2024-02-22T17:35:00Z By Keeley Rodgers
From royal-themed visits to hidden history and much more, Historic Royal Palaces is hosting a range of exhibitions across its sites in 2024.
Tower of London
Following their use in the Coronation ceremony of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla in May 2023, visitors can now explore more stories than ever before about the Crown Jewels’ history and significance in the new Jewel House display at the Tower of London.
Groups will be immersed in the spectacle and pageantry of the Coronation including the various uses of the regalia during the ceremony itself such as the Imperial State Crown and St Edwards Crown.
From past to present – visitors will also learn about the origins of the current Crown Jewels, starting with the destruction of the medieval Coronation Regalia in 1649, during the English Civil War.
Elsewhere, Moat in Bloom will be back from May to September 2024 when visitors can experience the Tower of London’s moat from a fresh perspective.
Groups can walk amongst the plants and flowers in this green space and enjoy seeing many different pollinators visiting the moat to forage. Over the next few years, the Tower’s moat will evolve into a permanent biodiverse landscape with different habitats providing different species with a home.
Both Moat in Bloom and the new Jewel House exhibition are included within the admission price.
Hampton Court Palace
Until 29th September 2024, groups heading to Hampton Court Palace in Richmond will be able to explore the forgotten story of Indian Army soldiers who camped at the venue in the early 20th century, through a new exhibition called Indian Army at the Palace, featuring previously unseen objects, photographs, film and personal stories.
This remarkable new display brings to life the experiences of those within the camps as well as the press and public reactions to their presence. It’s included in palace admission and located in Fountain Court.
Or, from April to May each year, the gardens and courtyards at Hampton Court Palace become a kaleidoscope of colours as thousands of tulips bloom. A special trail guides visitors around the stunning displays, revealing the history of the tulips, believed to date back to Mary II (1662-1694).
The expert gardening team are also on hand to provide tips and information to keen gardeners during their visit. Although dates are unconfirmed at the moment, the Tulip Festival typically runs from 15th April until 1st May and is included in palace admission.
Groups will also be able to explore a display that will introduce them to the transformative age of Henry VIII’s early reign, set within the newly reopened Wolsey Rooms at Hampton Court Palace from May 2024.
Revealed through original artworks and historic objects – including famous pieces like The Field of Cloth of Gold – your clients will discover the people of the Tudor court: soldiers in Henry’s army, the craftsmen who made his palaces, and the influence of the wider world.
Alongside four surviving history paintings, visitors will see portraits of European Kings and Queens, sailors and soldiers, musicians and jousters, and displays of rare surviving artefacts from the Tudor era. The Wolsey Rooms and the Tudor display will be included in admission to Hampton Court Palace.
If you’re feeling peckish, you can also add The Queen Charlotte Afternoon Tea to your booking, launching in March 2024. This tasty experience includes two Duchess finger sandwiches, a mature cheddar cheese scone, Farmer George’s Pork Pie and plenty of other treats to enjoy with the whole group in the Tiltyard Cafe.
In March 2024, Kensington Palace will unveil Untold Lives: A palace at work, telling the stories of the forgotten individuals who have worked behind the scenes at the Palace over the centuries.
It will explore their origins and identities, extraordinary skills, and the intimate roles many of them had in keeping the palaces and will run from 14th March - 29th October 2024. Taking place inside the Pigott Gallery and included in the admission price, this temporary exhibition will see a range of fascinating objects go on display, from portraiture to personal mementoes.
Groups will also be able to relax in the glamour and sophistication of the newly restored Orangery from spring time. Dating back to 1704 and originally commissioned by Queen Anne, the Orangery was initially intended as a greenhouse, but with its grand exterior, intricate carvings and elegant pillars, features added by young architect John Vanbrugh, the building quickly became a favoured spot of the queen who frequently used it to host summer parties at the palace.
From March – May 2024 the gardens and grounds at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens in Northern Ireland will be awash with colour as tens of thousands of tulip and daffodil bulbs come into bloom.
The big pull for 2024 will be the Life Through a Royal Lens which makes it way to the venue after spending time at Kensington Palace. This must-see display documents the British Royal Family’s ever-evolving relationship with the camera over the last 200 years.
Discover how photography has been used to create an image of duty and stability throughout the centuries and how advances in technology and media have allowed the Royal Family to connect at a more personal level with a wider global audience.
Learn how the choice of photographer, photo composition, clothing, and environment throughout the photo series provides insightful cultural commentary on the social climate at the time each photo was taken.