State apartments are all very well, and I can be easily awestruck by, say, a magnificent painted ceiling, or candle stands that tower over my head.
But the most fun for me in touring a historic site is looking into the less public spaces: kitchens, for instance. Wine cellars. Bathrooms.
Previously we looked into Queen Caroline’s (Caroline of Ansbach 1683-1737) bathroom at Hampton Court Palace.
Nowhere in my perambulations, however, did I come upon the King’s bathroom. I did find his lavatory, though.
King William III (1650–1702) was not an extrovert. He liked to be alone or with small groups of friends. One of the places where he could have some privacy was what’s called the King’s Closet. Here he’d meet with the privileged few and work at his modest-looking walnut desk. His long-case clock nearby needs to be wound only once a year—highly advanced technology for the time.
I leave you to surmise what attendance entailed.
*"In Architecture, a door so constructed that it stands flush with the adjoining face of the wall on both sides, and without dressings or architraves. Thus it appears to form part of the wall, the intention of a jib door being simply to disguise the aperture." —A Dictionary of Science, Literature, & Art, 1875