Henry VIII became the most powerful man in England at the tender age of 17, taking over from his rather austere father, Henry VII. Henry’s youthful attitude is reflected in the lavish and indulgent tournaments that took place soon after, bolstering his image as a magnificent king. But was Henry actually the king of spin?

Here we will look at records showing Henry at different stages of his reign, from this debut as a 17-year old king to a monarch nearing the end of his reign. You can make your own mind up on whether these illustrations show the man himself, or whether they are simply an artistic indulgence that Henry used to convey his power and authority.