Henry VIII & Ladies at Leeds


I have just visited the ‘Royal Armouries’ in Leeds –  I made a special trip to see a number of costumes which were designed for and worn in the recent hit television series ‘The Tudors’. They are of great interest to anyone who designs costumes or likes to view clothing that has been created for stage/screen or television. 

The costumes on display included:-

A  Doublet and Breeches worn by Jonathan Rhys Meyers who played Henry VIII –  they have been made in heavy fabric appliqued with metallic trim.

A Black Velvet Gown worn by Catherine of Aragon – it is decorated with gold trim and pearls on the bodice.

The Grey Execution Gown of Anne Boleyn has a neckline of appliqued pearls and sleeves edged with black fur.

A Pink Dress worn by Jane Seymour with piped edging trimmed with gold beads and a bodice sewn with metallic lattice netting.

A regal Anne of Cleves Costume created with a lavishly beaded and embroidered velvet skirt.

The Katherine Howard Gown is designed in a patterned blue fabric embellished on the bodice with embroidery sewn with gold threads.

A Gold/Green Damask Gown decorated with gold braid was worn by Catherine Parr.

Also included is an Elizabeth I Dress in cream with delicate embroidery worn by her when a child.


They are part of over 500 costumes created for the series with many others borrowed from other productions. These costumes have been loaned to the ‘Royal Armouries by the designer Joan Bergin, series creator Michael Hirst, and the Mary Rose Trust.

I enjoy visiting displays of costumes I have seen in films or on television. I love to both view the details close up and also find out how they have been made. It is also interesting to note how different in real life they can look compared to the costumes you have seen on your television screen or at the cinema.  The lighting and accessories used in a production can really change the look of the clothes.

I really enjoyed the display in it’s lovely setting – I was however slightly disappointed as I would have liked to see the jewelry, headdresses and accessories included with the costumes to give the full effect – nevertheless I would certainly recommend a visit.

The costumes from ‘The Tudors’ are on display until the 30th November and admission is free.



8 Responses to “Henry VIII & Ladies at Leeds”

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  1. Penny says:

    I really enjoyed reading your excellent article about the costumes from ‘The Tudors’.

    I have watched the whole series and would love to see them at the ‘Royal Armouries in Leeds.

    Your description of the clothes brings them to life – I will definitely be visiting the display myself.

    Thank you for an excellent post!

  2. Heather says:

    A very interesting post – gives a lot of information about costume – makes you want to visit the display!

  3. Fiona says:

    A well written post about costumes – I enjoyed reading it. The Royal Armouries sounds a very interesting place to visit.

  4. Lauren says:

    Just love the Henry VIII Costume!!

  5. Carol says:

    A very nicely written interesting post about costumes – thanks

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