Psychological warfare from the heart


Psychological Warfare part two

Leading on from last week’s psychological warfare using scary trees, banshee’s or seduction there are other ways and means of creating a shock effect which you can gain inspiration from within the castle, and I’m still not talking about the prices in the gift shop. The psychological warfare I am referring to can be the lovely battle between two partners. One of the more infamous love affairs and marriages was of Henry the Eighth (VIII) and he used psychology to gain an advantage in affairs of the heart. He had huge issues with his wives and from what we can tell he did love some of them. Yet his greater priority was having a male heir. He had several children who grew up, and three of them would be monarchs. However, to achieve this Henry went through 6 wives. An old rhythm to the fates of his wives is:

‘divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.’

The element of jealousy and in love was interwoven in this set of marriages. So how does this link to psychological warfare?

Henry VIII

Henry had issues with his ability to have a male heir, which he then used in warfare. If you take note of the painting, you can see Henry is having a jolly old time of it or overcompensating for some serious issues. If worn today, I’m sure you would be arrested, in fact, I believe there was even an article on a man being removed from a nudist campsite with something rather similar. This painting was designed as a piece of propaganda, many copies were made and sent around England. If you take note of the design Henry is a large and imposing figure, taking up most of the space, and according to some artists his legs have been made longer.

How old do you think he is?

When this painting was completed, he was in his forties.

The paintings of the Tudors are in part what made them famous and why, in part, we still talk about them today. The paintings were new in their style, (Henry had employed a German to paint these pictures.) and the King requested that artists copy the style. Henry VIII even married through his paintings; he sent his portraits around Europe trying to find a new fourth wife and discovered Anne of Cleaves. He was so enamoured with her painting that they married without ever meeting her. Three weeks after the marriage Anne of Cleaves arrived in England and met Henry. Henry had been played at his own game. He was quoted to have said,

‘She looks like a horse, and one that I would not want to ride.’

The marriage was annulled within a few months because it was never consummated. In a space of a year and without electricity the Tudors had invented Tinder and the act of catfishing. The driving force behind the marriage, Thomas Cromwell, was arrested for treason.


The armour, which you will find in the White Tower, along with a host of other weapons, is a sight to behold. The exhibition in the Tower that showed this was called ‘Dressed to kill.’ With no weapon in hand, I slightly shudder to think of how this armour intends to do that. To be honest, if I was on the battlefield, and if I had one swing, I would have to think that codpiece was the weak point, take that out and the rest will fall….On the other hand, maybe they thought that if the enemy saw this piece of armour they would be so scared or emasculated they would just bend the knee.

There is something else to be aware of for psychological warfare, if any of you are engaged or thinking of getting married, there is one room to avoid at all costs and could cause significant problems, and it’s not the armoury. Whatever you do, do not go into the Jewel House, there is nothing quite like these to make you feel inferior to giving your partner an engagement ring, which will be compared to the Cullinan I diamond, which is 530 carats and weighs 106 g. No codpiece in the world will get anyone out of that one.


If you are seeking some sort of need to retain the power, you could head to Tower Green where you will find many husbands and wives standing and reading the plaque claiming that this is the location of the beheading of Henry VIII’s wife, Anne Boleyn. The accounts state that Anne Boleyn’s execution was done by a double handed sword and that it cut her head off in one blow. When the head was lifted, it was still moving, the Lady still managed to get the last word. One that note, time for coffee.

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