The famous meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I of France.
Field of the Cloth of Gold
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
Cloth of Gold was a fabric woven with thin strands of gold interspersed with more traditional materials, often silk. It might be used for clothing or for a ceremonial cloth used as a canopy for thrones.
It is this ostentatious display of wealth and power that earned the meeting-place between Francis and Henry the sobriquet "The Field of the Cloth of Gold". The meeting lasted for three weeks (June 7-June 24, 1520), during which time each court strove to outdo the other in offering splendid entertainments and making grandiose gestures. Feasts and jousts were held, including a tilt between Henry and Francis themselves. Balls, masques, fireworks, and military sports were just some of the activities on offer. The expense incurred by both monarchs was enormous, and put tremendous strain on the finances of each country.
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