Episode 1.04

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The love triangle - S1E4
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Season: 1

Original Air Date: 4/22/2007

Michael Hirst

Steve Shill

Name of Episode: His Majesty, The King

Special Guests:


Though Henry is named "Defender of the Faith" by the Pope, fidelity is scarce at court. Henry's sister, Princess Margaret marries the decrepit King of Portugal, only to rush into the lustful arms of Charles Brandon. The King's increasing disinterest in his Queen and his obsession over the fact that he still hasn't produced a legitimate heir to the Tudor dynasty, foster an urgent desire for radical action.

Full Recap

Henry says goodbye to his sister before she leaves for Portugal. He reminds her of her duties, but she in turn reminds him of his promise that she could marry whomever she chooses when she is a widow. This annoys Henry, who moves on to Charles Brandon, making him promise to look after Margaret.

Sir Thomas More speaks to Henry about the religeous conflict on the continent and of how pleased the Pope is with Henry's anti-Lutheran writings. The Pope has named Henry "Fidei Defensor", defender of faith, while Luther's reaction was less positive. Luther's comments about Henry's writings make the king furious and he declares that Luther ought to be burned. More seems to agree.

A far from impressed Princess Margaret boards her ship and has a look around. Brandon makes a feeble attempt to make her feel better, while Margaret claims that Brandon and his men are no better than pirates for bringing her to a man she doesn't want to marry. Brandon seems unaffected and leaves her with her maids.

Henry arrives for a religious service and meets up with Queen Katherine. He greets her kindly but his eyes go to Anne Boleyn. Thomas Tallis leads the choir in song as Wolsey leads the service. After the service, a servant announces the arrival of Lady Anne, but to Henry's disappointment it's not Anne Boleyn. The lady does however bring a parcel from Anne. She is returning the jewelry Henry gave to her, claiming to be unworthy of them. Her letter also reveals to Henry that she is leaving court to stay at her family's estate. Henry is desolate to hear the news.

In the Tower, Mr. Pace is released. However the stay in the Tower has made him mad. In replacement for Mr. Pace, Wolsey appoints Thomas Cromwell as the king's new secretary.

Wolsey reminds Henry's of his obligations towards the Emperor and of the progress in the war on France. The taxes need to be raised in order to meet the financial requirements of the war. Henry doesn't seem too interested in the subject at hand and snarls at Wolsey when he wonders why the people prefer an alliance with the Emperor above an alliance with the French. Attempting to cheer the king up, Wolsey mentions their new guest at court. Princess Marguerite of Navarre, sister to the French king. Henry agrees to meet with the princess, but his heart clearly isn't in it.

Out at sea, Margaret and her ladies in waiting are having trouble sleeping. Brandon and his men enjoy a round of cards and some drinks. Overhearing their rather coarse discussion, Margaret decides to spy on them through a hole in the wall.

Back at court Wolsey introduces Henry to Princess Marguerite, whose husband stayed behind in France. Henry promises to compensate her for being absent from her husband by offering her other pleasures during her stay. Norfolk and Boleyn watch the scene and Boleyn then brings news for Norfolk. The Bishop of Winchester, the richest parish in England, has passed away and Wolsey has appointed himself the new bishop. In addition, it seems Wolsey has been using the King's money to invest in his college in Oxford, along with his personal foundation. In the line of duty Wolsey closes the worst monasteries and takes their money, only he keeps the money for his own purposes rather than letting them befall England. Norfolk insists they tell Henry right away, but Boleyn believes Wolsey's hold over the king is too strong. They need to bide their time.

More arrives at the party and Henry is pleased to see him. He urges More to come and live at court, though More prefers to stay with his family. Knivert assures More of the king's love for him. More, however, knows Henry well enough to know that Henry would be willing to sacrifice More's life to get his ways.

Henry approaches Thomas Wyatt, Anne's former beau. He asks Wyatt about his poetry, and then questions him of his past with Anne. Wyatt denies having been engaged to Anne, but confesses to loving her. He reminds the king that he is married, and that his love for Anne was merely love from a distance. Henry lets him off the hook, but Wyatt is clearly troubled.

At a different table, Thomas Tallis is composing music when two ladies in waiting, Joan and Jane, approach him. They invite him to their bedchambers, but he declines the offer. When the two girls leave, William Compton comes up to Tallis and gives him a look. He then joins Henry at his table and Henry asks him what he thinks of the visiting princess. Compton and Knivert smirk as Henry flirts with Marguerite across the room. By the end of the evening, Henry treats Marguerite to "other pleasures" while two of his servants mock the coupling duo.

Meanwhile Margaret is still having trouble sleeping, while Brandon and his man wrap up their evening and head for bed. Through the hole in her wall, Margaret watches Brandon undress and crawl under his covers.

Back in England, Henry receives news from the emperor. The emperor has won a great victory over the French, and now holds King Francis captive. This good news manages to brighten Henry's spirits and a celebration is held, complete with a tournament. Compton and Knivert both participate in the joust, seeing this occasion as their chance at being knighted. Wolsey and More attend the games and discuss the Queen's popularity. The Queen meanwhile tries to sneak a letter out to the emperor through one of her servants. King Henry enters the tournament, facing Compton first. To no one's surprise, Henry wins the round.

Anne Boleyn receives a letter from the king, who regrets her choice to not accept the gifts he sent her. He declares his affection for her and his desire for her return to court. She reads the letter aloud to her brother, who teases her about it. Anne shows him the new gift Henry sent her, a necklace. This time she accepted the gift.

During the festivities back in London, Compton puts aside his lance in exchange for a large log which he is barely able to carry. A display which amuses Henry. For his next round, Henry rides against Knivert. The king forgets to lower his visor and takes a hard blow, nearly knocking him off his horse. Queen Katherine, Boleyn and Norfolk rush to his side. Henry is in pain but refuses to acknowledge that he has been hurt. Knivert begs for forgiveness but Henry puts the blame on himself. Katherine begs him not to ride again but he insists that the people must see that he has escaped unharmed. Knivert reluctantly agrees to ride against the king again. During the second round Knivert is knocked from his horse and injured.

On board her ship, Margaret passes the time by playing cards. She sends for Brandon, demanding to know how much longer they will be at sea. He tells her two more days, with good wind. The princess invites him to join her for a game of cards, and some wine to go with it. They keep glancing at each other from across the table. Brandon then asks her how she feels about her upcoming wedding and throws her a sly remark about the reputation of her future husband and of his age. She orders him to stop teasing her, but he can't resist further commenting on her situation. She reminds him of his place and then excuses her ladies in waiting, claiming to want to spare them from Brandon's talk. Once her ladies are gone she orders Brandon to leave as well, but instead he kisses her. This quickly leads to the duke and the princess having sex.

Via Wolsey, Henry sends word to the emperor, congratulating him on his victory. He is eager to know when England and Spain will be attacking France itself. Wolsey then introduces the king to Cromwell but Henry barely notices him. Anne has returned to court and he can't keep his eyes off of her. She is wearing the necklace he sent her and agrees to meet with him in private. He then turns his attention to Princess Mary and father and daughter have a brief chat in French before Mary leaves with one of her ladies. Katherine questions Henry about Wolsey opening her letters and he promises her to put a stop to it, while assuring her that everything Wolsey does is in their best interest. The king and queen sit down on their thrones and Henry looks for Anne. He finds her talking to another man and is instantly jealous. Knivert arrives and is knighted. Compton follows and is knighted as well.

Meanwhile, Cromwell attends a different gathering. He listens to a man declaring the new ideas spread by Martin Luther and seems to be agreeing with them.

Henry and Anne meet privately in a corridor. The king professes his love and desire for her, but then grabs a hold of her and asks her about the man he saw her with. She informs him that it was only her brother, George. Pleased to be rid of his jealousy Henry kisses her but Anne breaks away and hurries back to the other ladies. Henry wants to meet with her later but she doesn't respond. The two new knights find the king and teasingly ask him who the girl was.

Margaret has arrived in Lisbon. Brandon comes to her and tries to offer some support, but she doesn't want any from him. She points out that she ought to hate him for what happened between them, but he in return points out that she doesn't. She asks him what to do, but he has no answer for her. He has no choice but to bring her to the king. The people of the Portuguese court mumble and stare at her when she arrives at the castle, while the king licks his lips suggestively. He is an old man, who walks with a cane. Margaret is appalled, but the king seems more than pleased with his future spouse. He speaks to her in Portuguese about how they are to make each other happy, and she is to give him many children. Brandon, who is knocked aside by the king, seems as appalled as Margaret. Finally the princess has had too much and faints into Brandon's arms.

In England, Henry watches Anne dance, while Katherine watches him. He doesn't bother making a secret of his interest in Anne, who gives him a couple of long gazes as she dances.

In Portugal Margaret is wed to the Portuguese king. Brandon walks her down the aisle and the Portuguese people bless her as she passes them by, tears falling down her face. She asks Brandon why he is doing this and he replies that he will do as the king has ordered him to. Margaret barely tries to hide her feelings when the king lifts her veil. Brandon's face is expressionless.

Henry writes Anne another love letter, which not only reaches her eyes but also her father's. Boleyn is pleased with the development but Anne doesn't seem as excited.

Margaret is undressed and made ready for her wedding night as members of the court watch. The aged king arrives and lays down next to her. He is clearly eager to consummate their union while she is clearly not. The curtains are pulled and with the court still waiting the king has sex with his new queen. When the curtains are pulled back the king looks like he's about to have a heart attack. A horrified Margaret confirms that they did consummate the marriage, and the court applauds. The king's condition seems to spark a thought in Margaret.

Henry, Knivert and Compton are out riding and come to a deep ditch. Compton and Knivert insist that they go around it, but Henry is convinced that he, as king, can make the jump. As it turns out, he can't, and he falls into the ditch, getting a mouthful of its contaminated water. For the next couple of days Henry is very ill and once he is back on his feet he has come to some conclusions about his life.

While dancing together at a party, Brandon reveals to Margaret that he will be leaving the following day. She insists that he can't leave, while he teasingly asks her why he should stay. He also teases her by remarking on how strong, virile men can die suddenly, while old, ill men can go on for years and years. She calls him out on his teasing and says that the real reason behind it is that he loves her. The dance ends and she returns to her throne, while Brandon looks at her with eyes that seem to confirm her theory.

Henry's close encounter with his own mortality has left him shaken. He turns to Wolsey with his thoughts. He lacks an heir, having only a daughter and a natural son. He has realised that the Tudor dynasty will die with him unless he has a legitimate son. He tells Wolsey that it is all a punishment from God for having married Katherine when she had previously been married to his brother Arthur. And he wants a divorce. It will be Wolsey's job to arrange it.

Margaret approaches her sleeping husband. After making sure that they are alone she grabs a pillow and smothers him.

(<a class="external" href="http://www.tv.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.tv.com</a>)

Unanswered Questions

Best Moments

  • Princess Margaret watches Charles through a crack in the wall
Episode 1.04 - The Tudors Wiki

  • Charles and Margaret kissing and making love
Charles and Margaret Tudor

  • Margaret passes out after her future husband,an old man,tells her that they are going to make lots of children
Episode 1.04 - The Tudors Wiki

  • Henry VIII almost drowns in a mud puddle
Episode 1.04 - The Tudors Wikithe

Best Quotes

  • Anthony Knivert-"You almost lost an eye"
  • Henry VIII -"I never used that one much anyway"

  • Cardinal Wolsey -"Have you seen how popular the Queen is with the people?".
  • Thomas More- "She is the daughter of Isabella & Ferdinand, perhaps the people think she is what a queen ought to be".

  • Thomas More (to Wolsey)-"Some people think we ought to go to heaven in featherbeds"

  • Henry VIII (to Anne)-"I have dreamed of this moment for a long time. You must know I desire you with all my heart."

  • King Henry's letter to Anne-"Perhaps you don't understand but I can't sleep, I can hardly breathe for thinking of you. Your image is before my eyes every waking second. I almost believe I would sacrifice my kingdom for an hour in your arms. I beg you name some place that we can meet and when, where I can show you truly an affection which is beyond common affection .Written with the hand of your servant, Henry"

  • Henry VIII (to Wolsey)-"I almost died...don't you understand?...what if I had died? What would I have left? I have no heir. Only a daughter and a bastard son. You understand Wolsey? The Tudor Dynasty gone! All my father's work finished and its my fault. I have lived too long for pleasure. I never even thought of the future. I married my brother's wife and God has punished me. I have been such a fool. Now everything has changed. Everything! I want a divorce. And you will get one for me"

  • Charles Brandon-'Your highness must be looking forward with great anticipation to your wedding? I hear that the king was a great horseman...in his time.And famous for his beautiful mistresses.'
  • Princess Margaret-' Don't tease me! I don't like it.'
  • Charles Brandon-' Will you like it when an old man tries to make love to you?'
  • Princess Margaret-' Your grace goes too far.Already.'
  • Charles Brandon-' Gospel says the truth will make you free.'
  • Princess Margaret-' Now you are blasphemous!'

  • Princess Margaret-'Do you play cards,Your Grace?'
  • Charles Brandon-'Sometimes,Your Highness.'
  • Princess Margaret-'What game shall we play?'
  • Charles Brandon-'You choose.'

  • Thomas Boleyn (to Norfolk) -'There will come a point when the King's belief in his minister will hang in the balance and then,Your Grace,we shall drop our truth into the scales..and the scales will fall.'

  • Henry VIII -'Mister Wyatt.'
  • Thomas Wyatt -'Your Majesty.'
  • Henry VIII -'I hear you're a poet.'
  • Thomas Wyatt -'I write poems,I don't know how to be a 'poet'.'
  • Henry VIII -'I've read some,I like them.'
  • Thomas Wyatt -'My Lord,I don't know what to say.'
  • Henry VIII -'Were you in love with Anne Boleyn?'
  • Thomas Wyatt -'I...'
  • Henry VIII -'Cardinal Wolsey tells me you were once engaged.'
  • Thomas Wyatt -'No,that's not true.'
  • Henry VIII -'Did you love her?'
  • Thomas Wyatt -'Lady Anne is so beautiful,it is the duty of every man to love her.Of course I loved her,but from a distance.Personally,I have a wife.'

  • Cardinal Wolsey -'We have a new visitor at court,Princess Marguerite of Navarre.I was saying to myself yesterday,I found her a very beautiful young woman with a very sweet and yielding disposition.She confessed to great admiration for Your Majesty.Should I arrange...?
  • Henry VIII -'Yes!Yes,do it.'

  • Cardinal Wolsey -'Well,at least our alliance with the emperor is popular,although sometimes I ask myself why that should be so.'
  • Henry VIII -'Because he's not French!'
  • Cardinal Wolsey -'Quite.'


  • Luther did indeed accuse Henry VIII of 'raving like a strumpet in a tantrum' and talked of 'stuffing such impudent falsehood down his throat.' Those are Luther's actual words.
  • Regarding the comment that Thomas More makes in this episode,'yet if my head were to win him a castle in Spain,I think he would cut it off',it is very close to More's real words:'I have no cause to be proud thereof,for if my head could win him a castle in France it should not fail to go'.
  • Henry VIII did actually attempt to pole vault a ditch in 1525 and did land head first in some mud.A footman had to rescue hm before he drowned.
  • Henry VIII wrote 17 love letters to Anne Boleyn, ironically they wound up in The Vatican.
  • Henry VIII did write a pamphlet defending the Catholic Faith and attacking Luther,Assertio Septem Sacramentorum,which was published in 1521.He was rewarded with the title of Defender of the Faith in October 1521.
  • The character of Princess Margaret is a weird combination of Henry VIII's sisters, Margaret and Mary
  • Neither of Henry's sisters married the King of Portugal.Margaret Tudor married James IV of Scotland in 1503 and Mary married Louis XII of France in 1514
  • Mary Tudor,Queen of France,was only 18 when she married the King of France,whereas the actress Gabrielle Anwar is in her thirties. Charles Brandon was 31 when he married Mary.
  • Mary did not murder the King of France(or Portugal),he died of natural causes. However, these causes were no doubt excerbated by the constant balls and banquets that Mary plunged the elderly King's court into.
  • The costumes are not accurate to the period and married women did not wear their hair loose,it was worn up and covered.
  • There is absolutely no evidence that Marguerite of Navarre slept with Henry,that is complete fiction.At the time she was married to Charles IV of Alencon.
  • Henry VIII did have a jousting accident (in March 1524) and had a lucky escape when he was hit above the eye but it was Duke of Suffolk he was jousting against.
  • Events are all over the place in this episode-Mary(Margaret) went to France(Portugal) to marry in 1514,Henry pursued Anne in the mid to late 1520s,the Battle of Pavia was in 1525 etc.
  • There is no evidence that Richard Pace was imprisoned or that he was mad.He was Dean of St Paul's from 1519-1536.
(source <a class="external" href="http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ww.theanneboleynfiles.com</a>)

  • The landscape scene depicting Lisbon actually depicts the University of Ciombra,which is some 15km to the north.
  • This episode is rated TV-MA for violence and adult content.
(source <a class="external" href="http://www.tv.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.tv.com</a>)


  • The King of Portugal on the throne at the time of this episode was Manuel I who at this period would have been married to Katherine of Aragon's older sister Maria.
  • In the opening shot of Margaret's boat in dock someone can be heard yelling "gimme a 'and with these ropes!"
  • When officiating at Mass Wolesey is wearing green - this signifies that the church is in what is known as "ordinary time" which is the period between Lent and Christmas (and vice versa) and does not signify any saints days (i.e. he would have been wearing red for a martyr such as Thomas Beckett) or a Holy day (i.e. white for the birth of the Virgin)
  • During the opening shots of the scene where Henry meets Marguerite of Navarre there is a man above the orchestra, seemingly clinging to a pillar and nodding along with the music.
  • When Thomas More enters the room after Thomas Boleyn and Norfolk are talking about Wolsey a loud extra can be heard saying "going hunting this weekend" and during the following scene stating "I love to ride."
  • During the scene where the pages are mocking Henry and Marguerite's lovemaking two portraits can be seen on the walls - the one in the centre above the cross is Henry's father, the other one is Richard III - the King who Henry VII defeated for the crown.
  • During the joust a high pitched woman extra can be heard calling "Your Majesty! God bless you!"


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Anne Boleyn comes to court as one of Katherine Ladies in waiting
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Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More & Sir Thomas Cromwell
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Sir William Compton
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Henry is enamoured with Anne
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Princess Margaret is married to the old King of Portugal
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Henry and the mud puddle
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Cardinal Wolsey is ordered to obtain a divorce
Episode 1.04 - The Tudors Wiki
Princess Margaret and the King of Portugal
Episode 1.04 - The Tudors Wiki
Charles and Margaret kiss
Episode 1.04 - The Tudors Wiki
Brandon and Margaret

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