Glorious Georges: Every Generation has a Story

April 17, 2014 12:17 pm

“Every generation has a story” is the catch phrase for the new Glorious Georges exhibition launching on the 17th April and running until 30th November. Featuring the three generations of Georges from 1714 to 1840, this exhibition celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian ascension to the British throne, across the Historic Royal Palaces; Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace.

If you love the British monarchy and want to explore the rich history of the royal family over the 18th and 19th century – including the gory details and saucy secrets – then this is definitely worth a visit!

Get a teaser of what to expect in their video:

George I at Hampton Court Palace

As the first Hanoverian monarch to rule England, it was quite a shock to the English system when George I came to throne and reigned from 1714-1727. Originally born in Germany, it didn’t help when trying to win the hearts of the English public that he didn’t speak a word of English and instead took regular trips back to his home country. What also made him unpopular was the scandal surrounding his mistress, Melusine, who took the role of Queen in all but name, while his real wife was left locked up in Germany. Charming!

Hampton Court Palace is one of England’s most famous palaces and is a must-see on your trip to London. Explore the Queen’s State Apartments and admire royal objects and artwork from George I’s court to take you back in time. Discover the characters from the early 1700s and get involved with the most bitter of rivalries. For an even more unique experience, there’s even an interactive olfactory tour where you can follow a smell map to tour the royal palace.

Hampton Court Palace stages many special events over the summer, so get ahead and plan in advance from chocolate making and farmers markets, to salacious gossip tours and family festivals.  For more information, check out their ‘what’s on’ page.

Guided tours at Hampton Court Palace

Join in on one of the guided tours at Hampton Court Palace and learn about the secrets and scandals of life in court. Be led around this stunning historic building by a tour guide and discover even more of King Henry VIII…

George II at Kensington Palace

From 1726 to 1760, George II and his wife Queen Caroline held rule at court and although as a couple they had a more conventional relationship than their predecessors, there were some tempestuous times, too. George II had a mistress (as was the ‘done thing’ in those days) who was Caroline’s Woman of the Bedchamber, which made for a cosy coupling. However, it was rumoured that George II chose her for her discretion. Caroline and George both had strong characters themselves; it seems that George suffered from what we would now call OCD with his obsession with routine and order, while Caroline was a bit of a brain-box and one of the most accomplished women in Europe. Unfortunately George never gave her credit for her intellect, instead dismissing it as an interest in “lettered nonsense” even though she steered most of his political decisions…

Discover the life of George II and his court at Kensington Palace. This central London palace was the perfect place to nurture the era of culture, fashion and music and in the King’s State Apartments you can learn about the courtiers, ladies and lords of that time.

Visit Kensington Palace this summer for a wide spectrum of special events such as an Easter Trail, a Georgian family day in June, as well as a family festival and fashion show! For something more edifying there are lots of historic and educational events for adults, from the Hanoverian’s succession to the throne, to Queen Caroline’s political and social influence. Find out more, here. 

George III at Kew Palace

As the first of the Hanoverian kings to be born in England, George III was a huge support for industry and technological innovation and later suffered from bouts of mental illness which led to his (rather unfortunate) nickname of the “mad king”. Charlotte, his wife, grew up in Mecklenberg-Strelitz a rather rural court and so by nature was a keen botanist and of high intellect, too. This meant that she had a keen interest in Kew Gardens and its exotic flowers, imported in by Joseph Banks. So much so that the Bird of Paradise was named Streletzia Regina in honour of Charlotte, the Queen.

Kew Gardens is great in the summer and perfect if you’re travelling with a family. With 121 hectares to explore, including a glass house, tree walk and thousands of new blooms it’s a breath-taking oasis in the West of London. Did you know the tall pagoda which still stands today was commissioned by George III who was a budding student of architecture and exotic buildings?

There’s a huge range of things to do at Kew Gardens from spring until summer, including evening tours, Jellymania to celebrate Queen Charlotte’s birthday and a gin and cake tasting evening. Enjoy the special events in Kew and explore the lush grounds as they come into flower over the season. Plan your trip in advance, and book ahead if necessary.

Note: Historic Royal Palace Special Events may be subject to extra admission costs

Entry to Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens is included with The London Pass. Why not add on a Travelcard, too, to take care of all your transport needs, including a ticket to Hampton Court! It’s simple: save time, save money and save hassle when sightseeing in London with one all-inclusive card: The London Pass.

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