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Long-lost picture of Henry VIII as a child discovered

The unknown painting, which is contained in a passional manuscript, shows the monarch as a young boy, weeping upon a bed with his two sisters.
The book is believed to have been written and donated to Henry the VII upon the death of his wife Elizabeth of York, and passed into the possession of a noble family.

The picture, one of several dozen in the Vaux passional, a manuscript, that shows Henry as a child, with his red head buried in his arms on his late mother’s bed. His sisters Mary and Margaret are depicted sitting on the floor near to him, while his father sits on a throne in the foreground.

Saying Henry VIII was depicted as a child “very infrequently,” he added: “He felt the death of his mother more than anybody; it really, really rocked him. He was absolutely inconsolable.

Despite being in the possession of the National Library of Wales by since 1921, its significance has only just been discovered after it was re-examined while being uploaded to their online collection.

The text, which is in medieval French, contains a retelling of the passion of Christ, along with a religious poem. It is described by experts as a “high status text, written for royalty”.

The book is known to have fallen into the hands of Lady Joan Guildford, who served in the household of Queen Elizabeth of York and acted as ‘lady governess’ to the royal princesses Margaret and Mary Tudor.

Upon her death in 1538, it was kept by her family before passing into the possession of Sir Kenelm Digby in the 17th century and then by descent to Wales.

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