Historical Events  People
Henry VIII

Did the painting exist?

MMDE: An old painting of Henry VIII holding a turkey leg exists

Current: An old painting of Henry VIII holding a turkey leg does not exist

Many people remember the larger-than-life figure of Henry VIII in a painting, often in school hallways or dining rooms, where he is featured holding a large turkey leg.

The problem is there is no record today of that painting actually existing, even though a few references to it exist - including a Simpsons episode.

Many paintings of Henry VIII can be found today, but there is a Royal protocol which means no member of the Royal family can be officially represented whilst eating.

There is a painting - shown here - where he is holding a mirror, and at first glance it could be mistaken for a turkey leg. Could this be the one causing the confusion? The connection between a big man and food may have subconsciously played its part on peoples memories down the years, leaving them with the impression they definitely did see the painting.