There’s heartache in store for King Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) as the historical drama continues on BBC Two.
As Henry continues to try and win the heart of Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer)� he also formally recognises his son by Elizabeth Blount, making the three-year-old boy the Duke of Richmond and Somerset, as Michael Hirst’s epic drama continues.
While Elizabeth remains composed as her little boy is taken away, Queen Catherine (Maria Doyle Kennedy) is devastated to learn from Cardinal Wolsey (Sam Neill) that her own daughter is to be sent away to Wales to grow up under the watchful eye of Lady Salisbury.
Indignant at the news that Emperor Charles V has released the French king from his custody, Henry redoubles the pressure on Wolsey to achieve a favourable ruling on his divorce. Despite Sir Thomas More’s (Jeremy Northam) warnings that Catherine is far too popular to be simply cast aside, Wolsey sets out to see that the King’s wish is granted. Upon discovering that the annulment will be harder to get than he’d anticipated, Wolsey intercepts Catherine’s letter to the Emperor and persuades Henry to seek a rapprochement with the French.
Meanwhile, en route from Portugal following the death of Princess Margaret’s husband, Charles Brandon (Henry Cavill) has asked her to marry him � but, on their return to England, the news that she re-married whilst still in mourning, and without his consent, prompts Henry to banish them both from his court. As Anne finally prepares to concede her maidenhead � and her heart � to Henry and promises him a son, Henry vows in return that he will not take her virginity until he’s been granted the divorce that will allow them to wed.
Having explained his rationale to More, Henry finally tells Catherine of the divorce. However, despite Henry’s optimism, Wolsey continues to meet resistance from the church officials in England and suggests appealing directly to the Pope. Almost immediately, news arrives that Spanish mercenaries have sacked Rome and imprisoned the Pope. Henry’s desperation is finally compounded by the sudden death of Elizabeth’s son.
Friday 2 November, 9.00-10.00pm BBC TWO