Private Lives of the Tudors

The Tyrant King

Series 1 - Episode 2 The Tyrant King



We all know about Henry VIII, don’t we; the gluttony, the easy dismissal of his wives, the religious machinations. But as Tracy Borman points out in this illuminating series, it’s sometimes the more intimate moments that have dictated the course of events in our history.

In Henry’s case, it was a single such moment – a fall from his horse while jousting in Greenwich in early 1536. He never truly recovered. His personality changed – he took to physically lashing out at his closest advisers – and he was in chronic pain from a festering wound on his leg that never healed. We get the gory details; and we also learn about the industrial-scale workings of the royal kitchens at Hampton Court – it’s no wonder Henry got fat.

And pity poor Jane Seymour, whose death 12 days after giving birth to Henry's heir might possibly have been avoided if she hadn't been left to the not-so-tender mercies of her husband's physicians...


Tracy Borman examines the reign of Henry VIII, revealing his interests, clothing, taste in food and the accidents he survived during his life.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Tracy Borman
Documentary History