FROM LONDON, ENGLAND
(click on thumbnail images to enlarge - Imperial College tower bathed in gold, dinner at "Da Mario's")
Updated Feb 8, 2012
Short Ride to Hampton Court, Long Leap to Distant Past
A half-hour train ride takes us back five centuries in history
LONDON, England, Feb 8, 2013 - Funny country England is. Like a time warp. A half hour train ride can take you half a millennium back in history. And to lifetimes long forgotten. That's what happened to Elizabeth and me on Feb 7 when we took a train from Waterloo Station to Hampton Court, the famed Henry VIII royal palace.
For Elizabeth and me, the palace had a special personal meaning. Some 450 years ago, we lived there briefly as King and Queen of England and many other dominions. I was incarnated as King Phillip II of Spain. Elizabeth was Queen Mary I of England and Ireland, Henry VIII's eldest daughter, the only child of his 20-year marriage to Catherine of Aragon who survived into adulthood. These were our official titles at the time:
Their joint royal style after Philip ascended the Spanish throne in 1556 was: Philip and Mary, by the Grace of God King and Queen of England, Spain, France, Jerusalem, both the Sicilies and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Burgundy, Milan and Brabant, Counts of Habsburg, Flanders and Tirol.
We were married in 1554 at the Winchester Cathedral. Our marriage produced no children. It ended when Marry died in 1558. She was nine years older than Phillip. Mary was first promised as a bride to Charles V, Phillip's father and the Emperor of the Holy Empire. Charles V was one of the most powerful kings in Europe at the time. Henry VIII was trying to extend his influence on the continent by an alliance with him. But when Charles V defeated the French king Francois, a key rival, in the Battle of Pavia in 1525, he became the sole most important ruler in Europe, and did not need the support of the English crown (see the map of Charles V's dominions - right). So he reneged on his betrothal to Mary, who was only 10 at the time, 16 years his junior, and married Isabella of Portugal instead. The following year, she gave birth to Phillip II, their firstborn son, who would eventually succeed Charles V and marry Henry VIII's daughter Mary in 1554.
Back to Hampton Court on Feb 7, 2013, I had an eerie feeling throughout our visit to the Henry VIII palace. It has been beautifully preserved and equipped as a modern museum. When we entered the room which used to be Mary's bedroom (left), I got goose bumps on my head. Elizabeth said nothing. She says she does not believe in incarnations. But I could tell that our visit to the palace had left a deep impression on her. (Also see the Elizabeth's Dream update as an illustration how the subconscious part of her mind may be showing her how she was part of it all, and that the official history about the Henry VIII era may be inaccurate). We spent about three hours at Hampton Court before returning to London and 2013.
Here's a photo album from our visit...
Photo Album - Hampton Court, Feb 7
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Back in London, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon High Tea at the Brown's hotel, London's oldest hotel. It was Elizabeth's wish to cap our visit with and an opportunity to dress up for it. Here are some photos from it.
Photo Album - London, Feb 7
HAIKU, Maui, Feb 10 - Elizabeth told me
this afternoon that she had a dream last night in which she was
observing a scene in a room (like the ones we saw at Hampton Court)
as if she were an angel, high up. There were three people in it - an
older man, a boy, his son, and a man in his 30s. They were dressed
in costumes of the early 16th century era. The man in his 30s was
saying to the older man that his version of history as written in a
book the older man had written was inaccurate.
I said the older man was probably the older Henry, and that the younger man was also Henry as a vigorous young man. We saw a picture like that, a portrait of Henry who looks like a young man when you look at the painting right up front, and like an old and fat Henry when you see it from an angle.
The young Henry was virtuous and vigorous.
The old Henry was morally and physically corrupt. Which is why he
may have had some of the history written to suit his ego rather than
serve the truth.