It’s not just “Game of Thrones” or “Lord of the Rings” that have dragons you know! The Tudors had them too! Not the series, I mean the actual Tudor period. And I’ve got proof, so there!
My husband Tim, who is a publisher, has been working with an artist doing illustrations for Amy Licence’s children’s book on Henry VIII and he just noticed that there is a dragon flying over the Field of Cloth of Gold, which took place in the Pale of Calais, English territory at the time, in 1520. I’ve looked at that painting so many times and have never spotted the dragon before, but here it is in all its glory.
Is it English? French? Welsh? Well, as a half-Welsh person I like to think that it was a Welsh dragon come to remind Henry VIII of his Welsh roots. A Welsh dragon was used as a supporter in the coat of arms of Tudor monarchs and Henry VII (Henry Tudor) flew the red dragon of Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon (a king of Gwynedd) as his banner as he marched from Wales to Bosworth in 1485.
So, breaking news: dragons were alive and well in Tudor times! Look, we have the proof!
Sorry, just needed a nice jokey article to brighten my day. I hope it’s brightened yours too!
Update: I did more digging after posting this and found this note on the Royal Collection website: “In the top left of the painting is the dragon (or salamander) firework, which was released on 23 June.” Oh well!
Image: Painting of the Field of Cloth of Gold, Royal Collection, taken from Wikipedia.