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Secrets of Henry VIII's Palace: Hampton Court

30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Hampton Court is the ultimate royal pleasure palace, embodying an indulgent and grandiose lifestyle built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and furthered by King Henry VIII. Its many rooms chart Henry VIII's decline from fit young warrior to bloated womanizer, and they tell the vivid stories of the ladies who became his queens. Later, King William III and Queen Mary II commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to rebuild Hampton Court, demolishing half of the red brick Tudor palace and replacing it with an exquisite Baroque castle, making Hampton Court one of the most unique palaces in the world. Secrets of Henry VIII's Palace digs beneath the brick and stone to unveil an abundance of art and lore that bring Hampton Court to life.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Pbs (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: July 2, 2013
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00C888OFA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,609 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By lbrlartist on July 2, 2013
I have actually been to Hampton Court. I went on a day tour that took us there on the Thames. It was a guided tour and it was great. HOWEVER, I wish I had seen this first! This excellent 60-minute history and "tour" of the castle and its grounds gave so much more history and secrets, if you will, than I learned actually being there. For me, the main draw of the place is the cache of Henry VIII and Cardinal Woolsey. To walk on surfaces that they trod literally took my breath away. Nevertheless, so many of the fascinating tidbits in this documentary were left out during my visit.

Whether you have been, plan to go (a MUST before your trip) or daydream about going to Hampton Court, this dvd will give you lots of information and glorious images.

What I wouldn't give to go back, look up and see the handcarved "eavesdroppers" in the rafters! Maybe one day I will do just that.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Joe Owen VINE VOICE on July 19, 2013
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This outstanding documentary was originally aired on PBS and is the first in a series of documentaries about famous and historic palaces throughout Great Britain. Hampton Court was the primary home of Henry VIII from the time he was a young King until his death. Historians in the documentary tell a fascinating history of Henry and his unfortunate wives for whom some were beheaded due to the King getting bored and wanting a new wife. Hampton Court was later an unhappy palace of King George III's parents and later George III was the last monarch to live in the palace. The palace is a national treasure and a beautiful one at that. No expense was spared in Henry VIII building it and it shows. This documentary is filmed wonderfully and truly highlights this interesting palace and the commentaries by historians of Henry VIII and Tudor England and British History make this even more interesting! Highly Recommended!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kate on December 30, 2013
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I love castles, large homes and houses in general. As far as a home goes, this one is right up there with the best. Its not exactly what you think of as a castle; but is beautifully elegant and has so much history. Great watching.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Schureman on October 13, 2013
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Well in a way they can. I didn't realize that it's from two different periods as the part that's usually shown is the Tudor front. I found the fact that it was going to pulled down by William III and Queen Mary for upgrading and that it consists of two different eras very interesting as well as the monarchs who inhabited it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Irene M. Colby on January 15, 2014
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Hampton court is excellent. You relive the history with such incredible photograhy of the interior in the manor. The grounds are very large and beautifully manicured. To have the wonderful history and marvelous photography of Hampton court during the period of King Henry and those who followed is really great.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. Whitney on November 1, 2013
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I expected, in ordering this video, to see a reasonable sampling of the various rooms in this massive palatial structure. Having seen it, I'd estimate that perhaps a dozen rooms are visited, and none of them are really explored. It's as if the filmmakers were told to stand behind the velvet ropes with the tourists. Some of the great halls are shown, but the camera seems to be locked down at one end of the room, with the lens repeatedly tilted upward and downward, or panned, to provide an overview of ceilings, walls and floors, mostly from a distance. There is no footage to indicate the complexity of interior architecture. And the same views of external facades are repeated again and again, as if the film producers were highly restricted, outdoors as well as indoors, as to where they could set up their cameras.

Henry's troubled relationships with his wives, all of whom occupied Hampton Court, is lightly touched upon. For an hour-long production, this one contains far too little of substance. The potentials for a fine documentary on this subject would seem very large indeed. But without filmmaker access to at least some of the intricacies of the grand structures, they are not realized. The viewer is left with the impression that the entire program could have been filmed by a tourist who had rented a good video camera.

For an extremely fine presentation on a related subject, buy the 2012 BBC production, "The Queen's Palaces," in which the royal family gave filmmakers far greater access to several famous palaces. I've watched it multiple times, and I'll watch it again. It's utterly fascinating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WmDz on December 24, 2013
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Tghe video was well done but seemed to like the depth which was expected from it. It was quite informative but did not show enought to make to outstanding..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Keefer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 16, 2014
Hampton Court Palace is a treasure of English history and this DVD calls upon architectural and social historians to divulge its secrets. You will learn that the word "eavesdrop" was invented her and see the original eavesdroppers. You'll see how Henry VIII tried to erase Anne Boleyn's presence here, but was unsuccessful as one clue was left. Perhaps it was done on purpose by a workman? Technology will show you how tapestries from the 1500's here really looked in their original hues. You'll see one of the few remaining 16th century kitchens. And you'll understand why the Georgian kings eventually abandoned Hampton Court. The history of a building is a fascinating way to approach the history of its times through the lives of its occupants. This film exceeded my expectations. I was interested to read that some reviewers learned more from this film than from the tour at Hampton Court.
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