The Secret Life of Henry VIII

The Secret Life of Henry VIII

Series 1



While still married to Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII wrote to Anne Boleyn saying he was looking forward to kissing her “pretty duckies” (her breasts). Historians Lucy Worsley and Suzannah Lipscomb revel in these raunchy titbits on this whistlestop tour of the Tudor king’s private history, explaining how the young buck Henry wrestled Francis I of France and got through 14,000 gallons of wine a week entertaining at Hampton Court Palace.

As the young king deteriorated into the gross, wife-murdering stereotype of school lore, the details become less savoury: 150lbs heavier and with oozing ulcers, Henry ended his days using a system of pulleys just to carry him up the stairs.


Documentary exploring the unfamiliar sides of renowned people, beginning with a look at the lesser-known aspects of Henry VIII's character. Although he gained infamy as a wife-killing tyrant, the monarch was also a noted wrestler, poet and musician.