SECRETS OF HENRY VIII'S PALACE
Hampton Court is the ultimate royal pleasure palace — embodying the indulgent and grandiose kingship built by Cardinal Wolsey and developed by Henry VIII. Through its rooms, chart King Henry VIII’s decline from fit young warrior to bloated womanizer and recall the vivid stories of the ladies who became his queens. Learn how William and Mary demolished half of the Tudor palace to replace it with an exquisite baroque structure, making Hampton Court one of the most unusual palaces in the world. Go beneath the brick and stone of this true pleasure palace and now thriving tourist location to uncover an abundance of art and stories that bring Hampton Court alive.
While each featured estate’s remarkable beauty is noteworthy, it’s the hidden stories within the homes that set them apart. SECRETS OF HENRY VIII’S PALACE revisits the often dark and twisted tales of the ever-fascinating King Henry VIII and his six wives, secrets that permeate Hampton Court’s grand façade and its lavish interior.
SECRETS OF CHATSWORTH explores the estate’s extensive grounds and tells, among other accounts, the tragic tale of Billy Cavendish, heir to Chatsworth’s 10th Duke of Devonshire, and Kathleen Kennedy. Kathleen, the sister of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, married the British aristocrat, only to lose her husband after only four months of marriage. Billy was killed in action in World War II. Four years later, Kathleen died in a plane crash and was buried at Chatsworth.
“What these magnificent estates have in common is not only a rich and immensely entertaining history, but a modern-day context as well,” said Robert Strange, executive producer at Pioneer Productions. “In their own ways, each house presents viewers with a living drama that stretches back for centuries yet still plays itself out today.”
Secrets of Althorp
Althorp, childhood home and final resting place of Princess Diana, is currently the home of Diana’s brother, Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer. Nineteen generations of Spencers have presided over this grand estate for more than 500 years. The Spencer dynasty has produced politicians, military heroes, dukes and duchesses and will one day furnish Britain with a king: Diana’s son, Prince William. Noted for their generosity, the Spencers once came to the rescue of a distant cousin fallen on hard times: the great-great-great-grandfather of George Washington. Althorp House has hosted some of the kingdom’s most distinguished guests, and its rooms have witnessed scenes of great celebration, the first earl’s secret wedding to his sweetheart and most recently, the marriage of the current earl, who takes viewers on a personal tour around the noble manor that’s first of all his family home.
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