Friday, May 15, 2009

Question from Alex - Two questions on Edward VI

I got two questions about Edward VI;

I know that the prince and the pauper story is not real history. But I was watching the lady jane movie and when Edward and Jane were walking together. Edward asked Jane if she played with puppets. Is this a sign that Edward would rather be like other boys then a member of the royal family.

I seen lots of verisons of tudor films have have people acting as Edward VI. Mainy Brown, Blonde, Red hair. But mosty Brown hair. What colour hair did Edward VI have in real life.


PhD Historian said...

Second part first: In the Holbein portrait of Edward as an infant, his hair appears to be a reddish blond. In the anamorphic portrait now in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 1299), it is a slightly darker reddish blond, as it is also on the Scrots portrait (NPG 442). In the Holbein miniature, circa 1543, it is even darker, but still reddish ... a light chestnut, perhaps. Judging by these portraits, all painted during Edward's lifetime, we can conclude that his hair darkened with age, as happens with many children, and that it started out as a light red-blond and progressed to a light chestnut.

The first question confuses me. Are you assuming that royal children did not play with puppets? The movie (which is utter fiction) does present the scene as a way of showing that Edward was forced to mature early by virtue of becoming king at a young age. However, when the scene supposedly took place, the winter of 1552-53, Edward was already fifteen years old ... well beyond the age when any Tudor era youth played with puppets or any other toys. The scene is anachronistic.

Nonetheless, royal children seem to have had the same kinds of toys as non-royal children ... just better made. That would include puppets.

Foose said...

I think the mention of puppets in the movie was a screenwriterly attempt at ominous foreshadowing ... Edward and Jane and Guildford and even Mary Tudor all wind up as puppets (in the film) manipulated by Guildford's father and his clique, by Jane's overly ambitious parents, by Mary's advisors and the Imperial ambassador. The movie presents Edward as aware that he is a puppet of others and pressuring Jane -- even as he warns her about the dangers -- to assume the same role after he is dead.

Alex said...

Thank you for the questions.

I mean is what I have heard in a few fiction stories that Edward VI would liked to have been a non royal child cause he was sick of serverts and things.

The puppet thing just came to mind by mistake.