Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The King's 26 Ladies

After the discovery of Katherine Howard's adultery, Henry VIII was furious and embarrassed. He felt that Katherine had made a fool of him by cheating on him not only with a man he liked but with the knowledge of other courtiers! So at the end of January, while Katherine awaited her execution, the King decided to cheer himself up.

The King decided to throw a ball - inviting only twenty-six ladies to dine with him and thirty-five to dine at a table near by. No gentlemen were admitted to the ball. Even at the time it caused quite a scandal.

It can only be assumed that Henry wanted to surround himself with beautiful women to make himself forget the embarrassment he felt over the one he had locked up in the Tower. Since Katherine had always helped him to feel young again, it can be assumed that the elderly King wanted young and beautiful women (no less than 61 in total) could help to restore that feeling of youth - and in that case it would only be annoying to be distracted by the presence of other men.

The dinner party as it was depicted in "The Tudors"

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