Monday, June 11, 2012

The Frozen Yeomen of Hampton Court Palace

Monday, June 11, 2012
Loretta reports:

I had so much fun visiting Hampton Court Palace last year that I had the characters in my latest book, Scandal Wears Satin, make a stop there.

On of the palace’s many delights (I’ve blogged about others here and here and here and here) were these stone yeomen, who support the chimneypiece in The Queen’s Guard Chamber.


   
The room is one of Queen Mary II’s (of William & Mary) Apartments and part of a palace renovation, abandoned when the queen died in 1694.  No major work was done until 1717, when the Prince & Princess of Wales—the future King George II and Queen Caroline—hired Christopher Wren to bring the place back to life.  He designed this pair of figures in honor of the Yeomen of the Guard—the soldiers who guarded the monarch’s private rooms in a palace.  In the Guard Room, according to Historic Royal Palaces, they “met courtiers on their way to meet the sovereign. Their job was to ensure that no ‘idle, mean or unknown persons’ would pass through into the more important rooms beyond.”

I love that Wren gave them personalities.

3 comments:

Vintagemaison said...

I love the way one is looking to his left as if to check out someone coming into the room...

Molly M. said...

We were just there a little over a week ago and saw these two fellows. What an amazing place!

bluffkinghal said...

Awesome! There is so much of symbolism in these intricate carvings.

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