The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace

From Londonhua WIKI

The Chapel Royal


The Chapel Royal is a part of the Ecclesiastical Household of Her Majesty the Queen. The services in the church are very traditional and the church is still active today, as it has been for the last 500 years. All are welcome to attend daily services at the chapel, as well as services on Sundays and on Holy Days. The chapel was built in the palace in the late 1520s by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and was later embellished by Henry VIII. It was restored to the original Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren for William III and Mary II, and Queen Anne.


This chapel has been a regular place of worship for over 500 years, and today more than 400 people regularly attend services at the Chapel. Services can be attended each day that the Palace is open. Some magnificent features of the chapel are the Tudor Ceiling, the Altar, and the Memorial to those who gave their lives fighting in both of the World Wars.

The Tudor Ceiling

The ceiling of the chapel was designed and made fro King Henry VIII in 1535 and 1536. It is considered by many to be one of the finest examples of an English Tudor pendant-vaulted ceiling. The ceiling was prefabricated at Sonning in Berkshire in oak but then was painted and gilded on the site of the chapel. The ceiling took a total of two years to complete and features a total of 60 gilded winged angels. The bright color scheme was restored in 1847 after it dramatically faded. The motto Dieu et mon Droit meaning God and my Right appears 32 times int he ceiling. Also in the ceiling the letter 'N' is written backwards, in the way that the Tudors wrote it.

The Royal Pew

Since Tudor times the King and Queen worship and attend services overlooking the chapel from the Royal Pew. Originally, the Pew was separated into two rooms, but Sir Christopher Wren redecorated in for Queen Anne, transforming it to one room, as it appears today.

Other Interesting Parts of the Chapel

Altar-The altar 'throw-over' was designed by Christopher Wren and the altar cross was made by Sir Edwin Lutyens. King Henry VIII's third wives heart is buried underneath the Altar.
Processional Cross- The cross is from Ethiopia and was gifted to the Chapel in 1969 and is made of gilded bronze.
Organ- The organ in the Chapel is an early 18th century organ which was built for Queen Anne in 1711. Handel, the composer may have played the organ on occasion.


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