March 2009

A weekend of Tudor-themed festivities will take place in Greenwich to help mark the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession and coronation.

Jointly organised by Greenwich Council and the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC), ‘Henry Days’ will take place on Saturday June 13th and Sunday June 14th at the ORNC and is a part of “The Story of London”, a month-long celebration of the city’s past, present and future.

The ORNC is the former site of Greenwich Palace, the birthplace of Henry VIII and his main residence of choice throughout his reign as the King of England.

The weekend of activities will be suitable for all the family and will offer a wonderful opportunity to learn first hand about Henry and Tudor life.

The huge range of activities on show will include actors re-enacting a typical 15th century hunting parade, knights battling each other in combat in the extensive grounds of the ORNC as well as opportunities for visitors to test their archery skills, join in Tudor dancing and feast at a Tudor food court.

There will also be face painting and flag making workshops running throughout the day, a range of games and entertainment suitable for children and lots of other activities.

All outdoor performances will be free of charge.

Councillor John Fahy, Cabinet member for Culture and Olympics, said: “Henry VIII’s extensive links with Greenwich are a source of great pride in the borough. As well as being Greenwich-born, his chief residence was the former Greenwich Palace, which is now the Old Royal Naval College and therefore the most appropriate venue to commemorate such a special occasion. It promises to be a fantastic weekend for all the family to enjoy and I hope everyone takes the opportunity to come down and take part in the festivities.”    
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College explains: “The Greenwich Foundation is delighted to be working closely with Greenwich Council to mark this important anniversary. We know that Henry was a great sportsman with a love of jousting, armed combat and hunting and that he built stables, towers overlooking his tiltyard, and even an armoury on this very site. To recreate some of this atmosphere and to bring alive Henry’s enthusiasm for Greenwich is particularly appropriate, not just in the light of the 500th anniversary but also when looking ahead to 2012 and the equestrian games being held in Greenwich.”

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