VISITORS at Winchester Cathedral were in for a surprise when they spotted a rather different royal visit.

Well-known historical rulers, including Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary Tudor, King Alfred, and Queen Victoria were spotted strolling around the cathedral grounds.

The royal ensemble, composed of cathedral staff, including the facilities manager, commercial director, and assistant curate at The Church of England, were dressed in regal attire sourced from local costume hire business, Hampshire Wardrobe.

Hampshire Chronicle: The 'royal visit' at the cathedralThe 'royal visit' at the cathedral (Image: Winchester Cathedral)

The event was part of a photoshoot promoting the upcoming Crown and Coronation light and sound show heading to the cathedral in March.

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One onlooker who saw the photoshoot said: “I thought I saw a ghost - I was visiting the King & Scribes exhibition when I looked around and there beside me was Henry VIII himself.

“The kids loved it and are looking forward to telling their friends they met real-life kings and queens at the cathedral”.

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Cathedral will be hosting its next light show at the beginning of MarchWinchester Cathedral will be hosting its next light show at the beginning of March (Image: Winchester Cathedral)

The Crown and Coronation light show highlights the cathedral's royal heritage and its associations with past kings and queens.

It has been created by Historic Royal Palaces – the charity that cares for the Tower of London - in partnership with Luxmuralis, as part of an artistic collaboration between artist Peter Walker and composer David Harper.

The light show runs from March 4-8. Tickets must be booked in advance and can be found on the Winchester Cathedral website.