I love all things Tudor.
Tudor England is my favorite time period in history.
Not only because of all the castles and kings and princesses and fairy tale shit.
But because real life history is so much more interesting than fairy tales sometimes.
Henry VIII married for love 4 times out of the 6 times that he was married. And those same 4 marriages were to English women. Kind of unheard of in times where royal marriages were all about political alliances and thus kings almost always married foreign princesses.
And even though he chopped off 2 out of those 4's heads, it is still SO ROMANTIC that he married them for love and not because it was beneficial to England.
So, in honor of my love for all things Tudor and most especially my love for Henry's ill-fated second wife Anne Boleyn we stopped off at some Tudor castles as we drove around the countryside.
Hever Castle - Anne Boleyn's childhood home.
Obnoxiously we were not allowed to take pictures inside the castle, BUMMER! But I must say, if you ever just happen to be in Kent, stop off at Hever Castle, it was well worth the 15 pounds and has an awesome maze/labyrinth out in the garden as well as just being uber cool to be in the same place as Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII once were.
Drawbridge over the moat into the castle and that's as far as we were allowed to photograph =(
Next up is Hampton Court Palace.
Henry's lavish 2nd palace he used as a residence after Whitehall.
My initial impression was...underwhelming.
I think I was expecting it to look like Versailles...and it didn't.
Much less extravagant, much smaller, just not as lavish as I was expecting.
That being said, it was still unbelievable and I'm so happy we took the time to visit.
Please disregard the craptastic nature of these photos as I stupidly left my camera in the car and was left with just the iphone to document the awesomeness of Hampton Court.
Much to my chagrin there was scaffolding everywhere, so this is the only bit of the outside I managed to capture that didn't have scaffolding covering it.
In this craptastic photo we have an H and an A entwined. After Henry had Anne beheaded he ordered these all to be removed but somehow one was missed. What? You can't see it? That's because it's an iphone photo...you'll have to just trust me that somewhere in that darkness is an H and A entwined.
The other wing of the palace that was designed for William and Mary, thus not Tudor and much more modern and...ornate if you will.
A fantastic photo of ourselves.
Verdict: Hever and Hampton Court Palace both get a big thumbs up from me!