Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Question from Samantha H - Queens' Apartments and rooms

I have been looking for basic information regarding the "Queen's Apartments/Rooms" in the Tudor age. How many rooms were there? What was each room used for/called? I understand that each house/palace would be different, but I guess just a general understanding would be great! I haven't been able to find anything online.


[Ed note - We had a similar question a few months ago, but that focused more on the daily routines of the Queens and less on the architecture. Related thread below.]



Lara said...

Although I don't have my copy on hand at the moment, I would suggest trying to find a copy of Simon Thurley's "Royal Palaces of Tudor England". I'm pretty sure this is a topic that he went into in that book. In the back there are also reconstructed plans and layouts of the palaces which might be of help if you are trying to visualize the relationship of the various rooms, chambers, halls, etc.

kb said...

Moving from the architectural to the conceptual... Elizabeth I had 2 levels of rooms, her bed chamber and her privy chamber. In most royal houses the privy chamber would have been adjacent to the bed chamber and serve as a semi-private receiving room, or sitting room. The privy chamber would also be the scene of small meals, private music performances, etc.

This conceptual lay out carries backward to other Tudor queens but they did not designate their ladies-in-waiting to the two specific rooms.

The third designation for a lady-in-waiting was lady of the presence chamber. This refers to the more formal receiving rooms where the queen would have met with new ambassadors, etc. There was generally a chair serving as a throne in the presence chamber.

The layout of the physical rooms clearly differed from place to place.

Anonymous said...

What about the "Privy Closet" or "Queen's Closet?" I have read in many (non-fiction books) where queens could be retiring there, or praying, or holding smsll meetings. I always thought this was a water closet, or am I just confused...?


Lara said...

I have to admit that when I started reading about the Tudors many years ago, when I would see "Queen's Closet" mentioned, my first mental image was a fancy walk-in closet (like in the modern sense) with fancy clothes hanging up and crowns on the shelving. Hey, I was about 14, so what do you expect.

But no, the Queen's Closet and a Privy Chamber aren't toilets, but the latter certainly does sound like it should be! They're basically private apartments in royal residences.

ch├ęBEBE said...

I too am looking for a layout of the Richmond Palace privy chambers and how they connected to the chapel below.. There is NOTHING online.. and I cannot afford to purchase "Royal Palaces of Tudor England".. Can someone lead me to somewhat of a direction to find a map or blueprint?