Other Royal associations
Other royal associations take in ‘vanished uses’ of sites or buildings. These include:
Greenwich Palace: a major site for the spectacular reception of royal visitors and embassies under Henry VIII, including the Emperor Charles V in 1522 and the French embassy of 1527, which echoed the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Jousting on the Palace tiltyard – now the National Maritime Museum's north-east lawns – played a significant part in these events, so equestrian ‘Olympics’ at Greenwich were nothing new.
The Queen’s House and Greenwich Hospital (now the Old Royal Naval College (as below) also have a history of post-Civil War departures and arrivals, including of royal brides (e.g. Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha to marry Frederick, Prince of Wales in 1736).
The Royal Naval College (now Old Royal Naval College), which as ‘the Navy’s university’ occupied the Wren buildings of Greenwich Hospital from 1873 to 1998 and during that time saw many members of the royal family in many capacities. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales and the HRH The Duke of York all attended the College.
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich: now a museum site, but which celebrates its own history as an active working observatory until just after the Second World War.
Montagu House, of which only a rear wall and ‘Queen Caroline’s Bath’ now exist alongside the Ranger’s House on the edge of Greenwich Park. However, it was the home of Queen Caroline, estranged wife of George IV, who also arrived at Greenwich for her marriage in 1795. (Met by a guard of honour of naval pensioners she asked, in French, ‘What, do all men in England lack an arm or a leg?’).
Elizabeth I knighted Francis Drake at Deptford in 1581, after his Golden Hind circumnavigation of the globe (as HM The Queen knighted Francis Chichester, with the same sword, at the Royal Naval College after his own circumnavigation in 1967). Only a few historic parts remain but the presence of the Royal Dockyards at Deptford and Woolwich - both largely closed in the 1860s - made Greenwich Hospital the London base for the royal yachts from the 17th century to the end of the age of sail. Charles II and James, Duke of York (later James II), imported yachting from Holland and raced their own eaarly yachts on the Thames. The first three Georges used Greenwich as the irregular departure point to and from Hanover, and the royal yachts (of which there were always several) were also used for diplomatic traffic and other VIP’s, including the arrival of royal brides from the continent.