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“Is ‘The Tudors’ Accurate”?


That should do it!


The Throne is Empty; Get in Line

Tomorrow is a wild and crazy date in Tudor history — On 28 January 1457, Henry VII was born and on 28 January 1547, Henry VIII died. Two kings in a row, father and son, same date, birth for one, death for the other, two transposed numbers at the end. Wicked!

The popular rumour (and you know how I feel about those) is that Henry VIII’s last words were “Monks! Monks! Monks!” But in reality Henry was speechless at the end of his life, although he did give Archbishop Cranmer’s hand a little squeeze when the Archbishop asked the king for a sign that he trusted in the Lord.

The only people around him in his last days were the Archbishop and the men from his Privy Council and Privy Chamber. He’d called for his last wife, Catherine Parr, a few days earlier but that was her final goodbye.  The king was 55 years old at the time of his death.

I wanted to share with you the opening credits of the series finale of “The Tudors” for a few reasons. First, it is just beautifully done, as was the entire series. You can’t deny the aesthetics of that show, no matter if you think there were too many inaccuracies, too much nudity, not enough nudity! or whatever your reasons may be.  

Also, you’ve got to love the Curtain Call of the Dead at the very end. The series actually did this with every episode, the final flashes of the opening credits being those we’d lost up until that point in the story. For the finale, we start with an extended shot of Katherine Howard and her girls, marvelling out the window at a snowfall, and then flash by the rest of the dearly departed favourites: Thomas Cromwell, Catherine of Aragon, Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, and Cardinal Wolsey. (Jane Seymour is earlier in the credits.)

The most poignant touches, however, are the shots of  Charles Brandon (who was actually dead by then, but nevermind), Princess Mary, Edward Seymour, and Catherine Parr standing beside The Empty Throne.  If you watched the series, you know that the throne motif in the opening set the tone for Henry’s place in life for that season.

For Season One, he’s in control, young, hot, doing the flashing-eyes thing, flanked by admirers and accepting reassuring touches from his loyal queen, Catherine of Aragon. For Season Two, he’s all eyes-flashing again but taking The Touch from Anne Boleyn this time round. My personal favourite is for Season Three, where he does the standing-up “surprised to see you” bit that reminds me so much of Christopher Walken’s “The Continental” skit on Saturday Night Live. “Come! Sit and have some sham-PAHN-yah!”

This weekend, you may want to raise a glass of sham-PAHN-yah yourself, first for Henry VII who started this whole big shebang, and second for Henry VIII. He may have left England with a mess to clean up after his death, but his life, loves, and legacy were so complex as to inspire books, movies, songs, documentaries, blogs, Facebook pages, and  similar gates to immortality. 😉

Gorgeous “Tudors” Costumes On Display for Mary Rose 500

Remember those swoon-worthy costumes the “Tudors” actors wore (or removed, as the case was quite often!)? They’ll be on show for the first time in the U.K. starting Saturday 29 January through the end of March at the Mary Rose Museum. The event will celebrate the U.K. release of the final season of “The Tudors” and give the public a chance to contribute to the excellent Mary Rose Appeal.

Here’s the entire “linkified” news release about this exciting event; thank you to Fiona Harvey of the Mary Rose 500 for letting The Tudor Tutor know all the goods:


Emmy Award-Winning Costumes from ‘The Tudors’ to go on display for Mary Rose 500 Appeal
The Tudors – Courtly Couture Collection

Saturday 29th January – until Thursday 31st March 2011 at the Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

 As the multiple Emmy Award-winning series “THE TUDORS” starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers returns for its climactic final season on Saturday 22nd January (BBC2 21.45), the Mary Rose 500 Appeal are thrilled to be showcasing some of the costumes for the very first time in the UK, including Henry VIII’s orange and bronze war costume from the final series that has been used on the promotional posters.

The costumes will go on display in the AV Theatre of the Mary Rose Museum from Saturday 29th January until Thursday 31st March. Entry can be gained with a ticket to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard or free via the museum shop where it is hoped that the public will generously donate to the Mary Rose 500 Appeal to help build the new museum to open in 2012, where more of these stunning exhibitions will be possible.

The eight costumes on show will be those that were worn by Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry VIII, Joss Stone as Anne of Cleves, Joely Richardson as Catherine Parr, Maria Doyle Kennedy as Catherine of Aragon, Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, Annabelle Wallis as Jane Seymour and Tamzin Merchant as Catherine Howard.

They were on display last year at the Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition in the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum & Galleries, Los Angeles; but this will be the first time they will be displayed in the UK.

Joan Bergin is the Costume Designer and winner of the 2010 Emmy for “Outstanding Costume For A Series”, along with Wardrobe Supervisor Susan Cave. Bergin also won Emmys for the series in 2007 and 2008 and received Irish Film & Television Academy awards in 2008 and 2009 as well. Her museum-quality costumes were featured in a Macy’s display in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day. Bergin has contributed to movies including “My Left Foot,” “In the Name of the Father” and “The Prestige.” She is currently working on the Starz Network production of “Camelot,” starring Eva Green and Joseph Fiennes.

Across the series they made about 500 costumes and rented and modified countless others. The degree of skill can be seen in every detail of the costumes from cloth to braid to button.

In an interview with the LA Times, Bergin described “The Tudors” as a strange blend of trying to be as authentic as possible but with a twist. She wanted people to look at it and say, “Look how sexy and foxy,” rather than, “Oh! Who would wear that?” Balenciaga corsets and the Degas ballerinas were her inspiration.

The loan of the costumes has been through the generous support of Joan Bergin and the creator and writer of “The Tudors”, Michael Hirst who will also be visiting the Mary Rose Museum for an event on the 24th March 7-9pm – talking about the series with the final episode airing on Saturday 26th March. Tickets will be priced at £10 with proceeds going to the Mary Rose 500 Appeal.

Michael Hirst commented that: “I am delighted to offer my support to the new Mary Rose Museum appeal and would encourage everyone with an interest in British history to support it too, and perhaps contribute something towards the £35 million which it will cost to transform the Museum into a wonderful contemporary space through which to explore our extraordinary past.

The discovery of Henry V111’s flagship and its retrieval from the sea bed, with thousands of contemporary artefacts, is reason enough to reinvent and reinvigorate a Museum which already houses many iconic objects from our glorious naval history.

So I wish the Trust well in all its endeavours to do justice to what was once lost and in darkness, but is now found and in public sight once more.” 

The exhibition will be open from 11am-3pm on most days, but is advisable to check before visiting at, the MaryRose500 Facebook or Twitter feed, or by calling Fiona Harvey, Appeals fundraiser 023 92 750 521 ext 228.

 There will also be a series of ‘Get the Look’ workshops surrounding the exhibition including knitting and beading workshops at the Museum, talks by Dr Suzannah Lipscomb on Henry VIII and Elizabeth Norton on Catherine Parr. Further details are available as per the contact details above.

 The Mary Rose 500 Appeal would like to acknowledge Debenhams Southsea and the National Museum of the Royal Navy for the loan of mannequins, Arts University College Bournemouth for help in putting the collection exhibition together, Joan Bergin for the loan of the costumes, Michael Hirst writer and producer and Sony for their use of images.

For further press information please contact: Melissa Gerbaldi, Press Officer

Tel: 023 9289 4558 or Email:


The Tudors – Courtly Couture Collection

Saturday 29th January – Thursday 31st March 2011 at the Mary Rose Museum (AV Theatre)

Free with a ticket to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard or entry via the Mary Rose Museum Shop – donations to Mary Rose 500 Appeal

11am-3pm on most days, but is advisable to check before visiting at, the MaryRose500 Facebook or Twitter feed or by calling Fiona Harvey, Appeals fundraiser 023 92 750 521 ext 228.

Workshop dates:

Saturday 5th February Knitting for Beginners – 10am – 1pm £15

Saturday 12th February Decorative Knitting Techniques – 10am – 4pm £35

Saturday 5th March Knitting for Beginners 10am – 1pm as above

Saturday 26th March – Kids from Fame legwarmers 10am – 4pm £35 as above

Tutor Ingrid Murnane – costs include knitting needles and yarn.

Saturday 2nd April Beading for beginners 10am – 4pm

Tutor SallyAnn Dunn Cost £40 includes materials

Places limited to 10 advance booking necessary call Fiona 023 92 750 521

Thursday 3rd March – Prince to Tyrant  – What happened to Henry VIII – Talk by Dr Suzannah Lipscomb Tickets £8.50

Thursday 28th April – Catherine Parr the last queen of Henry VIII and Regent General of England – Talk by Elizabeth Norton Tickets £9.50

Information from or by calling Fiona Harvey, Appeals fundraiser 023 92 750 521 ext 228.

Background Information For Editors On the Mary Rose 500 Appeal

The Mary Rose and her 19,000 artefacts are unique and of significant importance – the Mary Rose 500 ‘new crew’ appeal will write the final chapter in a story that began with her raising in 1982

This is the final funding push – a chance for the public to become involved in a mammoth fundraising effort that has already seen the Mary Rose Trust raise £12.1 million towards a £14 million target, the amount that it must raise to contribute to the full £35million cost of the new museum project. The Heritage Lottery Fund has confirmed £21 million – which meets the rest of the cost.

The ‘new crew’ public appeal target is to raise £250,000 – as a start point for the overall public appeal target of £1 million.

‘Mary Rose 500: recruiting the new crew’ – the Mary Rose Trust is looking for 500 individuals, schools, businesses, organisations, clubs, societies, colleges, to come on board and symbolically become the ‘new crew’ of the Mary Rose, each pledging to raise £500 and become a part of the Mary Rose history.

The importance of ‘500’ to the Mary Rose – the original crew numbered some 500 and it was launched on the 500th anniversary (2009) of Henry VIII coming to the throne and of his commissioning of the Mary Rose. With funding secure, the new museum will also open in time to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the launch of the Mary Rose (1512).

This is an ambitious museum project that will not only preserve the Mary Rose and her contents, but it will realise the dream to secure her future for generations of visitors, in a purpose built museum which brings together the ship and her contents for the first time since 1545 to tell their unique story of Tudor life.


Party Like It’s 1539!

This is the weekend that the new and final season of Showtime’s “The Tudors”  hits the small screen in the USA (and for our friends overseas, it’s a good time to buy a plane ticket and stay a while!). Toast the final hurrah of the show that tickled Tudorphiles and won over others with its sheer eye candy and soap-opera storylines. Whether you throw an all-out throwback bash, or just gather a few close gents or ladies-in-waiting around the telly, have fun at the expense of the most luscious yet dysfunctional dynasty in history: 

Dress the part. No costumes? Cleavage will do.

Serve “head-y” snacks — Roast a head of garlic, mix the paste with EVOO and salt/pepper, and spread on baguette slices. Must be a baguette because you might as well introduce something French now–Mary Queen of Scots is just around the corner! Carry on the execution theme with Boar’s Head sliced meats for a cold-cut platter. Chop up a head of lettuce for a salad, as you’ll need something from the veg group. It’s more than the court bothered to do. 

Sip something tasty (perhaps a Bloody Mary?) every time:

  • …the Massive Monarch bellows “I’m the king of England” or inappropriately eyes a court vixen
  • …Charles Brandon seems to be experiencing an internal struggle
  • …Anne of Cleves smiles pleasantly & you can see the “I’m so glad I still have a head” thought bubble above her
  • …Kitty Howard looks clueless and/or giggles
  • …you notice that the executioner or peasants have stumps for teeth while the royals have straight, gleaming choppers
  • …twice if the executioner or peasants have straight, gleaming choppers
  • …something happens and you know that “that’s not really what happened!”
  • …anyone dies

Remember to celebrate the history of this famous family and all those who were involved with it as you celebrate the series. Cheers and happy viewing!

Not a Teaser, Not a Clip, It’s the Whole Enchilada!

Watch the entire first episode of “The Tudors” season 4 right here right now! Special thanks to Showtime for making this available.

*Update: A swanky HD version is available here.

Get Pumped for the 4th and Final Season of The Tudors on Showtime!

From Left to Right: Mary I & Philip II of Spai...

Image via Wikipedia

Less than four weeks until the start of the fourth and final season! The big event starts at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, 11 April for fans in the States (the UK start has not yet been determined). 

While many of us wish the series could go on, history gets a bit sketchy down the road. Exhibit A: the season one composite character of Margaret, Henry VIII’s sister, played in a deeply tanned and full-lipped way by Gabrielle Anwar. In the series, Margaret digs Charles Brandon (like most of the viewing audience) but has to marry the king of Portugal, whom she offs. She then marries Brandon but dies soon afterward.

In reality, Henry VIII had two sisters: Margaret (who married James IV, king of Scotland) and Mary (who did, in fact, marry Charles Brandon and go on to have four children with him). Margaret and James’ granddaughter was Mary, Queen of Scots. No Margaret, no Mary Q of S, none of that Mary Q vs. Elizabeth I jazz.

Futhermore, Mary and Charles Brandon’s granddaughter was Lady Jane Grey, who briefly came in handy between Eddie VI and Mary I. So the composite character of “Margaret Tudor” ixnayed the possibility of tackling true Tudor history post-Eddie.

So a sequel is not to be, but let’s enjoy what was and what’s coming! Pop in to Pop Tudors for a hilarious video recap of last season’s finale. My favorite lines? “[Katherine Howard] is everything [Anne of Cleves] wasn’t: young, slutty, and creepy!” and “Spoiler: Everyone dies on this show.”

There’s a trailer for the final season here, and the new opening credits here. Take a peek behind the scenes of the new season over here.

Got the yummy new poster here. Henry “I Conquered Them All” Ocho is making quite a statement, while Anne of Cleves is not having any of that, Jane Seymour is apparently drying off after a bath, and Kitty Howard is trying to form a spark between her two brain cells.   

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