Five hundred and four years ago today, Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen of England in a ceremony of pomp and splendour at Westminster Abbey. The coronation ceremony was performed by William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Despite having six wives only Queen Katherine of Aragon and Queen Anne Boleyn received a coronation. What is interesting is that on this day in 1509 King Henry VIII took an oath which he would later amend to reflect his views about the relationship between the sovereign crown and the church.
Henry VIII was a fierce-looking man. He would use his build and masculinity to hold court. It was evident that most members of court feared the King for his looks, power and frequent mood swings. This is a very different style to that of our Queen Elizabeth II, who throughout her sixty years has used grace and beauty to take the monarchy into the future.
Following the crowning of Henry VIII a magnificent banquet was held in Westminster Hall. Westminster Hall is the oldest part of the Parliamentary Estate. Her Majesty the Queen delivered a humble address to Parliament to mark her Diamond Jubilee in the very same space.
As a young man, King Henry VIII was a handsome and clever man, much different from the infamous portraits of the latter days of the King’s reign.
King Henry was a politically influential monarch. In fact his break with the church has lasted until today where the Queen still holds the office of Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The King ruled with an iron fist, his word was law.
Henry VIII is Queen Elizabeth II’s 12th Great Grand Uncle. The reign of Henry VIII was very different to the 60 year reign of our current Queen; however I am certain that Queen Elizabeth II will be just as famous in five hundred and four years to come.