I’m going to set the record straight about Henry VIII (impressive eh, from my muse to history’s muse in one tiny and entirely unexplained step), because this particular renaissance man had some seriously bad press, the 15th century Diana – a deeply misunderstood soul.
Firstly lets forget about the whole bigamist, country trashing, wife killing womaniser and think about the man behind the spin. H-Dogg (as he was probably known) was a handsome, witty scholar, a betrayed family man and thrice widowed husband, master of sports(well tennis, but you can’t really be “a master of something only played by the masses during Wimbledon fortnight and on municipal courts which in my experience always have a lingering aroma of sun dried dog turd”, so we’ll pretend tennis is a sport for the purpose of this argument) and the arts (he’s credited with writing Greensleeves, a massive hit at the time, written for his then lover Ann Boleyn, although another theory was that it refers to ‘Green’ sleeves a word with a huge, if bizarre, sexual undercurrent for the pre-Eurotrash generation. Basically, Greensleeves was a 15th Century pre-mix of Born To Make You Happy and Milkshake). Unfortunately we, the British, prefer sensation and to build people up so that we can knock them down (look at Chico, a man of undoubted ” ” who found himself destined never to be allowed into the cliquy, insular world of the music industry purely because he had no charisma, likeability or talent) and so we only ever focus on Henners’ minor slip ups. Ok, you could argue that he destroyed papal authority in this country, and perhaps this led to his excommunication and the dissolution of the monasteries, but he also championed the hip new “C of E” – anyone else in history credited with inventing a religion is generally considered a good sort (Christ, Mohammad, Cruise(ish) etc…) yet not ‘8 Ball’. Ask anyone today about Henry VIII and they are far more likely to cite his tights, women or weight(must remember I’m not talking about Little Joshie) than the reformation, the Royal Navy or the whole Tudor Dynasty, essentially what he needed was The Jeremy Kyle Show(well an early version, Trisha perhaps or Kilroy) to help him set the record straight. Imagine Kyle, the self righteous little do-gooder*, getting his teeth into these guests…
Wife 1 – Catherine of Aragon.
She married his brother at 16(Arthur was 14, for f…. sake) and when he died, shacked up with his 12 year old brother Henry, (essentially a Royal hand me down and predatory Cougar) then got divorced leading to all the hoo haa with the Pope, which could have all been avoided had someone from the palace shown the chaps in Rome a photo of “The most beautiful creature in all the world” (we can add delusional, arrogant and/or ‘grievously lied to’ to her list of personal qualities). Divorced.
Beale-Mitchell Rating: Kathy Beale/Mitchell
Wife 2 – Anne Boleyn.
A bigamist who ruthlessly married Henry before his papers came through from Kathy. Showing a distinct lack of discipline from the off, (lack of loyalty to her sister as well, as she had also been a trusted ‘green’ consultant to Henry), hardly a suprise when she got found guilty of adultery and incest (some would say these charges were concocted so Henry could make an honest woman of actress Jane Seymour, but to doubt a jury of our peers? Scandalous). Widowed.
B-MR: Sharon Mitchell
Wife 3 – Jane Seymour
The real deal, comforted the newly widowed Tudor and when true love blossomed produced the male heir and future King that Henry longed for. Eventually died following the completion of series 6 of Dr Quinn Medicine Woman and Live And Let Die and was buried alongside Henry in Windsor Castle (as in, in the chapel there, not like Trevor Jordache). Widowed.
B-MR: Cindy Beale
Wife 4 – Anne of Cleves
B-MR: Nadia Mitchell.
Wife 5 – Catherine Howard
Gold digger, preying on Henry’s delicate emotional state. Fortunaetly was bravely caught and prosecuted of treason through adultery by the same unbias legal system which had caught out scheming Boleyn. Widowed.
B-MR: Melanie Beale
Wife 6 – Catherine Parr*
Heartbroken, three time widow Henry married Parr to fill the Bianca Jackson/’live in mother’ role for his beloved daughters, but even she was a wrong ‘un. He was her THIRD husband a scandalous statistic in these deeply religious times, when divorce was totally at odds with everything that Henry and the church stood for. When Henry died (probably of a broken heart) she didn’t even have the decency to pretend he was upstairs (just occasionally referring to him in scenes with Carole, Max or the chap with the bow tie). Instead she got married (4!) less than 6 months later. Outlived.
B-MR: Jane Beale.
(*This is assuming popular history is correct and we aren’t talking about the Katherine Parr I knew at school, seems unlikely though as she lived in Sale and Henry in Hampton Court. If it was her though, the B-MR would be somewhere around Tiffany)
Basically, if Kyle did his job the audience would be baying for the women’s blood and Henry’s legacy would be appreciated better, if nothing else the stupid ‘rhyme’ which they tried to teach me at school could be changed to the more accurate and less libelous “Divorced, Died, Died, Died, Divorced, Survived”. It’s also worthy of note, when it comes to double standards and ‘spin’ that popular old woman Snow White was shacked up with SEVEN fellas and got a fairy tale out of it… so the unlucky in love Henry must at the very least be worth a fable?
Bottom line – If it goes Pete Tong and Wills isn’t able to do the whole travel the world and be on bank notes thing, leaving Prince Harry having to take over; marry Kate and/or Pippa Middleton, write a number one download about Imogen Thomas and break away from the elderly Sunday drivers club clogging up the roads going to and from mass to form his own ‘church’ which meets on a Wednesday so as not to clash with Ford Super Sunday, would he be remembered for all this good he’d do or for the Nazi “fancy dress” outfit? Ja, I think we all know the answer.
*Top Three People To Make You Kill Yourself With Your Own Shoes If You Are Ever Got Stuck In A Lift With:
1. Militant vegetarian
2. Person who reads the Daily Mail and believes everything written in it
3. Bleeding heart liberal do gooder type.