Introduction to a living Tudor world

Introduction to a living Tudor world

Henry VIII: heads and hearts

Join King Henry and his family at court


Learn about Henry VIII and his wives

Come to the King's pleasure palace and experience the splendours of his court.

As you walk in his footsteps through Henry's apartments, discover the visual clues left behind by his queens in these magnificent rooms and find out about the events in the palace that shaped their lives.

Prepare to meet the King

Visiting Henry's court was full of pitfalls for the unwary. Make sure you prepare well in advance to make a big impression. Here are some tips to help you prepare...

Don't forget to bow or curtsey whenever you enter the royal presence.

Gentlemen, you may either fall to your knees or show off your well turned legs with one of these continental bows which are just coming into fashion.
How to greet the King
practice curtseying as low as you can go. Best tone up those calves, as you will need to stay bowed until the royal couple pass. It’s also considered bad form if you don't bow or curtsey three times before you leave their presence. The more agile courtier can do this whilst walking backwards but, whatever you do, don't ever turn your back on the King.

Gentlemen, remember to take off your hats or even throw them in the air! A few shouts of ‘God save the King and Queen!’ should go down well too. You can never be too respectful if you want to get on at Court.

How to dress for Court

What are the best dressed people of Henry's court wearing?

There are gowns available for all guests to wear around the palace, but you may like to make some preparations beforehand. Only the highest members of society, like yourselves, are allowed bright colours and rich fabrics for their clothes. Make sure the servants accompanying you wear dowdy and drab clothes as fixed by law. This will help show off the expense and elegance of your own wardrobe.


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