Oct 31st 2016

A History of Royal Food and Feasting (FutureLearn)

Chart the history of royal food in the splendour of royal palaces. Did you know that Henry VIII ordered the first apricot trees to be planted in England because he couldn’t get enough of them? Or that chocolate was first introduced to England by Charles II to compete with the French court? On this course, you’ll join expert historians, curators and food scientists from the University of Reading and Historic Royal Palaces, to immerse yourself in the changing tastes of successive generations of royalty and experience the splendour of their palaces - from the Tudors to the 20th century.

Explore royal food through five remarkable monarchs and their palaces

Over five weeks, we’ll explore the history of royal food through the tastes of five key monarchs, and take an intimate look behind the scenes at some of the most incredible palaces in England:

- Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace

- Elizabeth I at the Tower of London

- George I at Hampton Court Palace

- George III at Kew Palace

- Victoria at Kensington Palace.

Each week, you’ll be invited to:

- Cook royal recipes: from Tudor pies to Georgian chocolate, prison food to afternoon tea, you’ll get a cooking challenge to try at home, so you can eat like royalty.

- Get scientific: you’ll explore the flavour, nutritional value and medicinal benefits of royal food past and present, and investigate which era enjoyed the healthiest and tastiest diet.

- Hone your investigative skills and powers of deduction: you’ll evaluate evidence, artefacts and science to draw your own conclusions about royal food in different eras.

- Discover some surprising facts: we’ll share riveting tales and challenge some common misconceptions about palaces, monarchs, and their impact on dietary tastes today.

- Share your findings with thousands of people around the world: you’ll debate your opinions and compare experiences with expert mentors and other learners.

- Throughout the course, you’ll learn with well-known experts;