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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Elizabeth died in 1603 in Richmond Palace and was succeeded by King James VI of Scotland, who became King James I of England when the English and Scottish thrones united. He was also fond of fabulous court masques, theatrical productions, and visits to private drinking dens. King James I was succeeded by his son, Charles I. While Charles enjoyed hosting large banquets for special occasions, he tried to reduce expenditure at courtly events. But the penny-pinching King developed some rather serious enemies. Charles believed in the divine right of kings. He wanted to govern according to his own conscience and ruled by himself until 1640. He fought the armies in the English Civil War until he was eventually handed over to Parliament.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds He was held under very comfortable house arrest at Hampton Court Palace. But this didn’t stop him giving his guards the slip. He escaped the palace and headed to Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, only to be held captive there, too. As we’ve learned this week, even as a prisoner, a king expects more than gruel and water. Charles was treated to up to 28 dishes at mealtime. But these sumptuous dishes turned out to be his downfall. When he later tried to escape again, a rope was smuggled up to the King’s bedchambers, fast horses were waiting. A boat was on standby to whisk him off to France. There was just one sticking point, and that was the King.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds Having indulged himself with extravagant meals, Charles had gained so much weight that he became stuck in the bars of his window. Charles I was executed, and 11 years of interregnum with Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector followed. However, Oliver’s son didn’t quite possess the same knack for running the country as his father. And the monarchy was recalled, with Charles II crowned King. Charles II also liked a good banquet and on particularly grand occasions would also invite foreign dignitaries to the magnificent Banqueting House in Whitehall while members of the public watched him dine from a specially erected viewing balcony. At several events, audience members became so excited watching their King that the balcony collapsed.

Skip to 2 minutes and 31 seconds Charles II was replaced by his brother, James II. But he only reigned for a short period before he fled to France, abdicating the throne. William III and Queen Mary II became king and queen. As part of their baroque remodelling of Hampton Court Palace, they commissioned a special Chocolate Kitchen to be built to provide a ready supply of their favourite royal delicacy. And chocolate will be the focus of week three. So let’s skip past the 12 years of rule by Queen Anne and pick up our story again in 1714, during the reign of the first Hanoverian King, George I.

Next week

Elizabeth died in 1603. What happened next?

Join Kate in this animated, whistle-stop tour through history to 1714, illustrating the events that eventually led to the succession of George I.

We hope you enjoyed Week 2 and look forward to meeting you again in Week 3 when we return to Hampton Court Palace to focus on the Georgian era and chocolate.

This animation was created by Louise Jin Yin Lee, Ross Warrington and Benedict Cross, students from the University of Reading’s Typography and Graphic Communication department.

Further reading

For those of you keen to read further about Tudor and Elizabethan cookery, we’ve compiled a list of suggested further reading material, provided by previous Learners in a PDF at the bottom of this Step.

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This video is from the free online course:

A History of Royal Food and Feasting

University of Reading