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Historic Royal Palaces is an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. Our aim is to help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.

Historic Royal Palaces is an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. Our aim is to help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.
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Historic Royal Palaces is an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. Our aim is to help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.




New perspectives on the Tower and the Medieval Jewish community

Join Dr Lucy Worsley as she chairs a debate on the fascinating and relatively unknown relationship between the Jewish community and the Tower of London. Inspired by brand new curatorial research, discover the history of the medieval Jewish community, with a focus on the events of the thirteenth century. The panel speakers are; Dr Sally Dixon-Smith (HRP Curator) Professor Miri Ruben (Queen Mary University of London) Professor Anthony Bale (Birkbeck University of London) Professor...


How we used to talk about… Women

How we used to talk about… Women - Virgins, Vixens and Viragos Marking 100 years since the first female emancipation laws, this podcast explores the changing use of language regarding women in British society. We ask whether the way women are talked about has really changed in the last 1000 years? Has progress been made? Is the world sliding back into outdated ways or are we witnessing a time of genuine change? Join historian Lauren Johnson @History_Lauren in this discussion with Curator...


Brunchtime Lecture: Queen Victoria on TV

Discover the secrets behind the popular ITV series 'Victoria' with series Production Designer Michael Howells as he discusses bringing these royal stories to our screens with Historic Royal Palaces' Collections Curator, Matthew Storey. Recorded at Kensington Palace in Queen Victoria's childhood bedroom on 9th Dec 2017.


Gossip and Rumour in Elizabeth I’s Court

Anna Whitelock, historian, broadcaster and reader in early modern history at Royal Holloway, University of London, explores how Elizabeth I confidently and cleverly used her gender to manipulate a court filled with men. What of the female members of court? Explore how their friendship and loyalty came at a price in a court of gossip and rumours, and discover how a female queen in a man’s world changed the state of power play. Recorded at Hampton Court Palace on 28 November 2017.


The Eltham Rules

Join Chris Gidlow, writer and Live Interpretation Manager for Historic Royal Palaces, as he explores The Eltham ordinances. Written in 1526 by Cardinal Wolsey, The Eltham ordinances were detailed rules for ‘the establishment of good order and reformation of sundry errors in the court. Despite these controls the Tudor court was dynamic and was dominated by the changing whims of a power-hungry monarch and the personalities who surrounded...


Tudor Dress and Courtly Power

Eleri Lynn, fashion historian, author and curator at Historic Royal Palaces, explores how fashion conveyed messages of status, power and authority in the Tudor court. When courtiers were subject to inevitable plots and rebellions, it was no surprise they used dress as a competitive weapon. Discover how sumptuous dress made it possible to climb the ranks within the Tudor court, and what happened when courtiers wore the wrong thing? Recorded at Hampton Court Palace on 11th September 2017.


Lucy Worsley's Favourite Queen

Join Historic Royal Palaces' Joint Chief Curator, Lucy Worsley, for an evening talk on the tragic and neglected Queen Caroline, wife of King George II. Discover the secrets of Georgian royal life and how Queen Caroline shaped society as we know it today. This event was recorded at the Hillsborough Court House on 3rd November 2017.


Thomas Cromwell and the English Reformation

Join Tracy Borman, writer, historian and joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, as she explores the life of Thomas Cromwell, a man of many talents who quickly rose to favour at Henry’s court and dismantled the English Catholic church. Yet despite his loyalty to the king he was ultimately executed at the Tower of London for treason. How did this faithful servant shape the protestant England we know today? And what of his fall from grace? Recorded on 11 October 2017 at Hampton Court...


Brunchtime Lecture: Victoria & Abdul

Hear about the inspiration behind author Shrabani Basu's book Victoria & Abdul which is now a film starring Judi Dench (released 8th September). What truths informed her story and what can it tell us about Queen Victoria's relationships and influence on and by India. Recorded in Queen Victoria's Bedroom at Kensington Palace on 23rd September 2017.


In Conversation with Yinka Shonibare

Hear from Turner Prize nominee and artist Yinka Shonibare MBE in the King's State Apartments at Kensington Palace as he discusses his new work, Mrs Pinckney and the Emancipated Birds of South Carolina. Find out more about his work as an exploration of race, class and the meaning of cultural and national definitions. This podcast is in conversation with Glenn Adamson (Museum of Arts and Design in NYC and London's Victoria & Albert museum) and was recorded on 4th September 2017 at Kensington...


How we used to talk about LGBTQ - “The Eternal Bachelor” and “The Game of Flats”

On the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, we explore historical views on homosexuality and same-sex relationships. We consider how we present same-sex relationships in a historical context and ask how far does the language and rhetoric of the past influence our views on the present? Join historian Lauren Johnson @History_Lauren in this discussion with Matthew Storey @HRP_palaces, Dr Claire Hayward @HaywardCL and Bernard Donoghue @bernarddonoghue. Recorded at Soho Radio...


Encounters with the Tudors: behind-the-scenes

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. Talk recorded at Hampton Court Palace on 8 June 2017.


Playing the Fool with Dr Suzannah Lipscomb

How does someone described as ‘foolish’ or ‘lacking judgement’ exert influence at the royal court? Court fools were prized entertainers and had favour and authority with the king. Henry’s court jester Will Somer had ‘admission to the King [at all times], especially when sick and melancholy’. Discover how the ‘foolish things of the world’ confounded the wise and learned.


Sacred music and the Reformation

As part of our Power and Performance series, Jeremy Summerly and historian Lauren Johnson discuss how Henry VIII shaped his own image and reinforced his new religion using sacred music. Jeremy Summerly is a BBC broadcaster and the director of Music at St Peter’s College, Oxford.


Plays of Persuasion

For the second talk in the Power and Performance series at Hampton Court, historians Thomas Betteridge and Lauren Johnson talk us through how drama was used as a tool for persuasion at the Tudor court. Plays were not only performed, but also used for important diplomatic negotiations.


Anne Boleyn: musician and composer

As part of our latest series of talks on Power and Performance at Hampton Court Palace, join musician Tamsin Lewis to explore how Anne Boleyn’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?


Diana and David Sassoon

Designer David Sassoon explores his distinguished career with Collections Curator, Eleri Lynn. Through their conversation you’ll hear royal stories, design secrets and discover how he worked with Diana, Princess of Wales to create some of the Princess’s most memorable garments.


Panto and Performance

Explore 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.


Curious Connections...Jewish history of the Tower

Join our panel as they explore the part the Tower of London played in Jewish history from 1066 to the modern day.


Curious Connections... Migration and mobility

Join our panel as they explore the role London has played as a home for migrants throughout history, and what the recent EU referendum could mean for the diversity of the city now and in the future.