Summer with Historic Royal Palaces

Royal_Beasts_press_image_314x205_2There’s plenty of great activities on offer this summer at Historic Royal Palaces, whether it be a visit to Royal Beasts at the Tower of London to discovering the stories of the seven princesses at the Enchanted Palace  or seeing the comical caricatures of George III and his family on display at Kew Palace.


Power House (in partnership with the Royal Armouries)
Tower of London

  • Discover the stories and personalities behind the major organisations of state, who took care of Royal business behind the mighty Tower walls, from 1100 to the present day, in a new permanent exhibition opening on the White Tower’s top floor.
  • The exhibition showcases the roles of the major organisations that provided the bedrock of England’s power throughout the centuries.
  • Great institutions include the Ordnance Office, Ordnance Survey, the Royal Mint, Record Office, the Jewel House, Menagerie and Royal Observatory.

Royal Beasts (in partnership with the Royal Armouries)
Tower of London

  • Royal Beasts explores the history, spectacle and tragedy of the Tower menagerie.
  • Founded during the reign of King John in the early 1200s, it became a regular feature of the Tower for over 600 years!
  • The new exhibition will be an opportunity for visitors to encounter a diverse cast of former Tower residents through arresting modern animal sculpture by artist Kendra Haste and new interactive sensory displays.
  • The recently restored north wall walk and the never before opened Brick Tower will host some of the displays, including sights, sounds and smells of some of the animals!

Enchanted Palace
Kensington Palace
Daily until 3 Jan 2012

  • Kensington Palace, former home to some of Britain’s best known royals including Queen Victoria and Diana, Princess of Wales, is currently transformed into the Enchanted Palace.
  • An interactive visitor experience combining contemporary art installations, fashion, and live performance, it is an innovative response to a £12 million major renovation project currently underway at the palace.
  • The experience features stunning displays of courtly costume created by leading British designers Vivienne Westwood, Paul Costelloe, Bruce Oldfield, Zandra Rhodes, and Boudicca. Whilst visitors journey through the historic State Apartments, they discover the stories of Kensington’s seven princesses who once lived there.
  • Dresses that once belonged to and were worn by Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales are also displayed alongside the fashion installations.

Caricatures of King George III
Kew Palace
Daily until 25 September 2011

  • Kew Palace was once home to George III and his family.  The tiny royal palace in the heart of Kew Gardens will welcome visitors coming to discover its secrets and stories and uncover more about Britain’s longest reigning male monarch.
  • Among the many items relating to George and his family on display at the palace we will be showcasing an exhibition of caricatures depicting the King and his family in various topical situations of the period.  Among them caricatures from the artist James Gillray who ensured the phenomena of this form of satire was well fed throughout the late 18th century.

Fit for a King (in partnership with the Royal Armouries)
Tower of London

  • Daily
  • Discover 500 years of spectacular arms and armour worn by kings and royal princes in this stunning exhibition in the White Tower.
  • Learn about the personalities, power and physical size of England’s kings, from the Tudors, and the notorious Henry VIII, to today’s royal family.


A soldier’s experience
Tower of London

  • To 31 October (Weekend and Bank Holidays, excluding 1-2 October)
  • Step back to the mid-nineteenth century and hear Sergeant Gowing of the Royal Fusiliers describe his recent experiences in the Crimean War.

Masters of the Sword
Tower of London

  • 29 July – 29 August (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, including Bank Holiday weekend)
  • The 1471 era, chivalry. Seen the pageantry and skill at arms as knights from the wars of the roses clash in the jingle of mail, the flash of steel armour, the clash of swords and shouts of victory… It can only be the Medieval knights showing what the age of chivalry was really like in friendly, or perhaps not quite so friendly, rivalry.
  • The knights and their ladies bring to life the colourful middle ages at the Tower with tales and demonstrations. Family fun and spectacular re-enactment the glamorous Georgians: dress and etiquette at court

The Royal Chase, Hampton Court Palace

  • 27-29 August
  • Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon are invited for a summer of pleasure at Cardinal Wolsey’s splendid new Place. The young King shows off his horsemanship, while displays of falconry delight the queen and her new lady in waiting, Anne Boleyn

Raree show (with Royal Beasts!)
Tower of London

  • 1 September – 31 October
  • The menagerie 1250-1850
  • Be introduced to the wonders of nature, the bizarre, the incredible and the frankly unbelievable, as the ‘raries’ and the ‘Curiosities’ of the Tower throughout the ages are revealed as you’ve never seen them before! The true stories of the royal beasts in the style of a 19th century ‘Raree Show’, interspersed with Tower life and prisoners

Tudor cookery
Hampton Court Palace

  • 3-4 September
  • Which dishes rumbled a Tudor tummy? Come in from the cold and feel the heat from the fire in our Henry VIII Kitchens. Experience real smells and sounds as historic chefs prepare a royal feast.

Open House
Enchanted Palace, Kensington Palace

  • 17-18 September
  • 10.00-15.00
  • The Kensington Palace Project team are delighted to be welcoming people to come and find out about the building work and transformation that has been taking place at Kensington over the last year as part of the Open House event. We will be running tours of the building site and offering talks on the re-design and re-development of Kensington Palace.