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Secrets of Henry VIII's Palace: Hampton Court

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This film focuses on Hampton Court Palace, from its origin through today. It was originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII, in 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the palace was passed to the King, who enlarged it. Today, the palace is open to the public, and a major tourist attraction. Along with St. James's Palace, it is one of only two surviving palaces of the many owned by Henry VIII.

Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • 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:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: July 2, 2013
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00C888OFA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,846 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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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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By kate on December 30, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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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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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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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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Format: DVD
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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