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Historic Royal Palaces blog

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

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?

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 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.

'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?

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.

Charles II's Coronation Procession from the Tower of London

24 April 2023

As the country prepares for the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, our Curator of Historic Buildings, Alden Gregory, takes a look at the coronation of the last King Charles to sit on the throne and the last coronation in which the Tower of London played a starring role.

Wren's Royal Palace

08 March 2023

Head of Historic Buildings Daniel Jackson looks at one of Sir Christopher Wren's most famous and problematic projects: the remodelling of Hampton Court Palace.

Conservation of an 18th century headboard: Secrets of a State Bed

13 March 2020

As part of our Secrets of a State Bed series, Conservator Viola Nicastro explains the process of conserving the headboard of Queen Caroline's State Bed, and reveals more of its secrets.