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Henry VIII's French crown: his royal entry into Tournai revisited


  • The author would like to thank Professor Michael Hicks and the two anonymous readers for their valuable comments on this article.


On 25 September 1513 Henry VIII made his formal entry into Tournai as king of France. An examination of this entry provides an insight into how seriously Henry took his claim to the throne of France. This article uses a range of sources and looks at the entry from the perspective of both Henry and the townspeople, and systematically analyses the different elements that formed a ceremonial entry during the period. It demonstrates that a royal entry was a moment of communication between ruler and ruled, and that Henry used the ceremony to develop good relations with Tournai's ruling elite.