“Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Lived.” A tour guide at Hampton Court taught me that saying-an easy way to remember the fate of Henry VIII’s six wives. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Never fear, if you haven’t watched the first two seasons you can jump right in. Henry divorced first wife, Catherine of Aragon, who later died, and wed Anne Boleyn. He breaks from the Catholic Church (because they won’t grant the divorce) and creates The Church of England.
Things don’t go well for Anne and he has her beheaded at The Tower of London. His two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, one from each former wife, are now declared illegitimate. Juicy, I’d say.
This series is packed with fantastic acting and gorgeous actors (like Henry Cavill, who plays the King’s friend, Sir Charles Brandon.) The costuming is worthy of a museum exhibit (I would love to see them go on tour), authentic castles and countryside, high definition filming and expert production. But, the story itself is the winner: lust and sex, friendship and betrayal, births and deaths, religion, greed, power, war, as well as medieval torture. What more is there?
Season three begins with Henry’s third wedding, this time to Jane Seymour . But here’s my secret: use this link to watch the new episode on your computer right now. Not as good as big screen TV, but a tantalizing taste.
And speaking of food, to publicize the season premier Showtime asked Sara Moulton of the Food Network to create a royal feast . I saw the photo spread in Gourmet magazine and was enticed to make the beet and orange salad. The dish was so impressive I’m featuring it and the recipe on my food blog .
It’s a royal day. Please kind sirs, don’t call me tonight, I’ll be with Henry and Jane.
Bonus: You can catch up on the story with The Tudor Timeline.