New Henry VIII film starring Jude Law rewrites history to give wife upper hand

Historically, the danger of Henry’s wrath passed in 1546, and the king died the following year. Catherine would survive him by only one year, dying in 1548 after a brief marriage to Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, who would himself succumb the following year.

There has been recent controversy regarding cinematic revisions of historical periods and figures, with The Woman King, starring Viola Davis, accused of inaccuracy for portraying its Dahomean warrior lead characters opposing slavery.

In reality, their king, Ghezo, played in the film by John Boyega, sold huge numbers of African captives to European slavery traders, and his economy was dependent on the trade.

A Netflix documentary drama about Cleopatra has also caused controversy, and producer Jada Pinkett Smith faced a backlash for choosing to cast the ruler as black, despite all historical evidence pointing to her being of Macedonia Greek heritage.

The 2018 film Mary, Queen of Scots starred Gemma Chan, whose father was from Hong Kong, as the real-life English noblewoman Bess of Hardwick.  White ambassador Lord Thomas Randolph was played by black actor Adrian Lester.

The fictional series Bridgerton has been criticised in some quarters for portraying the Regency as much more racially diverse than it was in reality, with its spin-off series Queen Charlotte depicting the wife of George III as mixed-race. The theory that she was mixed-race has been dismissed by historians.

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