How did Henry VIII show he was a powerful king? | Tudor History | Schools and Teachers


(stately classical music) – Yes, Christina, I’m so excited to be following my dream
here in the big city. Tracey Tooley, respected history reporter. But my first assignment’s so difficult. I have to get to know the real Henry VIII. The man behind the myths. The king behind the
preconceptions, the monarch– (Christina jabbering) – Yeah, you get it. Anyway, what’s new? (Christina jabbering) – Yeah, oh my god, did
you see her Instastory? (Christina jabbering) – It’s like she thinks
she’s on “Love Ocean.” Everyone’s trying to be perfect and impress their friends, like… That’s it! Maybe Henry VIII was
trying to be Instaperfect! Let’s investigate! Oh, soz, Christina, I’ll call you back. (upbeat music) This is Tracey Tooley, competent, strong, and not stressed out about this report. Like the best social media influencers, Henry VIII knew how to make
himself look good to others. For starters, look where we are! (dramatic music) Hampton Court Palace was
one of the king’s biggest and most stylish show homes. But I need to go deeper to find out how this impressive palace really works. (sniffs) That smells delicious. – Okay, Hampton Court
Palace, it’s lunch time! Now go, go, go! – I’m in the kitchens of Hampton
Court Palace with a cook! – All right, sunshine,
if this meaty Mr. Pig isn’t ready in two minutes,
I’m gonna put you on a spit and roast you until your
skin crackles, okay? And then I’m gonna stitch you to a chicken and make our roast specialty
cockentrice, capisce? – Well, cook, this looks
like a fun place to work. I suppose you gotta keep up
high standards for the King? – The King? The King doesn’t eat his
food from here, lassie. He’s got his own special cook and kitchen. Oh, no, we’re here to
serve the King’s court. All the servants, and the hangers-on, and the right royal randomers. – Well, pressure’s off then! – We serve 400 people twice a day! – I stand corrected. That’s why your kitchens are so big. – Big? (laughs) We take up a third of the palace’s whole ground space, pally. We’ve got these big fireplaces
and these big hatches where we lay out all the platters so they can be taken up by the
servants to the Great Hall. Service! Oh, still asleep are we?
(man snoring) – Well, do all the servants
just sleep where they work? – The low ranking ones like him do, yeah. But not at lunch time! Now wake up you absolute– (dramatic music) – So that was food, what about drink? (gentle music) Beneath Hampton Court Palace
is this impressive wine cellar. – Who goes there? Are you guzzling the royal wine? This wine is extremely
exclusive to the king and his friends, it’s not for commoners. – I hardly ever drink
while I’m working, mate. Who are you? – Oh, good policy. I’m Richard Hill, the
Sergeant of the Cellar. – Sergeant of the Cellar, the booze boss? There must be a never-ending
supply of wine down here. – Oh, no, we run out of everything. When the King’s court
descends on the palace, they only stay for about four weeks before everything’s gone. The wine’s gone, the beer’s
gone, even the animals, they’re slaughtered for food. They even, my favorites like Mr. Pig. And then the sewage! 400 people, straight into the river. – Crikey. Where does everyone go after four weeks? – Oh, onto the next palace
to do the whole thing again. – So that’s how Henry manages
to keep impressing his guests. – Now, if you’ll excuse
me, I need to take this French wine to the King. – Ooh, can I come with? – Uh, no, the King is not, um, not receiving guests at this time. – Oh, really? Did you find it so easy to lie to Mr. Pig? (record scratches) – I told you that in confidence. How dare you say his name! (upbeat classical music) – I’m in the grandest dining room of Hampton Court Palace, the Great Hall. But Henry didn’t eat here. He had an even more exclusive VIP area. Henry would eat in a
smaller, beautiful room a bit like this one. Wait a second. Who’s this? – Mamma mia! I am sorry, I didn’t think
anybody else was here. – You’re Sebastian Giustinian, the ambassador to England from Venice! Were you trying on Henry VIII’s clothes? – Uh, to be honest, yes! Hit it! (upbeat music) Henry is the best-dressed
sovereign in the world. That is a quote from one of my letters. Look at this beautiful
Tudor gown with a doublet and hose and these stylish slashed sleeve. The sleeves show off how
much material you can afford. And also, they are
ripped, so it looks like you ripped them in a
manly battle, fantastico! Then below the knee, Henry wore stockings held up by garters. These are very figure-hugging
because it is very important to show a man’s sexiness with his calves. Favoloso! (record scratches)
– What? In Tudor England, men’s
calves are considered sexy? – Si, but don’t interrupt, huh? Henry spent 16,000 ducats on his wardrobe. It would take me, as an ambassador, 20 years to make 16,000 ducats. So I am supreme-o jealous-o of Henry. Bam! – King Henry was very
conscious of his public image. In his early years, he
had this portrait painted which showed just his upper half and face looking off to the side as
if he’s thinking or praying. This painting implies Henry
is a wise, God-fearing man. But look at this portrait
from years later! (dramatic music) Henry has changed his profile pic. A towering, full-body portrait, the King stares down at the viewer, his eyes following you round the room. Like Alexa, if she had eyes. So King Henry was a masterful showman and spared no expense on
food, wine, grand buildings, and stylish clothes to
impress his friends. In the world of Tudor social media, he’d have got thousands of
me-thinks-I-liketh-this-muchly – [Woman] Oh, I liketh it! – [Man] I liketh it! – But do you think this tells
us everything about him? How would you feel going
to one of Henry’s banquets and facing the King in person? This is Tracey Tooley, spinning
true news from Tudor dudes. Oh, okay, Henry. Just one quick selfie. This is going on Insta. (camera clicks) (upbeat music)

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