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
KickAssTorrents down: biggest file-sharing site moves to .cr domain after takedowns
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Watch teenager Collin Burns break the Rubik's Cube world record by solving puzzle in just 5.25 seconds
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
'Are you beach body ready?' backlash: Protein World boss labels feminist campaigners 'terrorists'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 Stephen Hawking endorses Labour in the General Election
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...