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King Henry VIII rides again at the Hampton Court Palace Joust this summer

King Henry VIII rides again at the Hampton Court Palace Joust this summer

King Henry VIII is set to joust at Hampton Court Palace this summer as the famous Tudor sport returns across two action-packed weekends.

Wide shot of West Front.
Photos taken at Hampton Court Palace for a marketing evergreen photoshoot.

On 13-14 and 20-21 July visitors are invited to witness the excitement of Henry VIII’s Joust at his famous party palace, where he once hosted celebratory tournaments in his Tiltyard. This high-octane stunt show will see chivalrous knights face off to be crowned champion, and earn the admiration of spectators of all ages.

Visitors will be transported back in time to 1533, as King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn celebrate their recent nuptials with this classic Tudor entertainment. The new Queen will be among the spectators, alongside upstanding members of the Tudor court, ready to preside over the pomp and ceremony. Meanwhile, the Tudor King himself will be amongst the riders this year, a rare sight indeed for visitors to Hampton Court Palace. Families can expect to be dazzled by daredevil tricks performed on horseback before the contestants take up their lances and prepare for the ultimate show-down.

The East Front, showing opposing knights on horseback riding past the tilt. The first day of the Jubilee Joust tournament 1st-5th June 2022, celebrating HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

Incredible falconry displays are set to captivate visitors of all ages, as expert falconers reveal these majestic birds to the crowds and share insights into their importance in the Tudor court. Of course, Henry VIII’s favourite pastime wouldn’t be complete without delicious treats to enjoy throughout the day, and ringside street food sellers will provide snacks and refreshing drinks throughout the weekend events.

For those wanting to learn more about Henry VIII, a new permanent display – The Tudor World in the Wolsey Rooms – will open inside the oldest surviving rooms of the palace from 13 July. Exploring the early years of his reign and the ordinary men and women who shaped the Tudor dynasty, visitors will be able to marvel at rare surviving artworks as well as historic objects including a ring believed to have belonged to the Boleyn family and an elaborate hat linked to Henry VIII. On the ground floor, a fully-accessible exhibition space will explore the Tudor court and the wider world of the 1500s, using hands-on interactives, replica Tudor artefacts, and digital projections.

The East Front, showing opposing knights on horseback riding past the tilt. The first day of the Jubilee Joust tournament 1st-5th June 2022, celebrating HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

Later this summer, inside the palace live performances will take place each day throughout the summer to celebrate the lives and remarkable stories of less well-known individuals from the Palace’s history. Unheard Voices (27 July – 31 August) will explore the lives of Sophia Duleep Singh, Arabella Hunt and Diego the Circumnavigator, drawing on the lived experiences of writers, directors and actors involved in the programme to enrich their stories.

Each of these summer family activities is included in the price of standard admission to Hampton Court Palace, where little ones can run free in 60 acres of gardens, experience historic cookery in the Tudor kitchens, and take in the breath-taking State Apartments occupied by historic monarchs. Visitors in receipt of universal credit and certain other financial means tested benefits will be able to purchase a £1 ticket to enjoy Henry VIII’s Joust and other family activities included in a ticket to Hampton Court Palace this summer.

For more information, and to book, please visit

All images courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces

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