Who was really in charge of Henry VIII’s court? | Tudor History | Schools and Teachers


(rhythmic marimba chimes) – Right Tracey. Time to make the best ever seating plan for your dinner party tonight to show everyone what
a great life you have here in the big city. And you’re definitely not stressed about that big report you have on Henry VIII. Who to sit where? Charlie and Stevie can’t sit together. They had an awkward snog last week. And Christina just talks
about her half marathon or that thing she cares about, so she can’t sit next to anyone. Uh, politics is hard. But wait, if it’s hard
for my friendship group, it must have been even
harder for Henry VIII, who had a whole country to manage. Let’s investigate! (upbeat music) (snare drum roll) (trumpet flare) Welcome to Tudor News Night
from Hampton Court Palace with me, Tracey Tooley. I wanted to call this episode “Tudesnight” to combine the concepts
of Tudor and News Night but my producer said no one would get it. But I’ve said it now and
there’s no going back from that. Am I right, Gary the Camera Man? – [Cameraman] My name’s Dave. – I couldn’t possibly comment. First rule of history reporting is to talk to people who were there at the time. (guitar strumming) Katherine of Aragon, Henry
the Eighth’s first wife. – ‘Sup? – Katherine, I can tell straight away, you are a hundred percent very cool. – When you are married to
a guy like Henry Hen-Hen you gotta be tough. – Cute nickname. Tough yes, and not just in marriage. You ran the whole country
as Regent in 1513, while Henry was away at war. – Yep, my full title was
Regent, Governor of the Realm and Captain General, boom. – And you won the Battle of Flodden, a major victory for England against an invading Scottish army. – Yeah, the Scottish
king, James IV, was killed and I send a piece of his
blood stained cloak to Hen-Hen. – Bad-ass and you’re a scholar, fluent in multiple languages. Si, pero no hables demasiado de ello! – Okay, major history crush alert. Sounds like you can do anything. – Everything but one. I couldn’t give Henry a
son to king after him. – Why’d it have to be a son? – I know, right? He said a queen would cause chaos and plus this whole thing where he thought our
marriage was cursed from God because I was originally
married to his brother Arthur, just before he died. – Weird. – Henry is weird. But also great. We had so many interesting conversations about politics and books. Until he started a-lookin’ elsewhere. – At Anne Boleyn. – Oh way to bring her up. – Sorry. – No it’s okay. It’s Henry’s problem, really. He fell in love with her and did everything he
could to get rid of me. He took me to court. He broke up our family. He banished me to this rubbish
castle in Cambridgeshire. – Ouch. – And the stupid part is, I
still love Henry above all else. Even after all he did to me. I guess my heart is tougher than I am. – Deep, thanks for talking to us. – De nada chica. – Be still my beating history crush. Ara-going, Ara-going, Ara-gone. Time to throw questions
at our next interviewee. Like throwing netballs
into the hoop of truth. Cardinal Wolsey, you were very powerful, could you crush people
at kick of the finger? – I didn’t crush anyone
unless absolutely necessary. (sniffs loudly) – Creepy, what’s your top tip for people going into politics? – Have a great big palace
to intimidate your rivals and impress the King. – Did you follow that rule? – Follow it? You’re standing in it. Hampton Court Palace used
to be mine, all mine. – No way, you were a big cheese. – I was the cheddar, the
brie and the babybel, baby. Look at my elephant tapestry. – Creepy again but fine. How’d ya get a place like this? – Ah the glory days When Henry came to the
throne, he was a young man, only just turning 18, he
needed an experienced advisor. – So you took all the power. Look at this poem from Henry’s tutor, John Skelton in 1522. “The King’s court should
have the excellence; “But Hampton Court hath the pre-eminence.” – Sick rhyme. But sadly my power didn’t last. – Yes, Henry wanted to
divorce Katherine of Aragon, didn’t he, the mad man? – Yes and I had to make it happen. I tried everything with the
Pope, to get his permission. But I failed and Henry
banished me to York. – I’m starting to see a pattern of Henry banishing people here. – At least I still my sweet pomanders. You smell so sweet and you
make the air smell so sweet. Don’t you? Yes, you do. Yes, you do. Yum, yum. (kisses loudly) (sniffs loudly) oh yeah. (sniffs loudly) (fatalistic somber music) – [Tracey] So I’ve talked with two high-flying political animals who both met their downfall
after Henry’s first divorce. But who feathered the nest after them? Mainly, Thomas Cromwell,
the son of a blacksmith who rose up the ranks. – Welcome to the Great Hall. Careful what you say in here. Some people believe those
strange eavesdroppers were carved into the
ceiling to spy on you. (ghostly garbled whispering) – Well, aren’t you a paranoid android? Thomas Cromwell, you had a lot of power after Cardinal Wolsey got into trouble over Henry’s first divorce. But where did it go wrong for you? – Uh well, Henry was looking for a wife. – Another one? – Another, nother, nother wi… This is to be wife number four. – Cripes. – So I suggested Anne
of Cleves, a fine match from a good German family. I arranged everything and
then the King didn’t like her. – Ouch. – Indeed, Henry didn’t like her which means Henry didn’t like me. I was locked up for treason
in 1540 and then beheaded. – Jeez Louise, does anyone
survive Henry’s court? – I dunno, I mean, I died
before him obviously. – On reflection, that was
insensitive, soz Croms. (slow footsteps) What a wild Tudesnight! Doing politics under Henry VIII was as backstabbing and
gossipy as it is today. With the added twist that he could have your head chopped off. But on the other hand, Henry
could be very trusting. And he gave a lot of power to
his advisors and his wives. So, what do you make of all this? Was Henry a good ruler? Would you have wanted the
job of advising the King? With lots of power but serious
risks if you displeased him? I’m Tracey Tooley. Towering titan of Tudor times. Tood-a-loo. – [Katherine] Hey Trace, you
wanna hang out or whatever? – Oh my goodness, yes please. I’ve got this dinner party tonight, if you fancy coming to that. – Sounds rad. – I wanted to say, this whole thing about
having a son with Henry, it’s actually not your fault. There are these things
called Y chromosomes and… (guitar strumming) (rhythmic rock music)

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