What’s on at Historic Royal Palaces April to June 2017

2 March 2017

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Spring blooms at Historic Royal Palaces with the reopening of the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace, an interactive play garden inspired by the palace’s history. The palace will tell the story of royal chocolate with a chocolate bunny trail, in partnership with Lindt, also taking place at Kensington Palace.

Our exploration of Diana, Princess of Wales’s style evolution continues with the popular exhibition Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace. The Tower of London is perfect for families this spring with family festival Go Medieval at the Tower of London and interactive exhibition Armoury in Action. For adults, Historic Royal Palaces hosts a wide range of fascinating evening talks, brunchtime lectures and study days throughout spring.

Highlights

Diana: Her Fashion Story

Now Open

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 explores 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. Online bookings for weekend and school holiday visits are recommended to avoid disappointment.

 

The Palace Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt

Saturday 1 – Monday 17 April, 11.00 - 16.00

Hampton Court Palace Go on a hunt for the Lindt Gold Bunny this Easter and discover the history of royal chocolate at Hampton Court Palace. Once you have found all the Lindt Gold Bunny’s hiding places, receive your delicious Lindt chocolate treat, lovingly created by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers.

In partnership with Lindt.

Included in palace admission.

 

The Magic Garden Reopens

Saturday 1 April, open daily 10.00 – 17.30

Hampton Court Palace

The Magic Garden once again welcomes visitors to experience the legendary world of the Tudor tournament in this imaginative play garden setting. Inspired by the palace’s past, the Magic Garden is located in Henry VIII’s former tiltyard where Tudor tournaments were once held. Discover something new around every twist and turn in an immersive world populated by mythical beasts, including a 25m dragon! Take the family to become Tudor Knights, besiege the battlements, storm the Tiltyard Towers and explore a mysterious secret grotto!

 

Magic Garden & Maze only ticket: £7.70 adult / £5.50 child / £22 family

Go Medieval at the Tower of London

Saturday 29 April – Monday 1 May, 10.00 – 17.00

Tower of London

It’s 1445 and England is celebrating the arrival of a new Queen, Margret of Anjou. Immerse yourself in the medieval world and join in the festivities with plenty of fun for the whole family. Take your chance to meet the new queen and don’t miss seeing her magnificent knights in full sword fighting action!

Included in palace admission.

 

Horrible Histories – The Best of Barmy Britain at Hampton Court Palace

Saturday 27 May – Saturday 3 June

Hampton Court Palace

From battling Boudicca to horrible Henry and the putrid plague, plunge into the history of Britain… with the nasty bits left in. Find out whether Parliament survived gunpowder Guy, and what made Dick Turpin so dastardly, as the popular Horrible Histories show comes to the gardens of Hampton Court Palace.

Tickets: £12 adult /£7 child. Under 5s free but require ticket.

Exhibitions and regular offers

 

Armoury in Action

Now Open

Tower of London

Hands-on exhibition 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 is brought to life through a mix of historic objects, audio visual 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.

 

Encounters with the Tudors

Daily from Friday 7 April

Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII’s magnificent palace will be brought to life every day, and you are invited to join members of the court to explore the perils and intrigues of life as a Tudor. The cooks in Hampton Court’s historic kitchens will also be roasting meat for the king’s table.

Included in palace admission.

 

Digital Missions

Daily

Go on an interactive adventure. Meet characters from history, explore all around you, do challenges and win badges! Download the free Time Explorers app and try our Digital Missions for children and their families. Supported by Mitsubishi Electric.

Included in palace admission.

 

Events

Tiny Explorers

10 May – 24 June, every Wednesday and Saturday excluding half term week (Wednesday 30 and Saturday 3 June); 10.30 (babies), 13.00 and 14.30 (walkers)

 

Kensington Palace

Explore and play in the palace together in one of these special multi-sensory sessions for under-4s! 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

11 May – 24 June, every Thursday and Saturday excluding half term week (Thursday 31 May and Saturday 3 June); 10.30 (babies), 13.00 and 14.30 (walkers)

Hampton Court Palace

Explore and play in the palace together in one of these special multi-sensory sessions for under-4s! Discover the stories of Hampton Court Palace through music, movement, messy play and more.

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

 

Story Scramble – The Tower at War

17-21 April, 11.00 – 15.30 Tower of London

The Tower of London has lots of stories to tell. In this interactive trail and game for families, some of those stories have been scrambled up and must be put back together again. Meet characters from the past, handle objects, look for clues and see if you can connect the pieces as you explore 1000 years of history in a day.

Included in palace admission.

Study Day: Deadlier than the Mail – An exploration of women’s arms and armour

 

22 April, all day

The Tower of London

From Queen Elizabeth I to Georgian prize fighters, Wild West sharp shooters to Suffragette jujitsu bodyguards, women have engaged in combat throughout history. They are notable not only for their bravery but also ingenuity, whether adapting to armour designed for men, or engineering ‘lipstick knives’ and ‘handbag pistols’. Run in collaboration with the Royal Armouries, this day will celebrate amazing female fighters, and include a chance to get hands on with historic arms and armour.

Tickets: £40/ £38 members

 

Plays of Persuasion

25 April, 18.30 - 20.00

Hampton Court Palace

Plays were not just performed as entertainment for foreign guests as part of magnificent hospitality at the royal court, they were also used to further diplomatic negotiations. In this special after-hours talk – which forms part of the palace’s Power and Performance season – join Professor Thomas Betteridge to discover how in December 1521 Henry VIII entertained imperial ambassadors with ‘many sumptuovs and gorgious disguisynges, enterludes and bankettes’ ahead of negotiating the details of their intended invasion of France.

Tickets: £15/ £13 members + multi-buy offer (3 for £36 or 5 for £55)

 

Sacred Music and the Reformation

Wednesday 10 May, 18.30 - 20.00

Hampton Court Palace

The reformation began a rebellion against the authority of the Catholic Church. This brought about a new and profound impact on religious music at the Tudor court with changes to doctrine and rapid stylistic development. Find out how Henry shaped his own image and reinforced his new religion using sacred music in this one-off after-hours talk at Hampton Court, which forms part of the palace’s Power and Performance season.

Tickets: £15/ £13 members + multi-buy offer (3 for £36 or 5 for £55

 

Playing the Fool Tuesday

23 May, 18.30 - 20.00

Hampton Court Palace

‘Natural fools’ were prized as entertainers and had favour and authority with the king. In this after-hours talk with historian Dr Suzannah Lipscomb, uncover how the ‘foolish things of the world’ had the power to confound the wise and learned at court, and the unique access afforded to Henry VIII’s court jester Will Somers. Part of the palace’s Power and Performance season.

Tickets: £15/ £13 members + multi-buy offer (3 for £36 or 5 for £55)

 

Pride, Power and Politics: a tour of the Tower's LGBT+ histories

Friday 26 May and Saturday 27 May, 18.00, 19.00 and 20.00

The Tower of London

This after-hours tour explores the history of this iconic castle through the lens of changing attitudes to gender and sexuality, telling the stories of key people linked with it from the 12th century to the present day. The close male friendships of Edward II and his treatment of his favourites resulted in the rebellion of the earls. The little-known influence of Henry VIII and Queen Victoria on the criminalisation of homosexual acts shaped viewpoints for over 400 years. Bringing us to recent history, the tour will reveal how the alleged homosexuality of 20th century prisoner Roger Casement was used by Parliament to build a case against him, and the real danger posed by queer sexual slander.

Tickets: £15

 

Drawn at the Tower with Art Macabre: Ravens and Morbid Corvids

Monday 5 June, 18.30 - 21.00

The Tower of London

Legend has it that if the ravens should ever leave the fortress walls, the Tower and the kingdom will fall. In this after-hours life drawing event at the Tower of London, explore mythology, folklore and true tales of the Tower’s famous feathered guardians. Draw these fabled birds up close alongside the Tower’s very own Ravenmaster.

Tickets: £24/ £22 members

 

PowerPlays: Behind-the-Scenes

Thursday 8 June, 18.30 - 20.00

Hampton Court Palace

Go behind the scenes of PowerPlays - daily costumed performances at Hampton Court Palace – in this one-off after-hours talk. Hear from the creators as they unlock the mysteries of how they transform historical moments into compelling immersive theatre.

Tickets: £15/ £13 members + multi-buy offer (3 for £36 or 5 for £55)

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

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