Royal Chapel of Versailles, May 2016. by Sabrina Danielle.
Photographed when I visited the Chateau de Versailles, France. The Sun King (Louis XIV) loved music and dance and thus had a gigantic gilded organ in this royal chapel where the King and his family would hold mass.
The Chapel, along with much of Hampton Court, was built to the current shape by Cardinal Wolsey, after he was granted the lease on the property in 1514. The design however, is a mix of different periods, with the ceiling being installed by Henry VIII, paintings from the 18th Century and even some Victorian pews.
Around ten years after he received the Palace, Wolsey had to give up Hampton Court to Henry VIII, as he fell from favour dramatically after failing to procure the King a divorce. Henry VIII’s take over meant the Chapel then was used as a Chapel Royal and housed many talented composers. Edward VI was Christened at the Chapel Royal by Archbishop Cranmer and shortly after Queen Jane Seymour died and lay in state in the chapel for three weeks. During the Reformation in Edward VI’s reign, the Chapel Royal continued to be used by the King and escaped the whitewashing that other churches faced. David Starkey has suggested this was due to the reverence with which Edward VI held his father, who had been responsible for the design. Elizabeth I continued to ignore calls for further church reform and also kept the chapel as it had been.
When Charles I was captured during the Civil War, the Chapel Royal was attacked. The stained glass was smashed and the decorations were destroyed. The ceiling has survived because it was too high for the Parliamentarians (Destructive murderous bastards) to attack. Oliver Cromwell, who was given guardianship of the Palace along with his Lord Protectorship, married his daughter off in the Chapel Royal.
William III and Mary II had much of Hampton Court redesigned by Sir Christopher Wren, including the Chapel during their reign, with William carrying on the task after Mary’s death. Queen Anne completed the work on the Chapel Royal and regularly worshipped there.
Since 1737 Hampton Court has not been used as a Royal Residence. This was because Queen Caroline died there and George II did not want to return to the Palace after her death. As such the Chapel became much less used and no changes were made to the design. Hampton Court has been opened to the public since 1838, thanks to Queen Victoria, and since then restoration work has been undertaken to restore various things. The Chapel is the only part of the palace that is still administered by the Royal Household. In 2004 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Hampton Court Conference at a Chapel Royal service, the first time a monarch had worshipped there since the withdrawal of George II. In 2010 the Queen’s Christmas message was broadcast from the Chapel Royal.
The firstborn son of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was born on July 22, 2013 at 4:24pm, weighing 8 pounds 6 ounces (3.80 kg). This marked the second time that three generations of direct heirs to the British throne have been alive at the same time, a situation that last occurred between 1894 and 1901, in the last seven years of the reign of Queen Victoria. His Royal Highness is third-in-line to the throne and on July 24, 2013, it was announced that the baby would be called His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. The Prince was baptized by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace on October 23, 2013.
Happy 3rd Birthday, HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge!
2001 son of champion Florida sire Montbrook, out of Cut Class Leanne
Chapel Royal did the majority of his racing as a juvenile. He was undefeated through his first three starts, which included the Grade 3 Flash Stakes and the Grade 2 Sanford. He met his first defeat in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga, losing by four lengths to Silver Wagon. Royal Chapel was again the runner-up in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont month later, this time behind future Belmont Stakes winner (and Triple Crown spoiler) Birdstone. Rounding out his season in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile, he ran third to champion juvenile Action This Day
Racing at three consisted of only two races. He made his 2004 debut in the Grade 3 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream, finishing fourth in the field of five. Chapel Royal’s final race was six months later, in the ungraded Fly So Free Stakes at Belmont. He finished last, the chart noting that he was “tired”
Chapel Royal entered stud in 2007, being moved to Signature Stallions in 2008. Thus far, his best earner on the track is 2013 Go For Wand Handicap winner and Lady’s Secret Stakes runner-up Royal Lahaina. He has also sired 2010 Russian Sprint Champion Marrakesh Star, and 2009 Lexington Stakes winner and Kentucky Derby starter Advice
The Chapel Royal has long played a central role in the life of Hampton Court Palace. This leather bound book of ‘Church Services – Hymns A+M’ was given to a former Grace and Favour resident as a Christmas present in 1917. Services continue to be held at the Chapel Royal to this day.