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, Thomas Wolsey, 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 and 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. Be surprised and moved as historic paintings from the Royal Collection, together with audio-visual displays, help you discover the real Henry in this permanent exhibition.
Please note: Due to the nature of items on display, and the size of exhibition spaces, we limit visitor numbers in the Young Henry VIII route. Larger groups will be asked to divide into smaller parties and admission may be staggered at the discretion of staff. This is to avoid congestion during peak times to ensure the enjoyment of all visitors.
We thank you for your understanding.
Want to take a peek into the wardrobes of the kings and queens of the past?
With exclusive access to the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, this free online course from Historic Royal Palaces & the University of Glasgow explores clothing from the Tudors to the Windsors.Sign up on FutureLearn
Henry VIII bear, named after Hampton Court Palace's notorious resident King Henry VIII, in a traditional Tudor costume. Suitable for little princes and princesses aged three years and above. Measures 28cm.
Anne Boleyn's 'B' initial necklace is arguably one of the most famous pieces of Tudor jewellery and is visible in many Anne Boleyn portraits. This exquisite stoneware mug features a unique interpretation of Anne Boleyn's 'B' initial pendant on a dramatic black glaze.