People don’t realise this about me because I’m usually so suave, but I’m a secret nerd – well, at least where medieval history is involved.
A month ago I was in New York visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art (commonly called The Met). It’s the largest museum in the US and attracts countless visitors from across the world. You know those iconic paintings, sculptures and antiquities you’ve always heard about? Chances are you can see them at The Met.
During my visit, I was meandering through the armour room, which has a distinguished collection of European, American and Eastern armour, dating from between the 1200s to the 1800s. It was remarkable seeing the intricate etchings and the almost mechanical-looking parts, knowing that people once played, fought and died in these structures.
When I stumbled across a particularly tall and imposing suit of armour and realised it once belonged to Tudor king, Henry VIII, I gasped (I don’t think I’ve ever gasped at anything in my life). I was in awe, knowing the real man once stood in this armour; the man who infamously married six women, broke England away from the Catholic Church and became the first king to declare himself divine ruler of both church and state. I think I even wiped away a tear or two.
I took a selfie and immediately emailed it to my mum with the caption: “Here’s me, geeking out with Henry VIII armour.”
My mum, who’s the one person who knows the depths of my Tudor fandom, must’ve been up late that night because she replied straight away.
“Good old King Henry,” she replied.
Good old King Henry, indeed.
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