When visiting England, London is a must to see some of the more famous palaces. I find Hampton Court, The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace the most interesting. England still has the most famous living monarchs in history. Currently, Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch and resides in Buckingham Palace. Hampton Court was built by Henry VIII’s Chancellor Wolsey and was subsequently given to the king. The Tower of London was built in the 11th century and was the main residence but then became the prison during the Renaissance period. And of course Buckingham Palace was the residence for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first and has been the main residence since.
Hampton Court was out of town back in Henry’s time and was considered a country residence. It is situated on the Thames and is in the Borough of Richmond. Before the 1700’s Hampton Court was used as a part time residence of the royal families. The royal families and friends could travel there up river by the Thames. Hampton Court was expanded and refurbished during the 1600’s but one unifying architectural feature is the pink brick. Many parties, dances and entertaining events were held at Hampton Court.
The Tower of London is perhaps most famous for the be-headings and deaths that have taken place there. But at one time it was the official palace of the royal family. It is located in what is now Central London on the North side of the Thames River. It was completed towards the end of 1066. William the Conqueror made some additions to the Tower of London, giving the palace its reputation of oppression. Starting in 1100, the palace was used as a prison though this was not its main purpose. It did eventually grow into its primary purpose by the Renaissance. To mention going to Tower was to inspire fear in the hearer of the words.
Buckingham Palace is now the official residence of the royal families and has been since 1837. Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to live in the palace. Buckingham Palace is also where the Royal Household orchestrates Royal Ceremonies, State visits and Investitures. These events can only be held in the most opulent of surroundings. Though the palace is not officially a museum it does house some priceless decorations and furnishings that is fit only for the kings and queens that have resided there. There are some areas of the palace that are open for tourists to see and other areas that are strictly off limits. Some 50,000 people visit the palace each year as guests. And of course most tourists don’t want to miss the famous Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.
Hampton Court, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace
There are many palaces in and around London that are worthy of a visit however, Hampton Court, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace all have a unique role in history that make them of particular interest in my opinion. London is a city that is so rich in history that in order to do it justice you need more than a few days to see it and truly appreciate the city.