Glorious Georges: Every Generation has a Story

By Go City Expert

“Every generation has a story” is the catch phrase for the new Glorious Georges exhibition launching on the 17th April and running until 30th November. Featuring the three generations of Georges from 1714 to 1840, this exhibition celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian ascension to the British throne, across the Historic Royal Palaces; Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. If you love the British monarchy and want to explore the rich history of the royal family over the 18th and 19th century – including the gory details and saucy secrets – then this is definitely worth a visit! Get a teaser of what to expect in their video: George I at Hampton Court Palace As the first Hanoverian monarch to rule England, it was quite a shock to the English system when George I came to throne and reigned from 1714-1727. Originally born in Germany, it didn’t help when trying to win the hearts of the English public that he didn’t speak a word of English and instead took regular trips back to his home country. What also made him unpopular was the scandal surrounding his mistress, Melusine, who took the role of Queen in all but name, while his real wife was left locked up in Germany. Charming! Hampton Court Palace is one of England’s most famous palaces and is a must-see on your trip to London. Explore the Queen’s State Apartments and admire royal objects and artwork from George I’s court to take you back in time. Discover the characters from the early 1700s and get involved with the most bitter of rivalries. For an even more unique experience, there’s even an interactive olfactory tour where you can follow a smell map to tour the royal palace. Hampton Court Palace stages many special events over the summer, so get ahead and plan in advance from chocolate making and farmers markets, to salacious gossip tours and family festivals. For more information, check out their 'what's on' page. Guided tours at Hampton Court Palace Join in on one of the guided tours at Hampton Court Palace and learn about the secrets and scandals of life in court. Be led around this stunning historic building by a tour guide and discover even more of King Henry VIII... George II at Kensington Palace From 1726 to 1760, George II and his wife Queen Caroline held rule at court and although as a couple they had a more conventional relationship than their predecessors, there were some tempestuous times, too. George II had a mistress (as was the ‘done thing’ in those days) who was Caroline’s Woman of the Bedchamber, which made for a cosy coupling. However, it was rumoured that George II chose her for her discretion. Caroline and George both had strong characters themselves; it seems that George suffered from what we would now call OCD with his obsession with routine and order, while Caroline was a bit of a brain-box and one of the most accomplished women in Europe. Unfortunately George never gave her credit for her intellect, instead dismissing it as an interest in “lettered nonsense” even though she steered most of his political decisions... Discover the life of George II and his court at Kensington Palace. This central London palace was the perfect place to nurture the era of culture, fashion and music and in the King’s State Apartments you can learn about the courtiers, ladies and lords of that time. Visit Kensington Palace this summer for a wide spectrum of special events such as an Easter Trail, a Georgian family day in June, as well as a family festival and fashion show! For something more edifying there are lots of historic and educational events for adults, from the Hanoverian’s succession to the throne, to Queen Caroline’s political and social influence. Find out more, here. George III at Kew Palace As the first of the Hanoverian kings to be born in England, George III was a huge support for industry and technological innovation and later suffered from bouts of mental illness which led to his (rather unfortunate) nickname of the “mad king”. Charlotte, his wife, grew up in Mecklenberg-Strelitz a rather rural court and so by nature was a keen botanist and of high intellect, too. This meant that she had a keen interest in Kew Gardens and its exotic flowers, imported in by Joseph Banks. So much so that the Bird of Paradise was named Streletzia Regina in honour of Charlotte, the Queen. Kew Gardens is great in the summer and perfect if you’re travelling with a family. With 121 hectares to explore, including a glass house, tree walk and thousands of new blooms it’s a breath-taking oasis in the West of London. Did you know the tall pagoda which still stands today was commissioned by George III who was a budding student of architecture and exotic buildings? There’s a huge range of things to do at Kew Gardens from spring until summer, including evening tours, Jellymania to celebrate Queen Charlotte’s birthday and a gin and cake tasting evening. Enjoy the special events in Kew and explore the lush grounds as they come into flower over the season. Plan your trip in advance, and book ahead if necessary. Note: Historic Royal Palace Special Events may be subject to extra admission costs Entry to Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens is included with The London Pass. Why not add on a Travelcard, too, to take care of all your transport needs, including a ticket to Hampton Court! It’s simple: save time, save money and save hassle when sightseeing in London with one all-inclusive card: The London Pass.

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EGX 2019: What You Need To Know

EGX finished this weekend. London, nay, Britain's biggest gaming tradeshow's curtain call was on Sunday. Games were played. Costumes were worn. Laughter was had. If you didn't get the chance to go this year, or are thinking of going next year. Well, we've got this tidy little writeup just for you. So let's talk about EGX 2019. What is EGX What happened at EGX 2019 Tips for visiting EGX 2020 Hang on a minute, I stumbled on this page by accident. What is EGX? Well, firstly, thanks for sticking around. Secondly, EGX - formerly the Eurogamer Expo - is a gaming tradeshow. In layman's terms, it's where developers and publishers come to show off their shiny new video games. Gaming's biggest companies like Sony and Nintendo were in attendance. But it's also a showcase of smaller games from independent developers. It's a fantastic mix of big-budget spectacle crossed with unique experiences. There’s loads more there too. Merch, food, drink, competitions, cosplay, board games... the list goes on, but we’ll get to that. So how about EGX 2019? What happened this year? Lots, thankfully! This year it was held at the ExCel Centre. Those of you who’ve been there will know how big it is. But for those of you who have never had the pleasure: it’s big. Really big. Entering the foyer is daunting in itself! It’s huge. It would take you a good 5 minutes to walk from one end to the other. And it was full of people. Some in the colourful costumes of their favourite gaming characters. Others in more casual attire. Once you’ve equipped your wristband, you’re moments from the show floor. The booming music slowly rising as you approach the entrance. The flickering lights, signs and logos come into focus. You have arrived. If it’s all about video games, then talk about them! What was shown? EGX 2019 boasted perhaps its biggest line-up ever. Sony and Nintendo, as mentioned, both had a big presence on the floor. Sony boasted a presentation of Hideo Kojima’s unclassifiable Death Stranding, which stars a wealth of A-list talent. When players get their hands on it this coming November, they'll be controlling The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus as he...delivers packages in the post-apocalypse? We’re still not really sure yet. Players also got their grubby mitts on the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the new Call of Duty, to name but a few. Nintendo held Mario Kart and Splatoon competitions, and had a wealth of new and old games to play. The Witcher 3 made its triumphant way to the Switch’s weaker hardware recently, and was available on the floor. And speaking of The Witcher, its creators, CD Projekt RED, were also in attendance. They were showing one of the most anticipated games of next year – Cyberpunk 2077. Nice. What about the smaller games you mentioned? Unique to EGX 2019 is the Rezzed Zone. It’s a significant showcase of independent talent from across the globe. And best of all, many of the developers are in attendance, so you can chat to them while you wait, or even as you play. It’s a fantastic insight into the industry, one that is sadly absent from the bigger players. Highlights include Valfaris, a sidescroller with a heavy metal influence. And Blasphemous, a dark, gothic jaunt through a gruesome world seeping with religious themes and iconography. Alongside this, they also have a Careers Fair, for anyone seeking advice on entering the industry. And even a section dedicated to university graduates. No other gaming expo does as much to help budding developers as EGX. What about esports? Was anyone flossing at EGX 2019? We hope not, but yes, esports had a big presence at EGX this year. Capcom’s Streetfighter Pro Tour held its 2019 European Finals this year. Big Bird beat Infexious 3-1 to take the crown, and the £7000 top prize. And no, those aren’t their real names. Big Bird now takes his convincing form to the Pro Tour Cup in December, where he’ll be up against Victor ‘Punk’ Woodley, and Bonchan. There were also Overwatch and Tekken tournaments, and the aforementioned Nintendo competitions too – all open to the public. So, if you like a healthy dose of competitive gaming, EGX has you covered and then some. And when I’m all gamed out, what else can I do? Depends on what you want. Cosplayers are obviously more than welcome, and can compete to see who has the best costume of all. There’s the Tabletop section, where you can watch or play a number of, well, tabletop games. There are panels featuring internet personalities and game developers, and meet and greets with the very same. If you want merch, you got merch. You can pick up clothing, figures, games, and tech from across the sector. There’s bars and coffee spots, depending on what your poison is. An assortment of food options. You can even get tattooed there. There really is no reason to leave. Ever. Well, until 6pm. Unless you have a weekend pass, in which case, you can stay until 10pm. The whole things sounds super positive with absolutely no negatives at all... Hold on a second. We didn’t say that. There are a couple issues that brought the experience down a bit. Firstly, remember those big games we mentioned earlier? Death Stranding? Final Fantasy VII Remake? Cyberpunk 2077? Well, if you want to experience them, you need to have booked a slot or you risk queueing for upwards of two hours. The problem is, this wasn’t mentioned at any point before we arrived. Some of these bookings required downloading an app. We arrived at 1pm, and very quickly found that every slot for every game/experience had been long booked. It’s a shame. If we had known about it beforehand, we would have booked. And secondly, the food. While there are some recognisable spots like Subway, you’ll be queueing a long time to get your hands on a 6 inch. We settled for a little wrap place off the beaten path that had no queue. That was a mistake. Without naming names, it was really bad – bordering on inedible. We weren’t even sure if the chicken was properly cooked. But these shouldn’t put you off going to EGX next year. Far from it. Overall it was an incredible experience that we’d recommend in a heartbeat. Speaking of... Tips for people going to EGX 2020 If EGX 2020 is like EGX 2019, it will be open from Thursday to Sunday. If so, pick up a weekend pass and head there early on Thursday. Doors are at 10am, and it will likely be quieter as most of us have jobs. Take the day off. You deserve it. Fewer people means smaller crowds and smaller queues. It’s the best chance you have to see and play what you want. And given the release of the next Xbox and PlayStation next year, turnout will likely be larger. If you can’t make it on Thursday, still aim to arrive there as early as you can. The early bird catches the worm is no truer than at EGX. Pick appropriate footwear. You'll be doing a lot of walking. You don't want to be wearing your best heels. Eat before you go. From our experience, queues for food grew considerably at typical lunchtimes. Think 12-2pm. If you eat well before you go, you’ll avoid the queues and have your pick once the busy period dies down. Alternatively, go with an empty stomach and eat lunch early. Take a coat, it’s cold in October. But make sure you dress light beneath it. The show floor gets pretty warm. And you don’t want to be sweating up a storm while getting your gaming on. Thankfully, they have cloakrooms on-site if you don’t want to carry it around. Plan ahead. With so much to see, make sure you know when certain events/talks are taking place. We were handed a lovely schedule when we arrived, but feel free to do your research ahead of time. And there ends the lesson. Thanks for reading all of these words. We’ll definitely be attending EGX next year, and we hope to see you there! In the meantime, go find your new favourite watering hole. Or go check out Namco Funscape for some arcade goodness.
Dom Bewley

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