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Historic Royal Palaces blog

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

'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'.

A Short History of the Jewel House at the Tower of London

11 December 2023

Tom Drysdale, Archivist and Curator of Architectural Drawings at the Tower of London, explores the fascinating history of the world-famous Crown Jewels exhibition.

A Turkish Bath for Horses at Hampton Court

16 June 2022

With eyes on Royal Ascot in June, we wanted to share a lesser-known aspect of Hampton Court’s Equine Past. In the 1860s a Turkish bath was installed at Hampton Court Palace…for the horses! Buildings Curator Alexandra Stevenson explores this curious history.

Phillis Wheatley, the first published African American woman, visits the Tower

22 October 2021

Curator Charles Farris explores the life of Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-1784) who visited the Tower in 1773.

HRP Handover: Zeinab Badawi on Sarah Forbes Bonetta and "contested history"

22 October 2020

This week, we’ve invited journalist and Historic Royal Palaces Trustee Zeinab Badawi to share her thoughts on the importance of welcoming diverse perspectives on our past, and the problem with the term ‘contested history’.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha: Monarchy's moderniser

26 August 2019

Today is the 200th birthday of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819-1861). Professor John R Davis, director of our MA in Heritage Management, argues that Albert's influence helped Queen Victoria rescue the British Monarchy.

Plant hunters: Victorian plants are brought to Kensington Palace

08 August 2019

At Kensington Palace we have selected just a few of our favourite discoveries from the Victorian period to go on display in 2019. Each plant has a story and can be accredited to a plant hunter who explored the world during this fascinating period of horticultural research and discovery.

Little Vickelchen': sketches of Queen Victoria as a girl

26 May 2019

A unique set of sketches in our collection show Princess Victoria at three years old, on holiday in the seaside town of Ramsgate, Kent in 1822. They give us a rare informal glimpse of Victoria as a pink-cheeked cherub and a bundle of energy.

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.’