Henry VIII is in great spirits. Buoyed by the happiness that a young wife brings an aging man, he is noticeably more tolerant and forgiving than the Henry of old. He pardons a criminal, visits his estranged young daughter Princess Elizabeth and plans a visit to the North of England – his first visit to the territory that hatched the ‘Pilgrimage of Grace' rebellion. Charles Brandon is ordered to go ahead and make preparations.
Scenes of rebellion are now closer to home. Unknown to the doting King, his wife Katherine Howard has begun a serious flirtation with the young and handsome Thomas Culpepper with the assistance of her lady in waiting, Lady Rochford.
Cuckolding the King is a capital offense but Henry, of course, can play by different rules and takes his pleasure in the bed of Anne of Cleves - the ex-wife he once thought ugly.
A large and impressive entourage accompanies the King, Queen and Princess Mary north to the city of Lincoln for the royal visit. In his appreciation for the warm welcome he receives, Henry gives a speech forgiving the city for its earlier revolt. Feeling benevolent and powerful once more, the King longs to be with his young bride but his troublesome leg-wound makes him tired and irritable and confines him to his room. Thomas Culpepper, on the other hand, is young, passionate and fit for a Queen.