Starring: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers , Henry Cavill
Directed by: Dearbhla Walsh , Jeremy Podeswa
Produced by: Gary Howsam , James Flynn
Written by: Michael Hirst
In the final season of the acclaimed Showtime series, Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) discovers his fifth queen's ribald past and adulterous present. He restores his daughters Mary and Elizabeth to the royal succession and chooses the attractive and capable widow Catherine Parr (Joely Richardson) to be their stepmother.
Item Number: 15962
In the final season of the acclaimed Showtime series, Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) discovers his fifth queen's ribald past and adulterous present. He restores his daughters Mary and Elizabeth to the royal succession and chooses the attractive and capable widow Catherine Parr (Joely Richardson) to be their stepmother. Now, the popular but ailing king must face the ghosts of his former queens, who appear for a final confrontation.
A long hot summer, thirty years into the reign of King Henry VIII, and well into middle age, Henry takes his fifth wife, Katherine Howard. The Queen's "low background" combined with her youth and beauty, arouses a lusty familiarity in certain members of King Henry's court most notably his handsome young servant Thomas Culpepper.
Thomas Culpepper - Henry VIII's newest servant - continues to make eyes at his King's young bride, Katherine Howard. Her servant suggests seduction. While the King shows his age by going to bed early during the Christmas celebration the young but not so innocent members of his court party on.
Buoyed by the happiness that a young wife brings an aging man, Henry is noticeably more tolerant and forgiving than he once was. Such goodwill is well appreciated by the peasants of the North who gratefully accept Henry's forgiveness for the Pilgrimage of Grace revolt, during a Royal visit. But the King's benevolence may yet be tested by his new Queen: Katherine Howard has submitted to seduction by the young and handsome Thomas Culpepper.
Rejuvenated by his tour of the north of England, Henry feels a new man and longs after his new Queen; unaware that her affections are diverted elsewhere. Katherine's past begins to catch up as an old liaison comes looking for a job threatening to reveal all about their sexual history. Someone beats him to it when an anonymous letter is sent to the King containing accusations of adultery. Although unconvinced of the rumor, Henry confines Katherine to her apartments pending a thorough investigation.
Lord Hertford's investigation into allegations of the Queen's infidelities moves with speed. Deeply upset by revelations of his beloved young wife's sexual past, Henry weeps. But once adultery is uncovered, his response is swift and decisive.
Unmarried once more Henry reflects on his dynasty and orders a new Act of Parliament which restores the succession rights of his two daughters, the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth. His roving eye undaunted by age or experience, he notices the attractive soon-to-be widow Catherine Parr. After the disastrous mismatch of his last marriage a mature woman is just what he needs.
Henry marries Catherine Parr - his sixth and final wife. A loving step-mother and compassionate companion, Catherine is liked and respected by all at court save the Catholic Bishop Gardiner who suspects her to be a heretic. Henry prepares to invade France.
The siege of Boulogne is a long, expensive and difficult military campaign that is finally won by Henry's troops at great financial and human cost. Rejuvenated, Henry rejects the idea of marching on to further conquests, preferring to return to England in triumph.
Henry VIII's health is on the slide: the recent siege of Boulogne has taken its toll on his aging body and his ulcerous leg is constantly in pain. Bishop Gardiner and the Catholic Church are once again in the ascendant at court but, tired of conflict, Henry demonstrates little enthusiasm for the ambitious Bishop's accusation that Catherine Parr is a heretic.
Henry's thoughts turn to his own mortality with the news that his long-time friend and sometimes foe King Francis, and his unshakable soldier Charles Brandon, are each dying. As he faces death, Henry encounters the ghosts of his former wives who each get a chance to confront him. Hans Holbein paints a last, iconic portrait of the Tudor King.
|King Henry VIII||---||Jonathan Rhys Meyers|
|Charles Brandon||---||Henry Cavill|
|Ambassador Bishop Chapuys||---||Anthony Brophy|
|Mary Tudor||---||Sarah Bolger|
|Anne Boleyn||---||Natalie Dormer|
|Edward Seymour||---||Max Brown|
|Richard Rich||---||Rod Hallett|
|Queen Catherine of Aragon||---||Maria Doyle Kennedy|
|Bishop Gardiner||---||Simon Ward|
|Lady Margaret Bryan||---||Jane Brennan|
|Anne Stanhope||---||Emma Hamilton|
|Lady Rochford||---||Joanne King|
|Thomas Seymour||---||Andrew McNair|
|Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey||---||David O'Hara|
|Anne Parr||---||Suzy Lawlor|
|Kat Ashley||---||Maude Hirst|
|Lady Elizabeth||---||Laoise Murray|
|Brigitte Rousselot||---||Selma Brook|
Directed by Ciaran Donnelly, Jeremy Podeswa, Dearbhla Walsh
Written by Michael Hirst
Produced by James Flynn, Gary Howsam
Executive Produced by Sheila Hockin, Michael Hirst
Original Music by Trevor Morris
Cinematography by Ousama Rawi, Des Whelan
Film Editing by Lisa Grootenboer
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