Outstandingly rich, colourful and layered with history, the chapel’s vaulted ceiling was installed by Henry VIII in the 1530s and is the grand culmination of Tudor opulence at Hampton Court. Queen Anne refurbished the interior of the chapel in the early 1700s.
The royal family would never sit in the main body of the church. Kings and queens always used a private pew on first-floor level which looks down upon the main body of the chapel. Today, a single central room, like a box at an opera, is reserved for the monarch.
It was here in the chapel, in 1540, that Archbishop Cranmer handed Henry VIII a letter outlining various accusations against the King’s new wife, Catherine Howard.
Catherine was accused of unchaste behaviour before her marriage. Henry VIII had been besotted with his young wife, which is why he turned against her all the more viciously. She was executed at the Tower of London soon afterwards.
An accurate replica of the crown worn by Henry VIII, is on display in the Royal Pew of the Chapel Royal where Henry himself would have sat wearing it.You are welcome to attend a religious service here
Lunchtime Lecture with Daniel Jackson, Curator of Historic Buildings
13 November 2017
Experience Christmas at Hampton Court Palace by joining us for our fun festive family activities in December!
Selected weekends in December 2017