We were watching Antiques Roadshow this evening. The host was enthusing over a large wooden table that he identified as a genuine piece of Tudor furniture.
“Look at those gorgeous Tudor legs and lovely drawers!” he said.
“Henry VIII had gorgeous Tudor legs and lovely drawers!” I quipped.
“That thing’s bloody huge!” my husband observed.
It’s not often I get such a perfect opportunity. There was only one thing left for me to say: “So was Henry by the end of it.”
I know, right? Comic genius.
This afternoon I visited the Bendigo Arr Gallery to see this amazing exhibition of royal portraits and memorabilia from the English royals dating from 1485 to the present day.
In one way, it was a little surreal: I have seen these paintings in history books, and the more recent photographs were familiar because I had seen them online or in magazines, so it was really strange to think I was seeing the originals.
In addition to being a most enjoyable and interesting gallery experience, it made me feel more connected to the history I have read and studied for so many years.
I really loved seeing the Tudor portraits, especially Elizabeth I whom I admire enormously, but found them all quite fascinating. Some of the portraits definitely felt more intimate and personal, while others had that sense of grandeur and formality that one might expect from a royal portrait. There was a good representation of men in stockings and garters, and some fabulously royal big hair.
It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon among royalty without having to dress up or curtsey to anyone.
If you get a chance to see this exhibition, I highly recommend it.