While my major is Modern Europe, my first love in history was and will always will be the Tudors and their time ruling England. I chose to go a different path with my studies because so much has already been done on the Tudors that I felt my time and research would be better spent bringing more unknown information to light and presenting new arguments on the topics. With that being said, this Tudor fan absolutely LOVED England. I repeatedly had to pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming.
I first heard about Henry VIII in high school World History and when I heard about Henry and his antics, I became, for lack of a better word, obsessed. I did my senior project on his six wives and I focused my Master’s Degree Thesis on Katherine Parr (Henry VIII’s sixth wife) and her contributions to the milieu of England’s history. It was an honor and a privilege to get to the various castles: Windsor and Buckingham, and relish in the royal families and events that have occurred there. The most moving experience, however, was our two visits to the Tower of London.
On our first venture to the Tower, I was honored to stand in the burial place of Anne Boleyn and other queens. I also got to see the crown jewels. I was with about six other students on the trip and as we waited in the thirty minute line to see the crown jewels the other students listened as I rambled on about Henry VIII, his wives, and the creation of the Anglican church. From that moment on I became the unofficial tour guide of the trip as I would pass on my historical knowledge at each of the places we visited. I even used Game of Thrones to help explain the evolution of family crests (sigils) over time.
On our second venture to the Tower, we got to witness the very moving experience of the changing of the key. This involved going to the tower at 10 o clock at night and watch as the Yeoman Guard (Beefeater) explained to us how the main guard would lead some soldiers in the official locking up of the Tower for the evening. It was a beautiful ceremony, but what made it so special, was our Yeoman Guard was the first woman guard ever admitted to the position (now one of two). It was an honor to stand in her presence as she guided us through this unique and traditional ceremony.L
London proved to be everything and more that high-school me could have ever dreamed of.