Event Listings: Every Damn Henry VIII Event In Town

By M@ Last edited 117 months ago
Event Listings: Every Damn Henry VIII Event In Town

Celebrate me, or I shall sit on you.

By the beard of Cranmer, Henry VIII is a popular fellow. The 500th anniversary of his coronation has prompted a glut of events and exhibitions that make the recent Darwin bicentenary look like a timid court jester by comparison. The listings below, extensive though they are, don't include a trio of lectures from David Starkey, nor most of the lectures at Hampton Court Palace, which have already sold out. But like a Tudor banquet, there's still far more to get your teeth into than a healthy person could stomach.


Henry VIII: Man and Monarch. British Library. £9. Starkey-curated uber-exhibition.

Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill. Tower of London. Until 17 January 2010. Display of kingly armour over three floors of the White Tower.

Henry VIII: Heads and Hearts. Hampton Court Palace. All kinds of activities going on, but a special focus on Henry's wives. In particular, watch a re-enactment of his betrothal to final partner Kathryn Parr.

Henry VIII Remembered. National Portrait Gallery. Until 12 July. Free. Portraits of Henry and friends.

Hidden Treasures From The Mary Rose. Whitgift Conference Centre, Croyden. Free. Until 7 August.

From Henry VII to Henry VIII in Richmond. Museum of Richmond. Until 29 August. Free.

Individual events

Fri 1 May

19.30-22.15. Rick Wakeman's 'Six Wives of Henry VIII'. Hampton Court Palace. From £49.50. The 1972 Yes album is performed in its entirety for the first time. Repeated the following evening.

Mon 4 May

11.00-16.00 Henry VIII's May Day celebration. British Library. Free. The most Henry VIII lookalikes ever gathered in one venue. Plus singing, dancing and merrymaking.

Thu 7 May

All day, Tudor Music Festival. Hampton Court Palace. Period tunes, including many composed by the king himself. Continues through Sunday.

Sat 9 May

18.00-21.30 Erato - Henry VIII. Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, Chingford. £9.95. Evening concert of 16th Century music. Phone 020 8508 0028 for tickets.

Wed 20 May

18.00-20.00 Henry VIII: England's Absolute Monarch? British Library. £6. Discussion among Tudor experts.

Tue 2 Jun

19.00-20.00 Henry VIII Lecture. Queen Mary Undercroft, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. £5. Simon Thurley from English Heritage on the birthplace of Henry VIII.

Sat 6 Jun

13.00-16.00 Join in the Joust. Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, Chingford. Free. Kids event involving paper lances and hobby horses.

Sat 13 Jun

All day. Henry VIII Days. Old Royal Naval College. Free. Full weekend of jousts, hunting, and other tudor revelry on Greenwich water front.

Sun 14 Jun

19.00-20.00 Henry VIII Concert: The Sixteen. The Chapel, Greenwich. From £15. Period music concert on the site of Henry's birth.

Sat 20 Jun

11.00-17.00 King Henry VIII's Joust. Eltham Palace. £12. Witness a joust at Henry's childhood home.

All weekend: Henry VIII's Coronation Weekend. River Thames and Hampton Court Palace. Recreation of a Tudor river pageant, with king and courtiers sailing along the Thames from Tower to Hampton Court. On the second day, festivities continue at the palace.

Tue 23 Jun


Henry VIII: Music and Monarchy. Tower of London. £25. Includes entry to the Dressed to Kill exhibition, plus an evening concert.

Wed 24 Jun

13.00-14.00 A Coronation Concert With Alamire. British Library. Free. Choral music composed during Henry's reign.

19.00-23.00 Late at the Library. A Night With Henry VIII. British Library. £10. Music and jesters, and entrance to the exhibition included.

Sat 27 Jun

11.00-13.00 Guided Walk: Tudor Trees. Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge. Free. Tour of the ancient woodlands of Epping Forest. Pre-book on 020 8 508 0028.

Fri 3 Jul

13.00-13.30 The Somers Town Jesters' Project. British Library. Free. Apparently, Somers Town is built on land granted to Henry VIII's favourite jester, Will Somers. Who knew? A troupe of local school kids demonstrate jester tricks in the piazza.

Sat 4 Jul

13.00-16.00 The Royal Hunt. Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge. Free. Hands on experience of archery and other Tudor weaponry.

Wed 8 Jul

18.30-20.00 Henry: The Inner Life of a Most Public King. British Library. £6. Tudor-obsessed novelist Philippa Gregory discusses the life and loves of Henry VIII.

Mon 13 Jul

18.30-20.15 The Private Life of Henry VIII. British Library. £6. Screening of the 1933 classic film.

Mon 20 Jul

18.30-20.00 'I'm David The Second, I am, I am': Henry VIII and His Psalter. British Library. £6. Oddly named talk about Henry's psalter.

Tue 21 Jul

12.00, 14.00, 16.00 Tudor Falconry. British Library Piazza. Free. Self explanatory, really.

18.30-20.30 Sport in the Age of Henry VIII: Falconry and Hunting. British Library Conference Centre. £6. Lecture about hunting and hawking, Tudor style.

Tue 28 Jul

18.30-20.00 The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn. British Library. £6. Historian Alison Weir discusses the most famous queen of Henry VIII.

Sat/Sun 1/2 Aug

13.00-16.00 Hodge Podge History - 500 years at the Hunting Lodge site. Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge. Free. Crafts and talks by costumed actors on all things Tudor.

Tue 4 Aug

18.30-20.30 Sport in the age of Henry VIII: Jousting and Real Tennis. British Library Conference Centre. £6. Second of two lectures looking at Tudor sport.

Thu 6 Aug

19.00-21.00 John Heywood's The Play of the Weather. Hampton Court Palace. £22. Performance of a play originally commissioned by Henry VIII. A second performance takes place on 8 Aug.

Sat 29 Aug

All day, Tudor Tournament. Hampton Court Palace. The first jousting tournament in modern history, held at HCP. Continues next day.

Thu 10 Sep

19.00-20.30 Henry VIII and the Reformation. Hampton Court Palace. £22. Shockingly overpriced discussion.

Sat 12 Sep

13.00-16.00 Tudor Knot Gardens. Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge. Free. Introduction to Tudor gardening.

Thu 15 Oct

19.00-20.30 Henry VIII on Stage and Screen. Hampton Court Palace. £22.

Last Updated 23 April 2009