Yes, today is the 526th anniversary of King Henry VIII’s birth on 28th June 1491. Although he died at the age of 55, he is still remembered 526 years after his birth. I wonder what he’d think about that. He’s still an iconic figure, he’s still being featured on TV, in movies, in fiction, in non-fiction, in blog articles, in art… you name it, he’s everywhere! He’s immortal really, don’t you think?

Henry VIII was born at the Palace of Placentia (Greenwich Palace) and was the third child of King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty, and his wife, Elizabeth of York. His brother Arthur had been born in September 1486 and his sister Margaret had been born in November 1489. Little Henry was baptised at the Church of the Observant Friars, Greenwich, by Richard Foxe, Bishop of Exeter and Lord Privy Seal.

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6 thoughts on “28 June 1491 – Happy 526th Birthday Henry VIII!”
  1. I think he would be thrilled that we are still so interested in him. He is talked about more than any other monarch. Larger than life

  2. Happy Birthday Great Harry, a monarch of two parts. We have 20 plus years of Henry the charming and attractive King who was more like a companion than a King and ten years of Henry the Tyrant or part Tyrant, plus a few years of transition. Henry was eighteen on this day, now an adult, although his marriage showed that. He was handsome and sporty, a ladies man, not a great lecherous man, he was fair and well educated, he had a vision and he wanted to emulate the great warrior Kings of the past. He was a King of great show and charisma, personally easy to approach and he was like a force of nature, a ray of sunshine and hope. It is only with hindsight that we know Henry turned into something different after many years and several political and tragic circumstances. I will never call Henry Viii a monster even though some of the things he did have the mark of one, because there are neurological and other things which explain his evolution into what some people consider to be a monster. There are also other European and British Kings who deserve that title even more or just as much, but we call them Mad or Awesome or Insane or even Great. Even the title Tyrant is subject to scrutiny because of its precise use. Henry Viii used the law and Parliament to back up everything. A tyrant, Elton and Ridley have argued didn’t use law, but their own wimms. Now I am chuckling as I am sure are many other people, because it can be rightly argued that Henry’s use of law to give himself more power and later laws themselves are signs of an evolving tyrant. Yes, but Henry Viii still managed to present a mystique which gave us the magnificent larger than life monarch he wanted all to see and which presented to the world awe and majesty and gained respect, no matter what he did. Through portraits and successful propaganda Henry sold the vision of new monarchy to his people. Regardless of whether they believed it or not, they accepted it as in reality they had no choice but they also praised Henry, because they worshiped him as their King and owed him obedience, allegiance and adoration. Henry had earned their love and they found it hard to blame him and not his advisers for the laws past which made their life harsher. Henry always somehow had a reason for everything and someone to blame, but historians can never fully pin him down and he will always be part of an ongoing wealth of debate.

    1. Banditqueen has summed it all up so well. All there is to do is to wish Henry a happy Birthday–long may he be fascinating.

  3. Many happy returns King Henry our most controversial most colourful and talked about monarch in all of our islands history!

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