It opens at Ducal Palace in Urbino, Italy. A man gets out of a carriage seeming very upset and aggravated. The men who meet him tell him that the Duke wants to see him right away. They walk past men in purple robes and he asks what the French are doing there. They say that is what the meeting is about. The man gets stabbed on the way inside by the French and dies.
We go to Whitehall Palace in London where we find out the man that was murdered was the ambassador and also the King's uncle. King Henry comes in and tells everyone that the French have now proven their aggressive tendencies and they have just causes for war. Duke Buckingham speaks up saying that he told him it was time to go to war a year ago. Henry asks what Wolsey thinks and he says these are indeed just causes for war. Henry says good, Now I can go play. While everyone is leaving More and Wolsey talk about how the King doesn't know what is in his best interest and they must show him what is the right path to take.
Henry is "playing" with Lady Blount. When they lay down Henry asks how her husband is she says he is extremely jealous and threatening to send her to a nunnery. Henry says that would be a waste and they start going at it again. We cut out to the hallway where Henry's guards are standing listening to the moaning inside.
Cardinal Wolsey is meeting with the cardinal of France and the French Bishop. Wolsey says he can get his master to agree to these terms if they can do the same. They all agree and when asked what he wants Wolsey tells the French cardinal what he wants only he can give him.
Henry is playing tennis with his brat pack. Brandon points out the girl on the left Henry asks who she is Charles says she is Lord Buckingham's daughter. Henry bets 100 pounds that Brandon can't get her and the bet is on.
Henry is having dinner with Catherine of Aragon, his wife. He asks how their daughter is and she tells him that her tutor says she is a bright young girl and he should be proud. Henry says he is. Catherine asks if he has returned her nephew's letters. Henry says he has not and Catherine advises him not to trust Wolsey. Henry loses it and tells her that she is not his chancellor or his advisor she is his wife and she will act like it. She says she would like to be his wife in every way. She asks if he will come and visit her tonight in her bedchamber. He doesn't say anything.
Henry is getting undressed for the day. He goes down to Catherine's bedchamber to find that she isn't there. He tells her lady in waiting to tell Catherine that he came to give his love and devotion as her true husband. Then he turns and winks at the guard. The guard whispers something in the girl's ear. She goes down to Henry's bedroom. To take Catherine's place apparently. We see Catherine praying to Mary.
We go to a jousting match. Henry is seated by Catherine and Charles Brandon is about to go up. He stops in front of Lord Buckingham's daughter and asks to wear her favors today. She agrees and ties her ribbon onto his lance. Lord Buckingham sees this and doesn't look happy. He goes and kicks the crap out of some guy. Buckingham and Henry are about to joust, Henry asks Catherine for her favors and she obliges all the while Henry was looking at the girl from last night they joust and Buckingham lands on his butt.
Henry goes to see More by boat. He meets the family and then asks to take a walk with More. Henry asks why he won't come live at court More says he doesn't like it at court. Henry asks More what he thinks about war with France. More says war is an activity for beasts. Henry says as a king he must disagree. More advises him that instead of spending ruinous amounts of money on war to spend it on the welfare of his people. Henry assures him he intends to be a just ruler. But a successful war will make him famous and immortal.
Buckingham is complaining that he has the real right to the throne and this court does not belong to Henry. He goes back to his room only to find his daughter with Charles Brandon. He asks what is going on and Charles just says it is exactly what it looks like. He tells him he should kill him for violating his daughter. Brandon leaves and Buckingham slaps his daughter.
Lady Blount comes to talk to Wolsey and tells him that she is with child and it is the king's. She says she has not told anyone else. Wolsey says he will send her away so she can give birth. And tell the king when it is appropriate.
Wolsey goes to see the king. He tells him about the treaty between France and England and Henry likes it. He says it will make them immortal. Wolsey also tells him about lady Blount and says he will take care of her husband. Buckingham comes in and demands that Charles Brandon be banished from court because he violated his daughter. Henry says nothing will be done about it because he did nothing wrong. Wolsey says to be careful because Buckingham is richer than him and could build a private army against him.
Henry is writing a letter to the king of France talking about the treaty. He goes on and on about how much he loves France and the French and the king himself. He also says he will not shave until the treaty so all the world will know of his love for the French.
The French cardinal comes to see Wolsey and tells him the pope is desperately ill and soon Wolsey will be pope.
Catherine is getting ready for bed. She is with her ladies in waiting (both of whom have now slept with her husband). Catherine asks Lady Blount to stay. She says she is the only person she can trust. She talks of how she has tried and tried to give the king a son but she has been unsuccessful. She says she knows the king blames her.
Henry is at confession. He talks about how Catherine was married to his brother but when his brother died Catherine swore it was never consummated and so Henry married her to keep the alliance with Spain. Henry says the Bible states that a man who marries his brother's wife will die childless. The priest says he has a child. Henry says he has a child but no son.
Buckingham has a plot to kill the king. He is going to build an army to protect him after it is done. Buckingham plans to murder Henry himself and take over the crown. He has brought other people in on the plot including Thomas Boleyn.
Thomas Boleyn is playing chess with Henry while Henry questions him about he king of France. He says he is tall but ill-proportioned and Henry asks if he is vain. Thomas answers by saying that he is French.
Henry gives Thomas complete control over the diplomatic affairs in France because he is the French ambassador.
Thomas goes and tells his two daughters Mary and Anne Boleyn. He says they will meet Henry at the summit.
Catherine asks to talk to Henry, she says she does not like the fact that the treaty entails marrying off her daughter to the French. She says she cannot mask her dislike for the situation. Henry says that Mary is his to do with how he pleases and she will just have to deal with it and walks out the door leaving Catherine on her knees.
Wolsey comes to see Henry while he is getting dressed. Buckingham is holding the bowl to wash their hands. He holds it for Henry but spills it on Wolsey. Wolsey gives Henry the details for the summit. It is to be at the palace of illusions. Henry says that they will change the world forever and that Wolsey and Henry will be immortal.