The Children of Henry VIII

Henry in his youth was the personification of monarchy, the fount of honour; his only flaw was his inability, like his father before him, to look people straight in the eye. Six feet two inches tall and with a thirty-five-inch waist, he was as lean as he was fit before gluttony caused him to bulge. Calling himself ‘Loyal Heart,’ he and his companions first entered the lists at the Westminster tournament on horseback, hidden inside an elaborate mock forest resting on a huge chariot that was pulled by mules disguised as a lion and an antelope. When the chariot stopped before Katherine, actors dressed as foresters blew their horns, the signal for Henry and his fellow challengers to burst out of a golden castle at the centre of the forest, each brandishing a spear. When the jousting began, Henry hogged the limelight by running twenty-five courses, far more than anyone else.

–          The Children of Henry VIII by John Guy

henry viii

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