To be fair, I don’t think Henry VIII had reached his full rotundity (totally a word!) quite this early. Actually, as a young monarch, Henry was quite the athletic specimen, a regular champion of the tournament scene and a fancy-shirt-wearing dandy to boot. Vigorous, victorious in war, he could do no wrong for a while.
The thing was, his wife, Catherine of Aragon, was aunt to Charles V, who happened to be the Holy Roman Emperor and as such leader of enough troops to swoop down on Italy pretty much at will and make the Pope do pretty much whatever he wanted, meaning No DIvorce For Henry. So, to get his divorce, Henry needed to cut through or distract Charles’s armies, all while staving off the regular treachery of the French. He spent a fortune on the effort and lost pretty much all of the good will he had accumulated as the losses started piling up.
That’s when the pounds started getting packed on.
“Oh Henry, you’ve got to stop thinking about that battle. You know what you need? You need to come over and we’ll just eat like pigs. Right? To hell with Atkins.”
“I don’t know. I’m pretty tired.”
“No, no, I insist! I’ll rent An Affair to Remember and we can make a list of all the reasons France was never a good thing for you…”
“Well, okay…”
Something like that…
– Count Dolby von Luckner