THE MIRROR & THE LIGHT
Immediately after Anne Boleyn’s execution, Henry marries Jane Seymour. Cromwell takes over from Anne’s disgraced father as Lord Privy Seal. The Boleyn faction is broken and ‘Uncle Norfolk’ is in disgrace. The missing gentlemen, who were among Henry’s closest attendants in his privy chamber, are replaced by Rafe Sadler and other Cromwell supporters
A spectator at Anne’s execution is Henry’s illegitimate son, the Duke of Richmond, a promising, able young man who has provided Henry with a fall-back position – perhaps he could be legitimised, if parliament and the country would accept it? A few weeks later, Richmond is dead after contract- ing a pulmonary infection. Henry now considers he has no heir at all, as his two daughters are both the products of tainted marriages.