Young Henry VIII Exhibition


  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Fat, tyrannical, vicious, and married six times: this is what immediately comes to mind when many people think of Henry VIII. However, this is not the story you will hear in this permanent exhibition.

Discover a different side to Henry VIII

Explore the story of the young King who, as a vibrant and handsome man, excelled at all he attempted, whether it was charming European ambassadors, flirting on the dance floor or beating rivals on the sports field.

This story is told through the personal accounts of three of its lead characters: Katherine of Aragon, Thomas Wolsey and 'the lusty and courageous Prince', young Henry himself. 

Historic paintings from the Royal Collection, including The Field of the Cloth of Gold and The Battle of the Spurs, will help you discover the real story of this infamous monarch.

Explore the Wolsey Suite

The story of young Henry VIII is told at Hampton Court Palace in the Wolsey Suite, which was built by Thomas Wolsey in the 1520s for his own use. It was probably in these rooms that Wolsey negotiated state business.

The rooms are a mixture of formal reception rooms, with painted and gilded ceilings, and smaller more private spaces.

After Wolsey's fall from power, the Wolsey Suite was enlarged and redecorated to provide lodgings for Princess Mary (later Mary I). They may also have been used by Katherine Parr, Henry's last wife.

Please note: due to the nature of items on display, and the size of the exhibition spaces, we limit visitor numbers in the Young Henry VIII route. Larger groups will be asked to divide into smaller parties and admission may be staggered at the discretion of staff. This is to avoid congestion during peak times to ensure the enjoyment of all visitors. We thank you for your understanding.

Katherine of Aragon and Henry

Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon were married for almost 24 years. Even before this, they had known each other for almost a decade and Henry’s decision to marry her was one of his first acts as king in 1509.

Thomas Wolsey and Henry

Thomas Wolsey's remarkable promotion to Henry’s chief minister, and cardinal, was achieved through hard work, political brilliance and, most importantly, getting things done for the King.

Wolsey was the perfect foil for the young Henry VIII. Henry was impatient and in a rush; Wolsey was diligent, painstaking and comprehensive.

The Young Henry exhibition on display in the Wolsey Suite. Showing two wooden thrones chronicling the story of the early life of King Henry VIII and painted quotations on the walls of the room.
The Tudor Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace, showing the Abraham Tapestries and the room set out for day visitors.
Things to see

Experience the splendour of the Tudor court in Henry VIII's Great Hall, complete with his magnificent tapestries.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The Haunted Gallery at Hampton Court, looking west.
Things to see

Walk Henry VIII’s route from his private apartments to the Chapel and see the infamous Haunted Gallery in the State Apartments.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Fountain Court, looking west. The courtyard fountain can just be seen through an archway on the left.
Member only Tours and talks

Get an expert’s guide of what there is to see and do at each palace with one of our State Apartment Warders at Hampton Court.

3 and 29 August, 27 September 2019

Hampton Court Palace

11:00 and 14:00

Free (advanced booking required)

The Wildflower crystal and pearl tiara sparkles with florets of crystals and an elaborate foliage design.

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