Fat, tyrannical, vicious, and married six times. That is what immediately comes to mind when people think of Henry VIII. However, this is not the story you will hear at this exhibition.
In its place, we offer you the personal accounts of the three people who knew him best: Katherine of Aragon, Henry’s wife for over 20 years, Thomas Wolsey, his chief minister and trusted ally, and ‘the lusty and courageous Prince’ – young Henry himself.
Henry VIII and Katherine were married for almost 24 years. Even before this, they had known each other for almost a decade and Henry’s decision to marry her was one of his first acts as king in 1509.
Wolsey's remarkable promotion to Henry’s chief minister, and cardinal, was achieved through hard work, political brilliance and, most importantly, getting things done for the King. Wolsey was the perfect foil for the young Henry VIII. Henry was impatient and in a rush; Wolsey was diligent, painstaking and comprehensive.
Discover the monarch who, as a vibrant, handsome man, excelled at all he attempted, whether it was charming European ambassadors, flirting on the dance floor or beating rivals on the sports field.
Prepare to be surprised and moved as historic paintings from the Royal Collection, together with audio-visual and hands-on displays, help you to discover the real Henry in this new permanent exhibition.
You will also have the chance to enjoy Tudor tunes and meet guides in Tudor costume.
Meet the ravens at the Tower of London, known as the guardians of the Tower. It is said that, ‘If the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall…’
One of the undoubted highlights of a visit to Hampton Court Palace is the sparkling re-creation of Henry VIII's crown on display in the Royal Pew.