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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sir Thomas is a big fat flirt

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Today we took a train to Hampton Court. I was up late last night and all museum-ed and palace-d out, so I was not excited. In fact, I was once again thinking about finding a Primark or something instead. But as we picked up our audio guides, we could also put on a cloak! Like an almost Harry Potter-type cloak. That got me excited – I’ve never been to a place that gives you dress-up stuff before! We went out into the courtyards of the palace and found a fountain with awkward statues on it, so naturally we took pictures. We wandered around for a bit until 11 when we found some actor/character type people who were helping prepare for Henry VIII’s wedding to his sixth wife Katherine Parr. They invited us to come along. All the people in the cloaks (me included) were considered nobility. They taught us how to bow/curtsy and told us the rules of being in the presence of the king.

Then, in Henry’s apartments, we met first Katherine Parr and then we actually met Henry VIII! He came in and we all bowed and curtsied. He told us to rise and we presented him with a gift. And then, the woman that had been teaching all the rules, presented him with a gift that he found extremely offensive and he yelled at her and sent her away. It was awesome! My first thought was that it’s like British History Disneyland! It was so fun. We explored the rest of the palace, not all of it but most. There was this section on Young Henry VIII when he first became king, and they had a video playing – the guy playing Henry was reeeeeeally good-looking. Then my friend Jess said, “I suddenly have a very big interest in Henry’s early years.” Ha ha it was great. It’s amazing how attractive people make museums and such more fun J On the way out, though, we heard a creepy child’s voice whispering over and over “divorced – beheaded – died – divorced – beheaded – survived.” It’s the little saying kids use to remember what happened to Henry’s wives…So creepy…

We later ran across Henry’s friend Sir Thomas in a courtyard, telling a group of people how he had noticed Katherine Parr staring lustfully at his calf, so therefore she must love him and he was going to propose to her before she married Henry and whisk her away to some far off place. We didn’t get to see him actually talk to Katherine – I wanted to stay but my friends wanted to go see something else – but I know that he was obviously not successful because we know from history that Katherine married Henry. That would have been an epic romance, though, if she had run away with Sir Thomas – I would have preferred that. We did get to help Katherine pick out her wedding dress, though.

The entire palace, gardens and all, was so beautiful. There was also a maze – supposedly the most famous maze in the world – which we wandered through until we found the center. We also reenacted a bit of Harry Potter, of course. And then we headed back through the palace to get out. On our way to the exit we ran into Henry VIII again, walking with Sir Thomas. The guard walking in front of Henry told us to lower our eyes so we curtsied, and then Henry told us we could rise. He proceeded to compliment our beauty, and Sir Thomas started hitting on us. He was like a foot away from me. The following dialogue followed:

Sir Thomas: (distracted by us) very beautiful…

Henry: Sir Thomas, you attend me.

Sir Thomas: (catching himself) Right, your majesty. Right.

Henry: (to us) It is nice to have beauty surrounding us. And you have beauty in abundance.

Sir Thomas: They have beauty in their what? Oh, in abundance…oh…

Ha ha it was the best. I loved it. Totally made my day – a guy who’s been dead for hundreds of years hit on me today – it’s not every day you can say that!

I then had a magnum gold for lunch – nothing better than ice cream for lunch. And we rode the train back to London. On the way home we stopped at Primark and bought a few things – I got a shirt, a blazer, and some shoes. I love Primark. And after dinner, we went to see Oliver! with the entire group. It was so fun – I’ve never seen it live, but I know all the songs. It was really great to see it live.

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