Undressing the Tudors

New costume demonstration launches at Queens House, Greenwich

Step back in time at the Queens House, Greenwich and get a glimpse into the clothing worn by the Tudors and Stuarts’ in the latest addition for groups at Royal Museums Greenwich.

‘Undressing the Tudors and Stuarts’ is an interactive demonstration, talking through the significance of clothing and the importance it played within society. Discover how clothing was worn in the past in this fascinating demonstration and learn about fashion trends that dominated that era.

The demonstration will take place in front of the very fitting back drop of the iconic Armada portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. The painting is on permanent public display as part of the national collection in the Queen’s Presence Chamber in the Queen’s House, on the site of the original Greenwich Palace, which was the birthplace of Elizabeth I. Like many Tudor portraits, it is packed with meaning and metaphor. Elizabeth’s upright posture, open arms and clear gaze speak of vitality and strength. She is draped in pearls – symbols of chastity and the Moon. Numerous suns are embroidered in gold on her skirt and sleeves, to signify power and enlightenment. She rests her hand on a globe, with her fingers over the New World, and above can be seen a covered imperial crown: both signal her potency as a ruler, not just of England but also as a monarch with overseas ambitions. Guests can learn about all of this and more but with the interactive element of being able to touch and feel fabrics that would have been similar to those worn by the Tudors.

Eleanor Harris, Director of Visitor Experiences and Enterprises said: “The Undressing the Tudors activity brings a fantastic interactive element to the offer for groups at Queens House. Visitors will be able to feel like they are being transported back in time to learn in a fun and informative way. Where better to learn about this fascinating moment in history than Greenwich, a location which is closely linked to the most recognised names from the Tudor era.”

Greenwich’s royal connections go right back to the 15th century. Three Tudor monarchs were born in Greenwich and James I also lived here, giving the borough to his wife Anne.

The Queen’s House was completed around 1636 and is considered remarkable for its break with the traditional, red-brick Tudor style of building, and for its elegant proportions and the high quality of its interiors. It was the first fully classical building in England.

It was used by members of the royal family until 1805, when George III granted the Queen’s House to a charity for the orphans of seamen, called the Royal Naval Asylum. This remained until 1933, when the school moved to Suffolk. It was taken over by the National Maritime Museum in 1934.

Price details of activity: £100 (Max 20 people per demonstration)

To book your group demonstration, simply email traveltrade@rmg.co.uk with your requirements.

Find out more about The Royal Museum Greenwich here