One of the most famous kings in English history, 17-year-old Henry VIII ascended the throne on 21 April 1509 when his father, King Henry VII (the first Tudor monarch), died. A popular prince known for his love of hunting and dancing, he was the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York but became heir to the throne after the death of his elder brother Arthur in 1502.
Powerful, charismatic and notorious for his tumultuous love life, Henry’s reign led to significant shifts in British culture. Alongside making radical changes to the English Constitution his hunt for a male heir led to momentous changes: the Crown breaking with Rome, the Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. As well as establishing the Church of England he is also credited with establishing the Royal Navy. Though famous for his wives and over-indulgence, Henry VIII also presided over a Renaissance court where new ideas, new art and new architecture flourished.
“Pastime with good company I love and shall, until I die. Grudge who list, but none deny! So God be pleased, thus live will I.”Pastime with Good Company by King Henry VIII