Henry marries Catherine Parr, his sixth and final wife. The wedding is notable for the presence of Henry's daughters, Princesses Mary and Elizabeth. Catherine is determined to be a loving stepmother to the King's children who are fond of her in return.
Plans are made for the invasion of France and Charles Brandon is named commander of the English armies. The emissaries of the Emperor Charles – with whom Henry has formed an alliance - are entertained in great style at the English court where to their surprise and delight, Princess Mary addresses them in Spanish.
As the Catholic influence increases, Bishop Gardiner begins to investigate the new Queen's religious beliefs. She is rumored to be a secret Protestant and he intends to expose her. But any such suspicions are excused by the courage and commitment she shows in nursing the King when he is once again struck down by his ulcerous leg. There has never been so attentive a Queen to Henry at his most vulnerable.
The war effort is elaborate and costly. Three hundred ships have been requisitioned to bring guns, wagons, horses and the army to France. The King may not be in peak condition but he is determined to lead his armies into battle – to recapture lands he once held as well as a glimmer of his youth. In his absence, he appoints Catherine regent and protector of the realm and guardian of his children. The new Queen rises to the opportunity with ease and is well liked and respected by all.