Field Of The Cloth Of Gold
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Basic Information

For most of a month (June 7 to June 24) in 1520, Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France put on an incredible party to celebrate the peace between their nations. (They had been at peace since 1514.) They met up in Balingham, near Calais, near the border between France and what was then English territory on the continent.

The courts of both kings were known for their decadence, so no expense was spared. The name that history has given the meeting references cloth of gold a rare and valuable fabric made of silk and spun gold - it was used extensively all over the camp. The guest list was huge, a ridiculous "who's who" of 16th Century Europe. The wikipedia page[1] devotes most of its word count to a guest list, so we won't attempt to replicate that here. Thousands of guests stayed in a field of thousands of tents and even a fake/temporary castle. All the food and wine you could consume, live music, daily jousts and tournaments. The two kings were trying very hard to outdo one another.

The party was supposed to go even longer than the 17 days it did, but it suddenly ended early when Henry VIII got his pride hurt during a royal wrestling match. Both kings took their toys and went home. A month later Henry 8th had allied with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and England and France were at war.

Huh. I guess there was also a dragon. I mean, it's right there in the eyewitness painting. Painters don't lie.


2. TV Show: The Tudors

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