Henry VIII the husband will always overshadow Henry VIII the king. His quest to produce a male heir led him to marry six legendary wives. He first married Katherine of Aragon, widow of his brother, Arthur, in 1509. They divorced in 1533, after it became clear she would not bear him a son. Henry next married the pregnant Anne Boleyn, who bore him a daughter, Elizabeth, before she was executed for infidelity in May 1536. That same month, he married Jane Seymour, who died giving birth to Henry's lone male heir, Edward. Early in 1540, Henry arranged a political marriage with Anne of Cleves that was never consummated and ended in divorce. In July 1540, he married the Katherine Howard, who was executed for adultery in March 1542. Katherine Parr became his wife in 1543, serving him until his death in 1547.
As a young man, Henry VIII preferred hunting and dancing to governing. Matters of state were left in the hands of Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, who virtually ruled England until his failure to secure the papal annulment of Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Wolsey appealed repeatedly to Pope Clement VII, but he was beholden to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and nephew of Katherine. Rather than submit to the Pope's will, Henry VIII broke with Rome and formed the Church of England, the greatest legacy of his reign. Henry VIII's break with Rome, coupled with an increase in governmental bureaucracy, led to a royal supremacy in Britain that would last until the execution of Charles I and the establishment of the Commonwealth one hundred years after Henry's death.
Ray Winstone started boxing at the age of 12 at the famous Repton Amateur Boxing Club. Over ten years, he won more than 80 medals and trophies. When he turned to acting, he received critical acclaim for his performances in Gary Oldman's Nil By Mouth (1997), for which he received a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nomination, and in Tim Roth's The War Zone (1999), for which he earned a nomination for a European Film Award. He most recently costarred with Michael Caine in Last Orders (2001). Among his other films are Ripley's Game (2002), There's Only One Jimmy Grimble (2000), Five Seconds to Spare (1999), Ladybird, Ladybird (1994) and Quadrophenia (1979). In his 20-year career, he is accomplished on the stage and on television.