Thursday, 14 June 2012

Divorced, Beheaded, Died; Divorced, Beheaded, Survived

Last Tuesday the entire group of 30 of us took a trip to Hampton Court Palace. Although I was certainly not happy to be awake at absurd hours of the morning, having just arrived back from beautiful Paris, it actually ended up being a really enjoyable and interesting trip. Besides the fact that the Palace was gorgeous and you could wander the 60 acres of formal garden (the park covers 750 acres, in total) for days, I actually loved learning about the history of the estate. This, in itself, was enough to make me change my mind about the trip -- I normally hate history.

Specifically, Henry VIII and his life within the Palace was what interested me. Maybe even more specifically, Henry VIII and his wives within the Palace. King Henry VIII, Tudor monarch, ruler
of England in sixteenth-century Renaissance England, had six wives. The fates of the wives can be easily recognized as "divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived." Besides his marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation in the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. He seemed like a badass and a bit of lustful, harsh, sly, and intelligent King -- Someone I would've liked to know.

Other than the intriguing intellectual history of Hampton Court Palace, the physical history is equally as alluring. The architecture here in England is so profound, to me. It really makes me realize just how young my own country is. It's beautiful. And the landscape and gardens... absolutely incredible. I took a horse-driven tour around the central garden area, got lost in the hedge maze, and sat and marvelled in the royal tranquillity for a while.

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