Weddings and betrothals – Feature Fridays

October 16 2020 | Castle History Weddings

Weddings and betrothals is the theme for this week’s #FeatureFridays with Historic Houses.

It is believed that it is at Hever Castle that the courtship of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII took place.

Located in the Inner Hall is a replica of the original clock reputed to have been given by King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn on the morning of their marriage in 1532.

The original clock is said to have been given to Horace Walpole by Lady Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Germain and placed in his collection of curiosities in the Library at Strawberry Hill, c.1747-95. It was then bought by the Keeper of the National Gallery for Queen Victoria at the sale of Horace Walpole’s collection in 1842. It was subsequently put on display in the ‘Panel Room’ at Windsor Castle.

The original clock remains in the Royal Collection and is a wall hung clock mounted on a gilt metal bracket and with a glass dome. The top is pierced with foliage and scrolls containing the bell, surmounted by a leopard holding a shield with the Royal coat of arms and Garter.

The first domestic clocks, in the early 15th century, are miniature versions of cathedral clocks – powered by hanging weights, regulated by escapements with a foliot (primitive balance wheel), and showing the time by means of a single hand working its way round a 12-hour circuit on the clock’s face. By the middle of the 15th century the spring-driven mechanism had been developed.

For more weddings and betrothals visitors to Hever Castle can see the 16th marriage tapestry on display in the Book of Hours Room.

The tapestry has lived at Hever Castle since former owner William Waldorf Astor purchased it through his agent Partridge in the early 20th century for 70,000 franks.

The tapestry illustrates a historic event: the marriage of King Henry VIII’s younger sister, Princess Mary Rose Tudor to King Louis XII of France. The union was political and understandably, the twenty-year old royal was reluctant to marry a man over thirty years her senior. However, Princess Mary Rose dutifully agreed to the match on condition that should she outlive the French monarch she could choose her new husband, namely Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk – a close friend of Henry.

Princess Mary’s marriage to King Louis was short-lived as he died just three months later, allowing her to marry Charles Brandon.

The tapestry is of historic importance as the woman to the right of Princess Mary Rose is supposedly Anne Boleyn – it is known that she and her sister Mary were present at the French Court at the time of the wedding in October 1514.

Modern day couples can have their fairytale wedding at Hever Castle with a selection of award-winning wedding options.

Whether it’s the stately grandeur of the Castle itself, the classic, country house atmosphere of the Astor Wing or the stunning lakeside location of the Italian Garden, Hever Castle offers a Kent wedding venue to suit all your wedding day dreams.

Hever Castle is celebrating intimacy and embracing the new normal with COVID secure weddingsAvailable for all remaining 2020 dates and up until 30th April 2021, take advantage of the unique opportunity to tie the knot at Hever Castle with just your close friends and family. Whether it’s just the two of you, or for numbers of up to 15, there are two beautiful function rooms to choose from. Discover more here.

If you enjoyed this item on weddings and betrothals, then why not discover the previous #FeatureFridays news items:

Herb gardens
Armour and costumes
Musical instruments
Secret passageways
American Connections
Priest Holes