historic Royal Palaces for 20 years.

4 sessions

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