15 Fun Facts About Henry VIII

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15 Fun Facts About Henry VIII

Whatever you make of him, there’s no denying that Henry VIII is one of British history’s most famous kings. Known for his multiple marriages, fiery temper and lavish lifestyle, he had an intriguing personality that still fascinates people more than 450 years after his death. Ideal for little ones learning about the Tudors or medieval Britain, we’ve compiled some bite-size facts about the king and his favourite residence – Hampton Court Palace – as well as the stone beasts that guard the Moat Bridge.

A Tyrant or a Treasure?

Henry VIII had a huge influence on shaping the modern world we live in today but he also had an extremely brutal and barbaric side.

A Man with Many Wives

After his first marriage, which lasted for more than 20 years, Henry VIII married five more times in a little over ten years.

Off with Their Heads!

Henry VIII sent two of his wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, to be executed at the Tower of London.

The Original Heir

Henry VIII was second in line to the throne until his older brother, Arthur, died at a young age from a short illness.

‘A Golden Prince’

Henry VIII wrote music and poetry and threw himself into all the sports of the Tudor court in his youth, where he became known as ‘a golden prince’.

The King’s Favourite Residence

Henry VIII’s most famous residence, Hampton Court Palace, was a place of pleasure and celebration.

Dinner is Served

The vast kitchens at Hampton Court Palace served the Tudor court with hundreds of meals a day – Henry VIII certainly enjoyed his food!

The Musical Monarch

Henry VIII enjoyed having music at court, so much so he had more than 60 musicians on his payroll.

Permission to Leave

Only the king could excuse someone from court – his word was final.

A Ghostly Presence

Catherine Howard was executed at the Tower of London but it is said that her ghost roams the corridors of Hampton Court Palace, screaming for mercy.

Guardians of the Gate

Ten stone beasts line the Moat Bridge of Hampton Court Palace. They stand still and silent, symbolising Henry VIII’s right to rule.

A Union Carved in Stone

The Royal Beasts that sit on the parapets of the Moat Bridge represent Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour.

Henry’s Longed-for Heir

Jane Seymour gave Henry VIII a male heir, Prince Edward, but she died from complications not long after the birth.

The Leopard Becomes a Panther

The Seymour Panther was originally Anne Boleyn’s leopard … until she was executed on the king’s orders.

Beasts Bearing Arms

Henry VIII’s stone beasts hold shields bearing Coats of Arms that were used in combat during the medieval period.


Be Inspired


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