A captivating chapel in continuous use for over 450 years
Updated 25 March. In line with Public Health England guidance, we have taken the decision to close all six of our palaces and gardens until 31st May. We will be reviewing this and will keep you updated. Please read our statement for further information. Read our statement
Outstandingly rich, colourful and layered with history, the chapel's vaulted ceiling was installed by Henry VIII in the 1530s and is the grand culmination of Tudor opulence at Hampton Court.
In 1710, Queen Anne commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to remodel the interior of the chapel.
The royal family would never sit in the main body of the church. Kings and queens always used a private pew on first-floor level which looks down upon the main body of the chapel.
Today, a single central room, like a box at an opera, is reserved for the monarch.
Catherine was accused of unchaste behaviour before her marriage. Henry VIII had been besotted with his young wife, which is why he turned against her all the more viciously.
Catherine was executed at the Tower of London soon afterwards.
You are welcome to attend a religious service here. You do not require a palace admission ticket to attend a religious service.
Following advice issued by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Chapel Royal has suspended public worship until further notice. The chapel remains open for private prayer to ticket holders, members and staff. This will also include Sunday lunchtime recitals.
More on religious services at the Chapel Royal
The worshipping life of the chapel will continue in private, and we hold you all in our prayers.
You may wish to follow our Facebook page @ChapelRoyal where we will be issuing sermons and other material to help sustain our spiritual life during this difficult time.
Learn more about worship, music and the architecture of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace on the Chapel's website.
Information on music programming and latest updates from the Chapel community are coming soon.Visit the Chapel Royal website
In these difficult times, many people are confused and frightened. Matters are not only moving very fast, but it appears that official advice is changing almost on a daily basis, with the continual advance of the SARS-CoV-19-virus. At the Chapel Royal, we had already adopted sensible precautionary measures, such as hand-cleansing on entry etc and the administration of Holy Communion in one kind.
On Monday 16 March, the Government issued fresh advice, to the effect that all people should, if possible, socially isolate and avoid journeys except in cases of necessity. That would include attending gatherings. This particularly applies for those who are over 70 years of age or are vulnerable through having a pre-existing health condition.
There was initially some confusion as to whether that would also include attending religious acts of worship. The Secretary of State for Health later confirmed that this does. Therefore, it is with sadness that we announce that public services will cease in HM Chapel Royal Hampton Court Palace, with immediate effect.
However, the offering of prayer will not. As with other churches around the world, we will privately continue to offer the Eucharist and the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer here, for HM The Queen, the nation and for you all, for as long as I can. Even if you are unable physically to attend, we can maintain our Chapel Community spiritually and virtually, through prayer, contact, and spiritual communion. We will do everything possible to keep in touch via electronic communications and telephone. Please continue to look at the Chapel’s website, and social media, by which means we will attempt to provide resources for prayer and sustaining your spiritual life. Please do not give up faith or hope. Whilst physically separated, we can still be united by that sacrifice of prayer.
These are frightening times, not least for those of us who find ourselves in the vulnerable category. It is essential that we now make the sacrifice, not only to look after ourselves, but to allow our wonderful health serve the ability to cope, without finding itself overwhelmed. Every life matters since everyone is made in the image of God.
The immediate future is without precedent in recent times. Drastic action and sacrifice is required. But as we know, through the greatest sacrifice of all - that of Jesus in the cross - the fear of Gethsemane and the darkness of Good Friday ultimately lead to the light and new life of Easter. We currently find ourselves in the darkness. With faith, hope and love, we can, and will, get though this, eventually to come together again and celebrate the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice for us in this beautiful and holy place.
Yours in Christ,
Discover books inspired by the palaces in our care, learn about fascinating periods of British history, including our official palace guide books, children's books and more.
Shop our unique collection of Anne Boleyn books, jewellery and gifts. Anne Boleyn's letter jewellery, including her 'B' necklace and 'AB' brooch, are believed to have been passed down to her daughter Elizabeth I.