All About History

How he grew from L to XXXL

The king’s armour shows how his waistline expanded over time

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Henry’s combat dress from his jousting competitio­ns show how he went from strapping young athlete to the flabby monster we’re more familiar with today. Aged 23, his armour had 34.7-inch waist and a 41.7inch chest. Five years later, there was the suit made for the Field of the Cloth of Gold — he had gone up to a 36.1-inch waist and 41.8-inch chest. A set of foot combat armour also made in 1520 shows some particular­ly rapid weight gain with a 37.9-inch waist and 44-inch chest. 20 years later, his armour for a tournament to celebrate May Day portrays his ballooning to a 51-inch waist and 54.5-inch chest!

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