Henry VIII is in great spirits. He is noticeably more tolerant and forgiving than the Henry of old. He pardons criminal, visits his estranged young daughter Princess Elizabeth and plans a visit to the North of England – his first visit to the territory that hatched the ‘Pilgrimage of Grace’ rebellion.
Scenes of rebellion are now closer to home. Unknown to the doting King, his wife Katherine Howard has begun a serious flirtation with the young and handsome Thomas Culpepper, with the assistance of her lady in waiting, Lady Rochford. Cuckolding the King is a capital offense but Henry, of course, can play by different rules and takes his pleasure in the bed of Anne of Cleves, the ex-wife he once thought ugly.