Venture behind the glamorous facade of Henry’s court; “INSIDE THE COURT OF HENRY VIII” March 26 at 8 pm

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Part Renaissance prince, part medieval tyrant, Henry VIII is the most famous of English kings. Venture beyond the facade of his glamorous court to understand the danger and intrigue that routinely cost courtiers their heads.


Saturday, March 26 at 8 pm

INSIDE THE COURT OF HENRY VIII, directed by Peter Chinn, gives insight into the intrigue and politics that underlay the royal court, examining the backdrop to one of the most famous and tyrannical reigns in British history, as well as the ongoing legacy of King Henry VIII.

Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace

Filmed on location at palaces and other places of historical significance—from Anne Boleyn’s childhood home at Hever Castle to the great buildings of Hampton Court, Lambeth Palace and The Tower of London—the documentary provides five historians’ expert commentary on the reality of life under King Henry VIII interspersed with sumptuous dramatic reconstructions of key events that shaped the period. Opening at the end of Henry’s reign, with the irascible 400-pound king on his deathbed, the program tells the story of his life, beginning as a young, carefree prince, and explores his four-decade rule through some of the most turbulent periods in British history.

“INSIDE THE COURT OF KING HENRY VIII delivers a fresh perspective on one of the most exciting and dangerous periods in history,” said Jeremy Dear, founder of The Ideas Room. “Henry would brook no opposition to his will. This is a man who fundamentally changed the way the English worshipped, along with their politics and their economy, all to satisfy his own ends. Our film shows what it was really like to participate in his royal court during that time, and puts Henry’s legacy into its historical context.

Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn

“This documentary illustrates exactly how high the stakes were in King Henry’s court, from the politics, the intrigue and day-to-day life, where anyone’s future rested on one man’s whim,” said Bill Margol, Sr. Director, Programming & Development for PBS. “Beautifully filmed in palaces and locations from the time, the documentary shows that reality is equally as engaging as fiction.”

Expert commentary provided by: Dr. Tracy Borman, Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces; Dr. Robert Hutchinson, Author and Historian; Susan Ronald, Author and Historian; Chris Skidmore MP, Author and Historian; Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, University of Oxford.