The year is 1544. Under the supervision of the Henry VIII, the Earl of Surrey and his men attempt to tunnel their way into the French castle at Boulogne. Clearly pleased to be once again in the field of battle, the King dines and entertains in style at his tent some distance from the action. But progress is slow and conditions are appalling for his soldiers. Over two thousand men die of disease and starvation and another three thousand fall ill as 'the flux' sweeps the King's camp. When hope of success seems all but lost, Treviso, the King's engineer, creates a spectacular explosion in the tunnel that finally breaches the castle. The French surrender to a gloating Henry who returns to England in triumph and commands festivities and celebrations throughout the land.
Charles Brandon, who has been separated from his wife for sometime finds happiness with a young Frenchwoman Brigitte, who returns with him from France. While Henry too has been rejuvenated by the siege of Boulogne, given a taste once more of the vigor and vitality of his youth, he may have pushed his already weakened body too far.