On 27 June the Magic Garden will close at 17.00. Last entry will be at 16.00.


  • From 23 Mar 2017
Doors open: 18.30 Event starts: 18.50 Event finish: 20.00

Ticketing info

Tickets cost £15/£13. HRP Members or take advantage of our multi-buy offer buy 3 events for £36 or 5 for £55.

Separate fee (advanced booking required)

Join author and historian Lauren Johnson as she hosts an impressive line-up of speakers to explore ideas of power and performance in the lively Tudor court.

Anne Boleyn: musician and composer

Tuesday 28 March

The Frenchman Viscount Chateaubriant writes in his 1522 memoirs that “Anne Boleyn, singing like a syren [and] accompanying herself on the lute ...harped better than King David and handled cleverly both flute and rebec [fiddle]”.

Explore how Anne’s keen ability as a musician and composer influenced her role at court. Did it help her to silence her enemies and impress the king?

Speaker: Tamsin Lewis, musician, composer and historical consultant, with expertise in iconography and theatre music in early modern England. She plays the violin, viols, lute and harp

Plays of persuasion

Tuesday 25 April

Plays were not only performed to foreign guests to show-off magnificent hospitality at the royal court, they were also used to further diplomatic negotiations.

In December 1521, Henry VIII entertained imperial ambassadors with ‘many sumptuoys and gorgious disguisynges, enterludes and bankettes’, ahead of negotiating the details of their intended invasion of France.

Discover how drama was used as a tool for persuasion at the Tudor court.

Speaker: Thomas Betteridge is a Professor at Brunel University London. He is an expert in the history of the English stage, in particular medieval and Tudor drama.

Sacred music and the Reformation

Wednesday 10 May

The Reformation set in motion a rebellion against the authority of the Catholic Church. But it also brought about a new and profound impact on religious music at the Tudor court.

Find out how Henry VIII shaped his own image and reinforced his new religion using sacred music by the likes of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, the greatest court composers of his time.

Speaker: Jeremy Summerly is Director of Music at St Peter’s College, University of Oxford, specialising in early Tudor works. He also works as a broadcaster for BBC Radio 3.

Playing the fool

Tuesday 23 May 

‘Natural fools’ – understood today as people with learning disabilities – were prized entertainers who often held favour and authority with the king. They were described as ‘foolish’ and ‘lacking judgement’, yet their perceived directness and humour were greatly admired.

Henry VIII’s court jester Will Somers had ‘admission to the King [at all times], especially when sick and melancholy’. Discover how the ‘foolish things of the world’ delighted, and uniquely influenced the Tudor elite.

Speaker: Dr Suzannah Lipscomb is an historian, author, broadcaster, and award-winning academic. She is also a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History and Fellow of the New College of the Humanities.

Encounters with the Tudors: behind-the-scenes

Thursday 8 June

Go behind the scenes of Encounters with the Tudors, the daily costumed performances at Hampton Court Palace. Hear from the creators as they unlock the mysteries of how they transform historical moments into compelling immersive theatre.


Unless otherwise stated, our events are fully accessible to all. If you have any particular access requirements please notify us in advance on +44 (0)20 3166 6646 or learning.info@hrp.org.uk.

Come to this exclusive family event with the English National Ballet and the Science Museum.

18 August - 20 August 2017

Kensington Palace

1 hour 15 minutes

Join Siobhan Clarke for an exclusive tour of this revolutionary building.

Selected dates

Banqueting House

Meet the 'pin-up' prince before he became notoriously fat and tyrannical. The Young Henry VIII exhibition tells the stories of the people who knew him best.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace
Queen Mary was a keen collector of Chinese porcelain and Delftware, this fine bone china mug depicts a few of her favourite pieces.

Queen Mary delft vase mug

Queen Mary was a keen collector of Chinese porcelain and Delftware, this fine bone china mug depicts a few of her favourite pieces.


Inspired by the delft ceramic collection of Queen Mary, this fine bone china tea for one set is perfect for afternoon tea.

Queen Mary delft bone china tea for one

The design of this tea for one set is inspired by the ceramic collection of Queen Mary II, a keen collector of Chinese porcelain and Delftware.


Exquisite tea light holders in fine bone china, inspired by the ceramic collection of Queen Mary II.

The Triumph of Delft tea light holder

Exquisite tea light holders in fine bone china, inspired by the ceramic collection of Queen Mary II.