Our very own Henry VIII entered our world on 28 June 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, London. (He married Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour there as well.) The heir to the throne, his older brother Arthur, had been shuttled off to a Welsh castle to live when he was just a child. There he learned Ruling England 101 while Henry was all set for a life with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
It was understood at that time that an oldest son would be groomed to take over a father’s place, and the second son would head to the church for his life’s work. No coincidence, then, that the ginger king was a champion of the Catholic faith for so long. Ironic then, too, that he would turn religion in England on its head in an unprecidented display of drama.
The future Massive Monarch grew up surrounded by women. Go figure. But really, he was adored by his mother and his two sisters, Mary and Margaret. In the recent Henry VIII: Man and Monarch exhibit, David Starkey declared that Henry’s handwriting reveals a mummy’s boy whose early life with the ladies led to his future as a dysfunctional ladies’ man.
And when newlywed Arthur died and left the crown and the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon, well, that’s when history took a wild turn indeed.