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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 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.

Walter Hungerford and the Buggery Act: LGBTQ+ History and Punishment at the Tower of London

19 February 2021

As part of LGBT History Month, Olivia Martin examines a darker side of the Tower's history. On 28 July 1540, the first execution under the Buggery Act, the first civil law to criminalise homosexual behaviour, happened on Tower Hill.

HRP Handover: Michael Ohajuru on the Black Presence at the Tudor Court

16 October 2020

We’re handing over to historian Michael Ohajuru to discuss the presence of Black people at the Tudor court, including a figure you may have already heard of: John Blanke.

A tour of Kew's Kitchen Garden

10 September 2019

Like Kew Palace and the Royal Kitchens, the Kitchen Garden is open seasonally to visitors, from April to October. But work in the garden continues all year round. Let's take a tour...

Researching and redecorating Queen Victoria's childhood home

22 May 2019

On 24th May 1819 at Kensington Palace, Queen Victoria was born. On 24th May 2019, her 200th birthday, the home of her youth will be re-opened to visitors after a major makeover in the form of a new exhibition called ‘Victoria: A Royal Childhood.’

Why we need to stop looking for sex: letters and LGBT+ royal history

25 February 2019

'How do you know?' I've been asked this a lot recently when I've been talking about LGBT+ royal history. I'm glad to be asked it, because it gets to the heart of studying LGBT+ identities in the past. In this post, I'd like to talk about the evidence and assumptions, which tell us a lot about sexuality in the past, and today.

A royal Russian resident: Grand Duchess Xenia Romanov at Hampton Court Palace

06 April 2017

On 6 April 1917, in the midst of violence and unrest, Grand Duchess Xenia Romanov left St Petersburg on a train to the Crimea, never to return again. Xenia's journey into exile eventually brought her to Hampton Court Palace.