Our Stories

The greatest appeal of our licensing programme is the opportunity to tap into a collection of stories spanning architecture, design, gardening, fashion, art, interiors, cooking, royal and domestic life over many centuries. These stories provide a level of authenticity, provenance and lasting value that is unique to our collections.

Respected historian, curator and author Dr. Lucy Worsley and her team provide authority to our products.

“We are very happy to support the licensing team to ensure historical relevance for every product. It’s important that audiences enjoy authentic, intriguing and inspiring stories and the partners we work with are important in conveying our cause successfully.”

Dr Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator, Historic Royal Palaces

The Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London was created during the reign of King John and was one of Britain’s rst zoos. The rst beasts to arrive at the Tower – including lions, polar bears and elephants – came from Europe and North Africa. By the 19th century there were over 60 species on show, including alligators, tigers and kangaroos.

Queen Caroline, a royal beauty, health pioneer and intellectual, was fascinated by medical innovations and helped to bring daily bathing into fashion after centuries in which it was considered dangerous. Shortly after arriving in England in 1714, she had a bathroom installed in her private apartments at Hampton Court Palace and bathed, covered head to toe, in a wooden tub lined with linen sheets.

Chocolate-potsChocolate was introduced to England in the 1650s and hot chocolate was a favoured morning drink of William III and Georgian high society. Through the renovated Chocolate Kitchen at Hampton Court Palace, you can discover the surprisingly regal history of this favourite drink.

Rose-GardenLoved by many gardeners, the rose provides beauty and fragrance in abundance. As well as its romantic symbolism, the rose has a strong connection to Tudor times as it became the badge for Henry VIII’s new dynasty. The Rose Garden at Hampton Court Palace includes English roses, tea roses, rambling roses and wild roses.

 

We have included a small selection of our stories here to give a glimpse of what is possible.

Strawberries were prized in the 16th century both for their sweetly scented leaves and the fruits, which were a favourite with Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Their shared sweet tooth may have prompted Henry to build a banqueting house in his Privy Garden at Hampton Court Palace.

astronimcal-clock-squareHenry VIII’s Astronomical Clock has watched over Clock Court for almost 500 years, depicting a medieval vision of the universe in which the Sun orbits Earth. Sir Thomas More’s son-in-law recalled the King and Cardinal Wolsey discussing astronomy on the roof of Hampton Court Palace.

Paint-pot-and-brush Recently discovered paint pots and brushes from the grounds of Hampton Court Palace date back to 1670 and can be attributed by our records to workmen “pulling down the painthouse, the shed on the outside of the tennis court… and wheeling the smallest of it out into the moat”. The pots had been used for grey and pink paint, but were wiped clean before mixing the striking verdigris that has been preserved to this day. Made from ne grass-stems, the brushes had been used at least seven times. The colour pigments retrieved from the bres provide an intriguing insight into 17th-century interior design.

banqueting-house-squareBanqueting House is the last surviving building of the Palace of Whitehall. It is also home to the only surviving in-situ painting by Peter Paul Rubens, dated 1636. The central panel, shows the King being raised to the heavens by Justice and was a tribute from Charles I to his father James I.