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Historic Royal Palaces blog

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

The Revealing Tale of Queen Victoria's Early Biography

24 May 2024

In 1839, Queen Victoria's engagement to Prince Albert prompted one of the first biographies of the young monarch. But the book's release was a disaster.

Searching for the Young Black Man in the Portrait of William III, Part II

24 May 2024

The next step in our search was to look at sources and pictures on William III's life before he arrived in England, and his first court, to attempt to discover more about this young man, and why he might have been painted with the King.

Searching for the Young Black Man in the Portrait of William III, Part I

17 May 2024

A young Black man dressed in blue and gold holding a helmet stands beside William III in a portrait that is a focal point of our exhibition: Untold Lives: A Palace at Work. Who was he? Where did he live and when? Why is he in the painting with William III? And how can historians unravel the mystery surrounding him?

Imagining Anne Boleyn's Coronation in 1533

10 May 2024

Anne Boleyn's coronation as Henry VIII's Queen Consort took place on Sunday 1 June 1533. Already pregnant with the future Elizabeth I, the new Queen was crowned at Westminster Abbey after staying in newly refurbished apartments at the Tower of London.

Lifting the Royal Curtain

01 May 2024

Photographs of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – now synonymous with the Victorian age – might appear restrained and unremarkable to modern eyes but behind their rigid poses lies a pioneering sentiment.

Jean Tijou's Screen at Hampton Court: The Adventurous Life of a Masterpiece

15 April 2024

The glorious 300-year-old Tijou Screen marks the southern boundary of the Privy Garden at Hampton Court Palace, next to the River Thames. It was designed for William III and Mary II in 1689 by Jean Tijou – one of the greatest ironworkers who ever lived.

Queen Caroline’s State bed is Back!... on Display

09 April 2024

We are now able to return our focus to the permanent collection on open display across our palaces, including the conservation of the much-loved Queen Caroline State bed, which we care for on behalf of the Royal Collection Trust.

'Washing the Lions': A Famous April Fools Hoax at the Tower of London

01 April 2024

The Tower of London is home to Britain’s earliest recorded April Fool’s prank – the so-called 'Annual Ceremony of Washing the Lions'.

Responding to Climate Change in the Hampton Court Gardens

29 March 2024

As our climate changes, so do our gardens. Graham Dillamore, Head Gardener at Hampton Court Palace, shares how his team are adapting to these challenges.

The King's 'Malady': George III's Mental Illness Explored

22 March 2024

George III had four prolonged periods of illness during his reign. Despite his achievements, he is perhaps most commonly referred to as ‘The Mad King’ – an unhelpful phrase that undermines the extent of his deeply traumatic ailments, and ignores his physical symptoms.