His Royal Highness The Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh

Historic Royal Palaces joins the Royal Family and millions of people across the country in mourning the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Following the death of His Royal Highness, there will be changes to opening hours for the gardens at Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle. For further information, please read our FAQs page.

 

 

The Undercroft

9 April 2021. Following the death of His Royal Highness, there will be changes to opening hours for the gardens at Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle. For further information, please read our FAQs page

Updated 12 June. As a result of the Coronavirus global pandemic, we have taken the difficult decision to close Banqueting House until further notice. We apologise for any disappointment this may cause. Please read our statement

When

Closed


Ticketing information


Included in palace admission (members go free)

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The shadowy vaulted Undercroft of the Banqueting House was created as a drinking den for James I and his friends. At one end there was originally a 'grotto' decorated with shells, designed by Isaac de Caus.

The Undercroft would have given the King and his royal favourites a degree of privacy which was in complete contrast with the magnificent display of the Banqueting Hall upstairs. 

The shell grotto and hidden, dark spaces beneath the vaults no doubt lent the King's revels in the Undercroft an air of mystery and decadence.

Ben Jonson's ode to the Undercroft cellar

Poet Ben Jonson wrote this dedication for the Banqueting House's Undercroft as a drinking den in 1623:

Since Bacchus, thou art father
Of wines, to thee the rather
We dedicate this Cellar
Where now, thou art made Dweller

Following James I's death, the decadence continued, when the Undercroft began hosting lotteries. John Evelyn describes one gambling session in 1664, at which 'the King, Queen-Consort and Queen Mother' won only 'a trifle' – as he did himself.

On view in the Undercroft is a short introductory film about the history of the Banqueting House. At the rear of the Undercroft are some engravings of the Banqueting Hall as it was in earlier centuries, and some depicting the infamous execution of Charles I, which took place just outside.

There is also a display on Masques, which includes models of Inigo Jones's set designs, showing how the elaborate theatrical scenery worked in the Banqueting Hall.

Vertical shot looking straight up at Rubens' Ceiling at Banqueting House Whitehall, London
Things to see

Marvel at Sir Peter Paul Rubens' ceiling in its original setting of Inigo Jones' spectacular Banqueting House.

Closed

Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The Triumphs of Caesar in the Mantegna Gallery of Hampton Court Palace
Things to see

See The Triumphs of Caesar, one of the great treasures of the Royal Collection, in the Mantegna Gallery at Hampton Court Palace.

Open 20 May

Hampton Court Palace

10.30-13:00 and 14.00-17.00

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The King's Great Bedchamber, looking north. 

Objects seen include the state bed (1716) carved by Richard Roberts (active 1714-29), "Purchase of the Field of Ephron" wall tapestry attributed to Pieter Coeck van Aelst (1502-50) (on the right of the image), also showing part of the ceiling painting (c1701) by Antonio Verrio (c. 1639-1707).
Things to see

Enjoy the beautiful State Apartments and private rooms of William III and Mary II at Hampton Court Palace as part of your visit.

Open 20 May

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Historic Royal Palaces retail product - drinking glasses, books and deer cushion

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In our home section you will find stylish lifestyle home accessories and furnishings, including cushions, tapestries, ornaments and much more which will add those finishing touches to make your room complete.

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Palace China Collection, serviettes and cake stand.  Design inspired by the palaces in our care; delicate details taken from the rose gardens at Hampton Court Palace, the famous gates at Kensington Palace and the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.   'Tea Fit for a Queen' book - reciipes and drinks for afternoon tea.  Lifestyle

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Discover books inspired by the palaces in our care, learn about fascinating periods of British history, including our official palace guide books, children's books and more.

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Royal Palace Crest fine bone china tankard (30167796), Royal Palace Crest fine bone china bonbon dish (30167799), Royal Palace Crest fine bone china 17cm plate (30167801), Royal Palace Crest fine bone china 21cm plate (30170352), Royal Palace Crest fine bone china tea cup and saucer (30167797)

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