2020 - A Right Royal Year in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond!

Discover Bury St Edmunds and Beyond's Royal connections with stories, exhibitions, anniversaries, and more in 2020!

Abbey 1000 - A Year of Celebration

In 2020, Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk will celebrate the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund by King Canute 1000 years ago with a year of celebrations.

The great Abbey Church was the site of pilgrimage for 1,000 years as people paid their respects at the shrine of St Edmund, King of East Anglia.

The anniversary will be marked with a year of special events and activities culminating with a 'Spectacle of Light' on the weekend of St Edmund’s Day, 20 November 2020. These include a special anniversary town trail, specialist tours, an exhibition of manuscripts from the Abbey of St Edmund, a sculpture exhibition, special concerts, pilgrimages, and much more.

An Afternoon With Lady Glenconner

Maid of Honour at the Queen’s Coronation and Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, Lady Glenconner has spent her life as a friend of the royal family. Her extraordinary new memoir offers a unique and unparalleled account of major events in royal history and reveals the truth behind The Crown as well as the drama, tragedy and courage of her own life. From brothels and barons, to growing up with the princesses and meeting her husband Lord Glenconner, with whom she turned Mustique into a paradise for the rich and famous (including music royalty like Mick Jagger and David Bowie!), her astonishing memoir tells a tale of remarkable highs and lows.

Lady Glenconner will be sharing royal anecdotes in conversation with a very special guest interviewer at The Apex on February 23rd.

Crowns and Gowns - An Exhibition

A fabulous collection of costumes, jewels, props, behind the scenes images and memorabilia from some of the major Hollywood movies and TV shows filmed at Ely Cathedral, including The Crown.

The Crowns and Gowns exhibition in the Lady Chapel from 1 February to 15 March will showcase some of the most iconic gowns and outfits from Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn Girl, The King's Speech, Macbeth, and The Crown. These productions bought global award winning actors to the Cathedral including Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Ely is just 40 minutes from Bury St Edmunds.

Discover Edmund - King, Martyr and Saint 

Find out about how King Edmund of East Anglia became a Saint, the legend of Edmund and the wolf and visit the site where for 1,000 years pilgrims from all over Europe visited to pay their respects to Saint Edmund at his shrine.

This 90-minute tour of the historic centre of Bury St Edmunds with the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides includes everything you need to know about the King that became a Saint and much more! 

With years of experience and with a love of Bury St Edmunds, its history and people and a great sense of humour, the tour guides will ensure you see the best that Bury St Edmunds has to offer. Guided walking tours of Historic Bury St Edmunds (90 minutes) run daily from 1st April to October 31st. Tours at 11am and 2pm July to September. 2pm only tours in April, May, June, and October.

The Gift

Eclipse Theatre & Belgrade Theatre Coventry present The Gift a play about imperialism, cross-racial adoption, cultural appropriation…and tea with Queen Victoria at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds from 27-29 February.

The play tells the story of Sarah, an African girl, adopted by Queen Victoria and raised in the Queen’s circles. 

George IV: Royalty, Racing and Reputation

Variously cast in the public imagination as a dissolute wastrel, builder of the Brighton Pavilion or the slow-witted dupe of his scheming butler in the TV classic Blackadder, George IV is one of British history’s most fascinating - and misunderstood - figures.

A new exhibition George IV: Royalty, Racing and Reputation at Palace House in Newmarket until April 19 will explore George’s legacy as not only a great patron and collector of art, but also as prominent and, at times controversial, patron of horse racing. 38 of the forty-one artworks featured – including portraiture, comical etchings and historic trophies – are lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection and offer an exceptional glimpse into the sport of kings. 

Palace House is a uniquely appropriate setting for the exhibition, as it was originally founded by King Charles II in the 1660s as a royal base for his horseracing activities.

Visit the Final Resting Place of a French Queen

St Mary’s Church in Bury St Edmunds is the final resting place of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk and Henry VIII's favourite sister.

Mary, the younger surviving daughter of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, became the third wife of Louis XII of France, more than 30 years her senior. Following his death, she married Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. 

Mary died, aged 37, in 1533 and she was first buried at the Abbey of St Edmund but when the abbey was dissolved by her brother King Henry VIII her remains were moved five years later in 1538 to St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds. You can find her very simple tomb to the north side of the altar. 

Kings and Queens - A Weekend Celebration

A family weekend at the arc shopping centre on 27-28 June will celebrate all things Kings and Queens featuring workshops, street entertainment, storytelling, performances, a crown trail, games and more, plus a fancy dress competition and tea party.

Kings and Queens - A Weekend Celebration is part of a year of celebrations planned to commemorate the 1000 year anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund in 2020.

Explore Newmarket's Ties to the Royal Family

Discover how Newmarket developed from being a small, unimportant settlement in the 1200s to a favourite destination for Royalty in the time of James I, Charles I and the most notorious of the Stuart Kings, the Merry Monarch – Charles II.

Join Discover Newmarket's History and Heritage Walking Tour and learn more about this fascinating town which has been a favourite destination for royals since the 17th century.

This is the perfect way to retrace the footsteps of royalty and explore Newmarket’s history and the town’s ties to the royal family. Newmarket is just 20 minutes from Bury St Edmunds.

Plan your stay in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond now with some unmissable savings on our offers page!

Related posts

Explore Bury St Edmunds and Beyond's Royal Connections

Discover Bury St Edmunds royal connections dating back over a thousand years......


Discover the Story of Saint Edmund

Bury St Edmunds takes its name from King Edmund, the original Patron Saint of England...


Abbey of St Edmund celebrates 1000th anniversary in 2020 with year long events programme

In 2020, Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk will celebrate the founding of the Abbey of...