Synopsis: Princess Margaret reluctantly sails to Portugal with Charles Brandon escorting her to marry the old, decrepit King. King Henry VIII is consumed with lust for Anne Boleyn, and finds himself distracted after learning that she has left the court. However, the news of the Holy Roman Emperor’s victory in Italy, and the capture of King Francis brings him back from his daze.
Episode Summary: King Henry VIII bids farewell to his sister as she sends her off to marry the King of Portugal. He looks to Charles Brandon to keep Princess Margaret safe in their journey, an escort she disapproves of given his lack of nobility.
King Henry VIII receives high praise from the Pope for the pamphlet he wrote that demolished Martin Luther’s arguments, and is given the title Defender of the Faith. Luther, however, wrote a retaliation that criticized the King calling him a raving strumpet in a tantrum. Later, he joins his wife in hearing Mass, but could not keep himself from stealing a glance at Anne Boleyn. Henry has become engrossed with the young lady so much so that he could not hide his disappointment when he mistook Lady Anne Clifford for Anne Boleyn. Clifford had paid him a visit to return the gifts Henry had given to Boleyn. Anne Boleyn found herself unworthy of his gifts, and affection. This she wrote in a letter that also informed the King of her leaving the court to stay in her family’s house at Hever.
Learning Anne’s departure from court has distracted Henry that he could not care less of Cardinal Wolsey’s updates. Wolsey informs him that they are to pass a bill that will raise taxes in order to sustain their allegiance with the Holy Roman Emperor who now is fighting the French in Italy. Even the news of his commissioned new warship that Henry once was zealous in building did not bring him out of his daze, much less Wolsey’s appointment of Cromwell as the new secretary to replace Thomas Pace whose imprisonment in the Tower of London has driven him insane. In an attempt to catch Henry’s attention, Wolsey offers to make arrangements for the King to spend some time with Princess Margueritte of Navarre. This brought Henry out of his daze, but it was only for a brief moment for his mind is still with Anne Boleyn. Later, however, he will share a bed with Margueritte just to satisfy his lust, and also as an insult to the King of France for Margueritte is King Francis’ sister.
Thomas Boleyn in his investigation found evidence that Cardinal Wolsey is embezzling money. The details of it he shares with Lord Norfolk. According to Boleyn, Cardinal Wolsey has appointed himself Bishop of Winchester after the bishop of the richest parish in England passed away. Moreover, Wolsey has been using the King’s money to invest in his new college in Oxford, and his own personal foundation. He does this by stripping the worst monasteries of their assets, and transferring the funds to his purse instead of the King’s. Lord Norfolk suggests that Thomas Boleyn inform the King right away, but Boleyn advises that they must wait until Henry tires of the Cardinal before they take action. Otherwise, they risk having the King defending Wolsey, and their accusations refuted.
A messenger informs the King that the Holy Roman Emperor successfully overthrew the French from their territory in Italy. Moreover, King Francis was captured in the battlefield, and is now the prisoner of the Holy Roman Emperor. King Henry VIII is overjoyed, and calls for a celebration to rejoice their victory. The King holds a jousting event. William Compton and Anthony Knivert take this opportunity to show off their skills in the hope that Henry VIII would take notice, and grant them knighthood. William Compton knowing that he is not as skilled as Anthony Knivert decides to catch the King’s attention with comic relief, and asks that he use a gigantic, heavy trunk of a tree as his lance. Anthony Knivert comes next, and all is in horror after noticing that the King has forgotten to put on his visor. To add to their terror, Knivert hits him on the head. King Henry VIII screams in pain his face covered in blood, but insists that he is unharmed. In fact, the accident only heightened the King’s confidence for he now thinks that he is invincible. To prove to everyone that he is well, he once again mounts his horse, and jousts against the regretful Anthony Knivert. Knivert so perturbed by the incident becomes distracted, and is badly hurt when the King’s lance hit him on the head.
Anne Boleyn receives a letter from the King begging her to come back immediately, and asking her to meet him in private. Henry VIII also sends her another gift, but this time, one simpler than the ones she had sent back.
Princess Margaret having spent many days at sea with Charles Brandon finds herself lusting for her handsome ward. The two have not got along well, and Charles Brandon teasing the princess about her marriage to an old King only increases the tension between them. Little did he know that this only aroused the feelings that Princess Margaret has been having that she orders her ladies in waiting to give them privacy. Princess Margaret and Charles Brandon begin their love affair.
King Henry VIII orders Cardinal Wolsey to send a message to the Holy Roman Emperor expressing his delight at the Emperor’s victory at the Battle of Pavia, and more so with his capture of King Francis. Moreover, the King wants to know when the Emperor wants to strike France given that its King is already his prisoner. Little did Henry know that his wife has secretly sent a letter to her nephew, the Emperor, through the same messenger who sent them news of victory. Queen Catherine of Aragon did this for she is sure that Cardinal Wolsey has been reading her letters.
King Henry VIII grants the knighthood of Anthony Knivert, this after the young man almost lost an eye after the King hit him with his lance. However, to Knivert’s shock and disappointment, William Compton was also knighted. In the gathering, Cardinal Wolsey introduces the King to his new secretary, Mr. Cromwell, but the King barely gave him notice for he had just caught a glimpse of Anne Boleyn. Unbeknownst to Wolsey and the King whom the Pope had just called Defender of the Faith, Mr. Cromwell is part of the group supporting Martin Luther, and one who claims that the Pope is the living Anti-Christ on Earth.
Henry who has long been lusting for Anne Boleyn finally meets her in private. He, however, could not contain his jealousy that he asks the identity of the man she has been speaking with at court only to learn that he is only her brother, George. Relieved, Henry and Anne passionately kiss for the very first time, but their rendezvous was cut short after hearing approaching footsteps.
Princess Margaret finally arrives in Portugal, and she is the least bit delighted. Her untoward fate becomes clear as she is presented to the aging King of Portugal who could barely walk on his own. He looks to Charles Brandon to rescue her, but there is nothing he can do. Princess Margaret faints at the realization of her awful marriage to the unsightly King of Portugal. The day of her wedding has come. Charles Brandon walks her down the aisle full of pity, but powerless to rescue her lover from the marriage she definitely does not want to be part of. To make matters worse, Princess Margaret could not evade the duties of a wife for all the court have gathered around the King’s bed to ensure that their marriage is consummated. When the deed is done, Princess Margaret is left disgusted, while the King appears to be on the verge of a heart attack. Nonetheless, the court rejoices at her confirmation that their marriage has been consummated.
Anne Boleyn has successfully whetted Henry VIII’s appetite that he writes her once again expressing his love and affection to the point of calling himself her servant. Queen Catherine of Aragon is beginning to take notice of Henry’s growing desire towards her lady-in-waiting, but keeps quiet about her suspicion.
The King and his men are out riding when they come across a ditch too wide to cross. His men advise that they go around it, but King Henry VIII insist that they can jump over it. Henry orders for a flagpole and uses it to vault across the ditch. To their amusement, Henry’s flagpole breaks, and he falls in the ditch. While the two knights laugh at the King, one of the men notices that the King has not come up for air. He runs down to the ditch, and rescues the King whose head was stuck in the mud, and is in fact drowning.
Charles Brandon dances with Princess Margaret, now Queen of Portugal, to inform her of his departure. He, once again, teases her of having to share a bed with an old, aging King who just refuses to die. However, this time, Charles Brandon is the one taken aback when Margaret makes him realize that he teases her not because it is amusing, but because he loves her. Princess Margaret finds her husband asleep on the bed, and unguarded. An opportunity is presented to her, and she grabs it. Princess Margaret takes a pillow, and suffocates the King of Portugal to death.
The incident at the ditch has disturbed Henry so much that it is causing him physical pain though none really exist. His silly antic had almost caused him his life. This caused him to ponder of the legacy he would have left if he had died from the accident. He realizes that he has no proper heir for he only has a daughter, and a bastard son. If he had died, the Tudor dynasty would have ended on his watch. King Henry VIII could not bear be responsible for the fall of the Tudors. He is now more convinced that God has punished him for marrying his brother’s wife. King Henry VIII tells Cardinal Wolsey that he wants a divorce, and that Wolsey should ensure that he gets one.
Watch The Tudors Episode 4 His Majesty, The King
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