Global Travel Media » Blog Archive » Historic Royal Palaces Winter Fanfare

Home » Destination Europe » Currently Reading:

Historic Royal Palaces Winter Fanfare

November 24, 2016 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

Fanfare focus: Diana: Her Fashion Story

Few people have had the same impact as Diana, Princess of Wales. From her first public appearance in 1981, she captivated the world’s attention as a princess, trendsetter and as a passionate advocate of charities

Twenty years on from her death, a new exhibition and temporary garden celebrating her life will be opened at Kensington Palace, her home for over 15 years. Opening on 24 February, the exhibition ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ will trace the evolution of the Princess’s style, from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances, to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her


later life. From her earliest royal engagements, everything Diana wore was closely scrutinised, and the exhibition will explore how she navigated her unique position in the public eye: learning to use her image to champion the causes she cared about. ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ will bring together an extraordinary collection of garments, ranging from the glamorous evening gowns

worn on engagements in the 1980s, to the chic Catherine Walker suits that made up Diana’s ‘working wardrobe’ in the 1990s. Highlights will include the pale pink Emanuel blouse worn for Diana’s engagement portrait in 1981, and Victor Edelstein’s ink blue velvet gown, worn at the White House when the Princess danced with John Travolta.

Whilst in residence at Kensington Palace, the Princess admired the changing floral displays in the historic Sunken Garden and would often stop to talk to the gardeners who care for it. In 2017, the gardeners will dedicate the new planting in the garden to the princess, creating a special White Garden for spring and summer. Complementing the palace’s exhibition, ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’, the garden will be planted with flowers and foliage inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style.

Latest news: Historic Royal Palaces Group Ticketing Developments

Next year will bring some fantastic new improvements to our ticketing and entry system across the palaces. Online group booking will be available via our website from early 2017, starting with the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace.

Using this faster, more efficient method, group organisers will be able to purchase their tickets in advance as soon as they have their final numbers. Online booking results in a confirmation email which must be printed and exchanged for tickets at the group ticket office and groups who book this way will benefit from the full group discount price.

We are also working on our B2B login page for our trade account clients to launch in 2017. The benefits

of this will be that our partners can make palace bookings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, a booking via the login will produce an e-ticket which can be presented directly at our palace entrances to be scanned in, eliminating the need to exchange vouchers at the group ticket office. This will create secure access to our inventory for our partners, facilitate administration and invoicing and streamline the entry process.

Forward Planning: Florimania at Hampton Court Palace

Historic Royal Palaces is pleased to confirm that the muchloved Florimania will be returning to Hampton Court Palace over the Mothering Sunday weekend, 24 to 26 March 2017.

Once more the beautiful interiors of this historic building will be brought to life with vibrant floral displays and the sweet scents of spring.

Next year’s display will explore the theme of royal women by taking its inspiration from some of the keenest garden-loving queens in history such as Queen Mary II and her collection of exotic plants at Hampton Court Palace, Marie Antoinette and the gardens of Versailles, Queen Charlotte at Kew and many more!

As always, the experts from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies, the organisation behind the beautiful displays, will be on hand to give demonstrations and provide extra information for visitors.

After enjoying the flowers inside the palace, the 60 acres of glorious gardens await your groups: from the perfect order and symmetry of the Privy Garden to the world’s oldest (and most famous) puzzle maze. Stroll amidst fountains, statues, and blooming spring flowers of the gardens where monarchs and their courtiers once promenaded, and experience the dramatic landscapes created by some of the finest gardeners in British history.

Forward Planning: Armoury in Action

From January 2017 the top floor of the Tower of London’s White Tower will once again be transformed into a new experience for visitors. Partnering with Royal Armouries, Armoury in Action will offer a family friendly permanent experience featuring six zones.

Each zone will be represented by a different character who will reveal elements of the Tower’s long history. Using a mix of historic objects, audio visual and hands on interactive displays, visitors will be guided through the various zones journeying through a thousand years of arms and armour at the Tower

Visitors are invited to put themselves in the shoes of the skilled people who lived and worked here and test their own skills. Interpretation throughout will be aimed at different ages and there is even a mouse character for the younger audience to meet!

An introductory area will feature a diorama of the Tower where the visitor is introduced to the six key characters and zones. Each zone will depict a different era and personality from the Norman master mason to the Napoleonic Wars cavalryman. Feel the strength required to draw a longbow or work against the clock to ready the artillery gun for firing!


Interpretation throughout will be aimed at different ages and there is even a mouse character for the younger audience to meet!

Daytime Events for Groups

Daily Crown Jewels To best avoid waiting in line to view the fabulous finery, plan a morning visit. The Tower opens at 9am on Tues-Sat, 10am on Sun-Mon.

Last Minute Winter Life in the Medieval Palace 31 October – 23 December and from 2 January Join the knights and ladies of King Edward’s court as they celebrate, work, plot and pass the time in true medieval style.

New! Armoury in Action from 27 December

Meet the characters who worked in and around the Tower in the Royal Armouries new White Tower exhibition. Discover more about their lives and their backgrounds and experience what their jobs involved in this famous fortress.

Summer 2017 Story Scramble May – August

Meet characters from the past on this family-friendly trail. Handle objects and look for clues as you connect the pieces to reveal a thousand years of history

Medieval Family Festival Early May Bank Holiday

Witness the pomp and pageantry of the coronation of Margret of Anjou in 1445 when the young queen stayed at the Tower. A fun-filled event, Medieval Family Festival will cater for all ages and interests, offering a wide range of activities and live interpretation.

Daily The Cumberland Art Gallery

Discover magnificent artworks from The Royal Collection in the Cumberland Art Gallery at Hampton Court Palace. The gallery occupies a beautifully restored suite of rooms designed by William Kent for the Duke of Cumberland, the favourite son of George I.

Last Minute Winter Ghost Tours 31 October – February Fridays and Sundays

Hear spine chilling stories of residents past and experience the unique atmosphere of Henry VIII’s state apartments, including the courtyards and cloisters after dark- £27.50 per person or £1200 plus VAT for private groups on request. Contact the sales team for more information.

Ice Skating 8 November – 8 January

Put on your ear muffs, gloves and skates and enjoy spectacular views of the magnificent palace that Henry VIII once lived in. Book your tickets at www.

Elizabethan Christmas 21 December – 1 January (excluding 24–26 December)

Travel back in time to Elizabethan England and immerse yourself in the Tudor world. Witness jesters in the courtyards, music, dancing and cooking in the kitchens, as courtiers and artists jostle for royal favour.

Early 2017 Florimania 24–26 March

Once again the beautiful interiors of Hampton Court Palace will be brought to life with vibrant floral displays and the sweet scents of spring.

Summer 2017 Hampton Court Palace Gardens

The gorgeous gardens spring to life in the summer. Visitors can enjoy a traditional charabanc ride through the East Front Gardens, sunbathe in our deck chairs or pick up some gardening tips from the Gardeners’ Hut.

Daytime Events for Groups

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 4–9 July The world’s largest flower show returns to Home Park

Jousting Championship July The grounds of Hampton Court will ring out with the sound of charging horses’ hooves and the clash of cold metal! Recreating all the pomp and ceremony of a lavish court entertainment, visitors will be immersed into the sights, smells and sounds of the Tudor court.

BBC Good Food Festival August Bank Holiday Returning for its fourth year the festival takes place in the East Front Gardens and is included in palace admission. Indulge the taste buds of your group at the numerous stands and outlets, a perfect added value excursion for your calendar

Last Minute Winter Victorian Christmas 26 November – 2 January Join us for a Victorian Christmas at Kensington Palace, enjoy beautiful seasonal decorations throughout the palace and gardens from 3 December and join in the celebrations with talks, music, special tours and seasonal food and drink.

Early 2017 New! Diana: Her Fashion Story from 24 February Follow the evolution of Diana’s style, from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances, to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life.

Summer 2017 New! Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte and the Shaping of the Modern World 22 June – 12 November Explore the story of three remarkable German royal women, Caroline of Ansbach, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha and Charlotte of MecklenbergStrelitz, who married into the British royal family in the 1700s.

Daily (subject to availability) Hidden history talks Join our palace experts at 11.30hrs for a short insight into the amazing history of this dramatic building

The Handling Collection Experience the thrill of holding an authentic piece of history in your hands, whilst learning more about it from an expert.

Summer 2017 Opening 1 April – 1 October The summer opening dates are now confirmed at this intimate Georgian palace. Pre-book your group’s time slot when booking your visit to Kew Gardens, the palace is included in the gardens admission price.

Daily Castle Tours Pre-booked groups of 20 or more are welcomed year round, to book your visit call +44 (0) 28 92681376.

Faces of Hillsborough Following the guided tour of the beautiful State Rooms, visitors can discover some of the people, great and small, who have visited Hillsborough Castle in our special photography exhibit.

Summer 2017 6 April – 30 September The official residence of the Royal Family will open for public and individuals to join our expert guided tours once again. Groups must pre-book their House Tour.

All events subject to change, correct at time of going to press.

Latest news: From the Travel Trade Team

The Travel Trade department has been working hard to get everything in place to welcome your clients in 2017. With our new Group Visits Guide hot off the press, now is the perfect time to get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.

The digital version of the guide can be accessed online in multiple languages under the groups section of our website at If you need a printed copy, you can also contact us at to place your order (available in English only).

As we approach the new year, we also see a new face join the team! We are pleased to welcome our new Sales Manager, Marta Barberini. Marta comes to Historic Royal Palaces with a wealth of experience in the travel industry and the Royal Palaces. She will be keen to work with our travel trade clients and group travel organisers with a particular focus on both the European and South American markets.

For any questions, you can contact her at

Latest news: Coming soon to Hampton Court! The new digital visitor guides

New to Hampton Court this spring, our digital visitor guide will provide a simple, attractive and modern way to explore our stunning palace.

The pioneering new audio guide is at the forefront of technology and the intuitive design makes it easy to use, even for the least tech-savvy visitor.

In addition to stories about the palace, the new guide also includes a map and visit planning information so that visitors can easily find routes, things to see and do, toilets, cafes and shops all on one place.

The new guides will replace the current audio guides and will continue to be free for all visitors to the palace. They will be available in the following languages: French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Korean, Japanese and Russian. Following the successful launch at Hampton Court Palace, the digital visitor guides will then be rolled out to the Tower of London later in the year.

Latest news: A special visitor to the Great Pagoda at Kew

To mark the signing of a major new sponsorship partnership between Historic Royal Palaces and House of Fraser to restore the Great Pagoda at Kew, civic dignitaries and invited guests from both China and the UK gathered to welcome the Master Monk of Nanjing to Kew for a traditional blessing ceremony – an event which has been hailed as a symbol of AngloChinese cultural cooperation.

The Great Pagoda was designed in the 18th century by English architect Sir William Chambers for the royal family. Chambers visited China twice and he was inspired by the buildings he saw and his designs for the Great Pagoda were influenced by prints he had seen there of the famous Porcelain Pagoda at Nanjing.

The Great Pagoda at Kew was originally far more colourful than it is today, and was once adorned with eighty ‘iridescent’ wooden dragons which were removed in 1784 when repairs were undertaken to the building’s roof. None of the eighty dragons appear to have survived, beginning a two hundred year hunt to rediscover or replace them. Historic Royal Palaces intends to restore the dragons to the Pagoda once more, as part of this major conservation project.

Final note: Unlock the secrets of Hampton Court Palace with a private tour

Hampton Court Palace is certainly one of the grandest former royal residences around. An in-depth visit will cover about two miles and take several hours! So how can you make the most of your time – whether it’s because you are on a tight itinerary or because you want a focus to your group’s visit?


The answer is to hire one of our friendly and knowledgeable Hampton Court Palace Guide Lecturers. All are Institute of Tourist Guiding level 2 trained which sets the gold standard for professional guiding.

Private guided tours offer great value for money with a one and a half hour tour starting from £110 plus VAT per group, in addition to the palace entry fee. Tours can be tailored to suit your group’s

interests, costumed guides are available and our pool of foreign language speaking guides is growing all the time!

See more information at

Comment on this Article:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership


Elite Partnership Sponsors


Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global travel media endorses the following travel Publication