What’s on at Historic Royal Palaces, January to March

20 December 2016

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2017 begins with a bang at Historic Royal Palaces. Kensington Palace welcomes a major exhibition following the fashions of Diana, Princess of Wales over two decades, from chic suits to glamorous evening gowns.

The Tower of London welcomes Armoury in Action, a new family friendly interactive exhibition while The People’s Revolt offers adults an immersive and interactive theatre experience recreating the drama of the ‘Peasants’ Revolt.

Diana: Her Fashion Story

Opens 24 February

Kensington Palace

Diana: Her Fashion Story traces the evolution of the Princess’s style, from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances, to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. From her earliest royal engagements, everything Diana wore was closely scrutinised, and the exhibition will explore how she navigated her unique position in the public eye: learning to use her image to engage and inspire people, and to champion the causes she cared about.

Included in palace admission.


Armoury in Action

Now Open

Tower of London

An all-new hands-on experience, Armoury in Action reveals the fascinating story of arms and armoury at the Tower of London. From shooting arrows to assembling firearms and brandishing swords, a thousand years of history will be brought to life through a mix of historic objects, audio visual displays and interactive displays. Created in partnership with Royal Armouries - the national museum of arms and armour - Armoury in Action offers families the chance to discover the weapons, battle skills and royal armourers from the Normans to the Victorian era.

Included in palace admission.


The People’s Revolt

Selected dates in March

18.00, 18.30, 19.00, 19.25, 19.50

Tower of London

Infiltrate the Tower of London after hours - The People’s Revolt is an immersive, interactive experience from ground-breaking theatre company differencEngine in collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces. Experience what it’s like to be at the centre of a present day ‘Peasants’ Revolt’. Live the build-up through digital storytelling then blur the lines between history and reality as you storm the Tower and decide the fate of the nation.

Tickets: £25.50/ £23



Life in the Medieval Palace

2 January - 10 February, 20 February - 13 April, 11:00-12.30 and 13.30-15:30

Tower of London

Step back into 1299 and the palace of King Edward I, Hammer of the Scots and explore a world of chivalrous knights and beautiful ladies, troublesome lords and royal prisoners. There are money problems at home, too, as the King leads his armies off to war. Enter the Medieval palace in the year 1299. England has been at war for much of King Edward I’s reign.

Included in palace admission.


Ghost Tours

Saturdays and Sundays to 26 February, 18:30 and 19:15

Hampton Court Palace

Visit the spot where two bodies were discovered in shallow graves in the 1870s, hear the tale of the Tudor royal nurse whose spirit is said to stalk her former apartments, and decide for yourself the origin of the mysterious figure caught on CCTV in the palace in the dead of night as you experience the unique atmosphere of Hampton Court after dark…if you dare.

Tickets: £27.50


Twilight Tours

Selected Sundays to 2 April

Tower of London

The Tower’s Yeoman Warders give an exclusive twilight tour of the Tower. Take in world famous sights such as Traitor’s Gate, the scaffold site and the Bloody Tower, and be appalled and amazed by tales of prisoners and past residents.

Tickets: £27.50 / £25 Historic Royal Palaces members


Eerie Evening Tours

6, 13, 20 and 27 January and 3, 10, 17 and 24 February, 18.45

Kensington Palace

When all the gates are locked and the lights are out, is the palace truly asleep? Explore the weird and wonderful world of Victorian spiritualism and the 19th century obsession with life after death. Be guided through the shadowy state apartments to relive the sorrow of heartbroken Kings and frustrated future Queens.

Tickets: £27.50/ £24.75 HRP members, unsuitable for persons aged under the age of 16.


Brunchtime Lecture: Panto and performance

Saturday 14 January, 11:00 - 12:30

Kensington Palace

He’s behind you! This lecture gives an insight into the world of Victorian pantomime, music hall, theatre and performance. Find out more about cross-dressing actors and backstage shenanigans in an era that brought entertainment to the masses. Hear from Kate Howard, historian and Creative Director for the UK's oldest professional costumed historical interpretation company, Past Pleasures Ltd.

Tickets: £15 / £12 members and concessions (includes glass of Bucks Fizz)


Curious Connections... Jewish History of the Tower

Tuesday 24 January, 19:00-20:30

Tower of London

The Jewish community has played an important part in the City of London ever since their arrival with William the Conqueror in 1066, but it has not always been easy or straightforward. The tumultuous relationship with the crown has ranged from Jews being valued as advisors to vilified as criminals. Listen in on the panel as they explore the part the Tower played in Jewish history and the important role the Jewish community continues to play in London today.

Tickets: £10 / £9 members and concessions (includes glass of wine)


Make History workshops

28 January, 25 February, 25 March, 11.30, 12.30 and 14.30 (duration: 45 minutes)

Kensington Palace

Get hands on with the palace’s creative workshops for families. Be inspired by a new palace story each month, and make a piece of the past by taking part in a range of exciting activities, from gardening and painting to chocolate making.

Included in palace admission.


Time Explorer Station (5-11 years offer)

28th January, 25th February, 25th March, 11.00 – 16.00 Kensington Palace

Explore the palace and discover its stories using the palace’s themed activity bags, games, trails and make and takes. Pick up your choice of story adventure from the Time Explorer Station inside the palace.

Included in palace admission.


Tiny Explorers (under 4s offer)

Selected Wednesdays and Saturdays in February and March, 10.30 (babies), 13.00 and 14.30 (walkers)

Kensington Palace

Explore and play in the palace together! Discover the stories of Kensington Palace through music, movement, messy play and more.

Tickets: £6 per child (price includes up to two adults) /£5 per child for members


Tiny Explorers (under 4s offer)

Selected Thursdays and Saturdays in February and March, 10.30 (babies), 13.00 and 14.30 (walkers)

Hampton Court Palace

Explore and play in the palace together! Discover the stories of Kensington Palace through music, movement, messy play and more.

Tickets: £6 per child (price includes up to two adults) /£5 per child for members


Palace Pub Quiz Friday

3 February, 18:00-21:30

Banqueting House

Back for the second year, Banqueting House will host a pub quiz with a difference. Sit under the beautiful ceiling painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens and test your knowledge on current affairs, sport, art, food and film There will be a few rounds for the history lovers but plenty of other subjects as well, so pick your team wisely for this fun, fast-paced quiz, with prizes, drinks and some surprises!

Tickets: £15


Drawn at the Tower with Art Macabre - Tower of Love: Romance is Dead

13 February, 18.30-21.00

Tower of London

An anti-Valentines sketching special, dedicated to those who died at the Tower in the name of love. Enter the drama and tragedy of the Tudor court, and explore Henry VIII’s doomed love affair with Anne Boleyn. Sketch our costumed models, posing as their ghosts at the site of her burial in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Plus create miniature love tokens with guest artist Lozzy Bones, in the Chapel’s crypt.

Tickets: £24/£20 concessions


February Half Term – Palace Adventures

Saturday 11 February – Sunday 19 February, 11.00 – 15.00

Hampton Court Palace

Become a Time Explorer and discover the stories of Hampton Court Palace by taking part in a fun filled, palace adventure. Meet characters, solve puzzles and create your own piece of the past.

Aimed at children aged 5 - 11 years.

Included in palace admission.


February Half Term – Beautiful Things

Sunday 12 February – Saturday 18 February 2017, 11.00 – 15.00

Kensington Palace

This half term, Kensington Palace is offering the chance to become a treasure hunter and to explore beautiful things hidden inside the palace. This February half term is themed around art and the Georgian Court. Families will be able to try out our first Digital Mission at Kensington and create a great art work fit for a King or Queen. There’ll even be a chance to dress-up as a Georgian, meet a costumed character and hear their palace stories, as well follow a paper trail or pick up an activity bag. From bright ideas to treasured objects, there is much to discover.

Included in palace admission.


Story Scramble – Tower at War

Monday 13 February - Friday 17 February, 11.00 – 15.30

Tower of London

Tower of London

Uncover the dramatic history of the Tower during wartime, through the Story Scramble trail! Along the trail, there will be a chance to meet the characters and handle historic objects in order to unscramble stories in the very spaces where history happened.

Included in palace admission.



Long Live Queen James

22 February, 19.00 – 23.00

Banqueting House

Encounter new performances devised by cabaret artist Scottee and playwright Mark Ravenhill based on the letters between James I and rakish favourite Duke of Buckingham. Discover the secrets of how the Stuarts used makeup to blur the boundaries between the sexes in participatory workshops, while historians lead talks on early feminism and its links to the Stuart craze for cross dressing, and contemporary ideas of homosexuality and its exploitation as a public propaganda tool. For those with a taste for losing their inhibitions, the Banqueting House’s Undercroft will also return to its former life as James I’s drinking den with a licensed bar.

Tickets: £10



Brunchtime Lecture: In Conversation with David Sassoon

Saturday 4 March, 11.00 – 12.30

Kensington Palace

Join Historic Royal Palaces’ expert Eleri Lynn – curator of Diana: Her Fashion Story – in conversation with designer David Sassoon of Belville Sassoon, as he discusses his stellar career and the pressures and privileges of designing for the Princess. Included in palace admission.

Tickets: £15 / £13 members and concessions (includes glass of Bucks Fizz)


Culture Breaks

Sunday 19 March –Friday 24 March

This is the perfect way to experience London’s history over one, fun-filled week. Each day there’ll be a chance to visit a different Historic Royal Palace site and enjoy private guided tours, expert lectures, tasting workshops inspired by historic food and drink and explore areas of the palaces usually restricted from the public. This event is limited to 40 adults to ensure that each guest is given the VIP treatment. There will also be some free time for guests to explore the palaces at their leisure.

Tickets: £650 (excludes accommodation)


Digital Missions


The Tower of London

Go on an interactive adventure and prepare the Tower for the king’s arrival or help a prisoner plan their perilous escape. Download the app before your visit. Supported by Mitsubishi Electric.

Included in palace admission.


The Lindt Easter Bunny Hunt

Saturday 1 April – Monday 17 April, 11.00 – 16.00

Hampton Court Palace

Discover the story of royal chocolate! Find out how kings and queens enjoyed their chocolate as you hunt for golden Lindt bunnies around the palace, and receive your own delicious Lindt chocolate bunny prize. In partnership with Lindt.

Included in palace admission.


Notes for editors

All events and materials are included in the general admission ticket price for each palace unless otherwise stated. All events are subject to change, please check www.hrp.org.uk for up-to-date information on prices, opening times and details on event booking. For further information about events and listings please contact the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office on 020 3166 6166 or email press@hrp.org.uk