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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.

'The new Terrors of Death': Dr John Arbuthnot, Queen Anne’s favourite physician

11 March 2024

Dr John Arbuthnot was among the army of medical specialists who were summonsed to serve the Royal family in the 18th century. Arbuthnot is little remembered today, but he was 'the Queen’s favourite physician' — a gentle-mannered confidante to courtiers, politicians, poets, writers and ladies-in-waiting alike.

The Boy on the Staircase: Peter 'the Wild Boy' from Hanover

11 March 2024

In 1726 the arrival of a 'wild youth' in the Great Drawing Room of St James's Palace caused a London sensation. A boy in his early teens had been found in German woods 'wild, naked… and knowing nobody'. Brought to England, he was nicknamed Peter 'the wild boy'.

A Glimpse into the World of Two Royal Cooks

11 March 2024

When it came to conjuring up the smell and heat of long-abandoned royal kitchens for Untold Lives, we turned to two cooks’ books which won’t be found on today's kitchen shelves.

'Below Stairs' in Sickness, Death and Old Age

29 February 2024

What happened to those who worked in the royal palaces when they fell ill, grew old, or when they died, leaving loved ones behind?

The Extravagant Funeral of Henry VIII

16 February 2024

Curator of Historic Buildings Alden Gregory explores the elaborate hearse created to mark Henry VIII’s death, and how it links to the King’s use of temporary architecture during his life.

Saving our Baroque Box Hedging at Hampton Court Palace

15 February 2024

Senior Gardener Amy Borthwick explains a new 'Box Battle' going on deep within the Privy Garden of Hampton Court Palace, and the plans to save it.

The King’s Favourite: George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

01 February 2024

In the ruthless world of the Stuart court, royal favour was everything. No one knew this better than George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, whose rise to power was built on the love and patronage of James I.

Elizabeth I: History's Healthiest Monarch?

15 January 2024

Elizabeth I was top of the Tudor tree when it came to health and fitness. Always a resourceful woman, she chased away ‘melancholy’ with a whole host of entertaining pursuits.

The Wedding of Captain Scott and Kathleen Bruce at Hampton Court Palace

04 January 2024

Assistant Curator Minette Butler explores how Captain Scott's wedding to his beloved wife Kathleen Bruce at Hampton Court Palace intertwines with the aftermath of his ill-fated expedition to reach the South Pole.