With 2015 marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Amy Moore details attractions in London suitable for a themed itinerary
June 18, 2015 will mark the exact anniversary date of the Battle of Waterloo.
The Battle of Waterloo was fought in Belgium in 1815, approximately 13 kilometres south of Brussels, where an alliance of British, Prussian and Belgian soldiers banded together to fight against the French, led by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
Napoleon’s swift rise to power sparked the French Revolution around 1792, continuing with the Napoleonic Wars from 1803. Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo brought approximately 20 years of warfare to an end.
The impact is still evident today, with commemorative events hosted at many attractions around the capital including the Household Cavalry Museum, Windsor Castle, The Fan Museum and Wellington Arch in Hyde Park Corner.
HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY MUSEUM
Household Cavalry Museum is housed within the historic Horse Guards in Whitehall. The structure dates from 1750 and remains the headquarters of the Household Division, home to the Household Cavalry.
The Household Cavalry was formed in 1661 under the order of King Charles II and has since sworn to guard royalty on ceremonial occasions within London and across the UK.
In 2015, the Household Cavalry Museum is commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, through related exhibits that would have been used by those present on the battlefield.
It is said that 2,000-plus cavalrymen fought to prevent 15,000 French infantry from attacking the Duke of Wellington’s allied line in battle. Group/school visits to the Household Cavalry Museum are available to book Monday to Friday between 0900hrs and 1630hrs. Visits are estimated to take around two/three hours. Catering options are available at an extra charge and coach drivers are admitted free. To book call 01753 755194 or email museum@householdcavalry. co.uk. For more information visit www.householdcavalrymuseum.co.uk
Waterloo at Windsor is scheduled to run until January 13, 2016.
King George IV constructed the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle to commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo, and it remains a grand space filled with pivotal portraits. Waterloo at Windsor combines a themed trail through the magnificent State Apartments, which showcases prints, drawings and archive material that further explores the battle and its aftermath.
Exclusively, groups can enjoy the exhibition as part of a special themed visit entitled A Prince, A Duke and An Emperor. Each visit includes an introductory talk with refreshments served in Windsor Castle’s Winchester Tower, before continuing to Waterloo at Windsor, which is hosted in the Drawings Gallery. Groups will then be escorted to the prestigious Waterloo Chamber and through the magnificent State Apartments, which can be explored in the visitors’ own time. Multimedia guides are available or alternatively, a special souvenir map can be purchased. A Prince, A Duke and An Emperor is only valid for pre-booked groups. To book call 020 7839 1377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.royalcollection.org.uk
THE FAN MUSEUM
Waterloo: Life and Times is scheduled to run until May 10, 2015 at the Fan Museum.
Waterloo: Life and Times showcases intricate fan designs intended to commemorate significant military events that occurred in the run up to the Battle of Waterloo, featuring portraits of heroic figures, including the Duke of Wellington.
Visitors to The Fan Museum can expect to see an array of styles on display, dating from 1800 to 1820, detailing cleverly interwoven narratives combined with fashion and decorative art themes. Some artefacts are even constructed from bone.
The Fan Museum welcomes groups of various sizes, ranging from 10-32 people, at a reduced admission rate of £3 per person. Guided tours are available and are led by an experienced curator. Refreshments are available at a small additional cost, including standard or deluxe afternoon tea taken in the Orangery. To book contact Jenni Munday on 020 8305 1441 or email email@example.com.
For more information visit www.thefanmuseum.org.uk
WELLINGTON ARCH & APSLEY HOUSE
A combined itinerary to adjoining English Heritage sites, Wellington Arch and Apsley House, makes for an ideal central London day trip.
Wellington Arch is currently closed, but reopens with a new exhibition entitled The Battle of Waterloo on April 18, 2015. Distributed between both attractions, artefacts featured will include the Duke of Wellington’s handwritten orders, his battle sword and an original pair of ‘Wellington Boots.’ Situated in Hyde Park Corner, Wellington Arch was constructed around 1825 to commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Wellington Arch is thus crowned by the largest bronze statue in Europe, depicting the Angel of Peace descending on a fourhorse chariot of war.
From the balconies below, visitors can enjoy pretty panoramic views over London’s Royal Parks, including a glimpse of the Household Cavalry on their way to/ from the Changing of the Guard.
Alternatively, Apsley House was home to the first Duke of Wellington and has remained in the family ever since.
It was in Apsley House that the Duke of Wellington held annual banquets to commemorate the victory, with a copy of the only surviving menu plan on display.
At Wellington Arch and Apsley House, a 15% discount is available for parties of 11 plus, with free entry for the coach driver and tour leader. Guided tours are available for parties of 11-25 people.
For more information visit www.englishheritage.org.uk