On this day, 498 years ago, King Henry VIII was somewhat pushed into forging an alliance with France something the young king was not too happy about.
The meeting of the cloth of gold was arranged for both monarchs in France in a place between the villages or Argres and Guines in Calais. The whole of the english court travelled across the English Channel to meet the king of France, Francis I, to ensure the securing of this political alliance. The kings were rivals within regards to politics but also personally, they both thought of themselves to be incredible rulers in their own courts. The meeting itself lasted a good 3 weeks (7th June – 24th June) and during these 3 weeks each court fought to prove how much better they were compared to the other, they made grand gestures and spent out on lavish entertainment.
The plan behind of the field of the cloth of gold was put together by none other then Cardinal Wolsey, Henry’s Cardinal, who was incredibly inclined towards making the English and the French become allies. The feasts and jousts were held including processions, masques, balls, banquets and many more lavishly expensive shows were put on display, even fireworks. Every day both kings and their courts arrived in different elaborate costumes again, trying to out do one another and due to this and all the other luxuries they had put out on display both had racked up hefty bills! Henry’s bill amounted to £13,000!!! .
Both kings agreed on the alliance but both were not happy about it, within 2 week Henry was meeting with Charles V and both agreed to not sign new treaties with France. Just 2 years later in 1522 Henry was declaring war on France.
With love, Charlotte x