Museum Preview: Secrets of Christmas past
Thursday 18 December 1997
Few places felt the pinch more than the Queen's House in Greenwich, according to Mistress Babington. Played by a National Maritime Museum actor-interpreter, the wife of the Palladian villa's original housekeeper reminisces with visitors about the good old days before the Puritans. Built by James I for his wife, Anne of Denmark, the "House of Delights" came into its own with the sophisticated court culture of Charles I. In keeping with the lavish masques in Whitehall, the King's wife Henrietta Maria organised equally opulent court entertainments in the Queen's House. The music to which the court and the rest of gentrified society of the 1630s danced will be featured in a seasonal programme of music, "Among the Green Boughs:", performed by costumed musicians.
With the Revolution, however, both the King and Christmas were deposed. Mistress Babington tells how festive celebrations continued secretly as Christmas went underground. Thankfully, under the stewardship of a respectful Puritan, Bulstrode Whitlock, the Queen's House suffered little damage and remains a splendid site to recount the restoration not only of a Stuart monarch but a Stuart Christmas.
`Christmas Restored' to Dec 30 (except 24-28inc), `Among the Green Boughs' Dec 20-23, 27-31. Queen's House, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE10 (0181-858 4422)
Life & Style blogs
Not brushing your teeth can lead to dementia and heart disease
Charlie Charlie Challenge: everyone on the internet thinks it’s a marketing stunt, but it probably isn’t
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca reclaims top spot to be named world's best restaurant
Windows 10: apps and features killed off as Microsoft reveals limits of new operating system
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...