Henry VIII's Birthday Bash

Henry VIII’s Birthday – Get the Cake!

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The 28 June 1491 is Henry VIII’s Birthday. 

He was born in the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich. His father, of course, was Henry VII and his mother Elizabeth of York.

But we are so lucky that we know the day.


The formal registration of births didn’t come into being until Henry’s son, Edward VI, was king.

Hence we don’t 100% know for certain how old key players in history were, Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boylen, Lady Jane Grey being famous names from the Tudor era being such examples.

Catherine Howard could have been aged anywhere from 15 to 19 when Henry married her! We don’t know for certain.

However, royal births were a different matter. Grand proclamations were made, notices on church doors, letters to ambassadors that sort of thing.

When Henry’s elder brother, Arthur, was born, messages were sent across the kingdom and overseas.

For such a significant figure in history as Henry VIII – you would think that there would have been trumpeters playing a fanfare on every street corner, triumphant firework displays, dancing naked ladies with “congratulations” painted on their breasts…that sort of thing.


Remember Henry was just the second son.

The third child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.

He was never the heir. 

When he was born, how many messages do you think were sent about it?




Henry was in effect a no-one. Relegated to the same level as the majority of the population.

The ONLY reason we know the date is a small handwritten note in Margaret Beaufort’s BOOK OF HOURS recording it. Margaret was his Grandmother.

Even then…

Arthur and Henry’s elder sister, Margaret, births were recorded in great detail; the date, place, time were all transcribed by their grandmother.

Henry’s entry… his grandmother seemed to screw up the entry and she had to correct the year to 1491 over the top.

If she had got Henry VIII’s Birthday wrong, then how could they get the number of candles correct on top of the cake? 

All in all, it wasn’t a very grand start in life for little baby Henry.

Maybe he thought he had something to prove?

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What would Henry VIII’s Birthday party be like?

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Here is where you are going to get disappointed. 

You might have expected Henry VIII’s birthday parties to be the very picture of excess, like a supersized Elton John bash. 

The Tudor’s didn’t celebrate birthdays in the ways that we do today. 

No candles on cakes, no singing of “Happy Birthday” and no gifts. 

Dull or what! 

In fact, there is little evidence to say that they acknowledged their birthdays at all. 


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