Hosted by Tracy Borman, Chief Curator for Historic Royal Palaces, HENRY VIII & THE KING’S MEN (Smithsonian: premieres 27 July 2021 at 8PM) portrays England’s most famous King as more thanthe one-dimensional, slightly boorish monarch we’ve heard of. To understand him you must understand the men who made him. This is a portrait of the men who knew him best: the instigators, the enablers, the fools, the teachers, and the men at arms. The series is based on Tracy’s book ‘Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him’. Henry was taught by some of the most famous scholars of his time and developed a reflective and intelligent manner we seldom hear about.
Raised to be a great prince, he enjoyed being the centre of attention, but as the second-born had none of the pressure of his older brother. He could enjoy court life and the companionship of men, revelled in jousts, and loved hunting. Even after he became crown prince, he maintained careless joie de vivre. He could also be naïve and was often too trusting of those around him. And despite some lascivious portrayals of him, he could often be a prude.