It took Henry VIII 28 years and three wives before he secured a legitimate male heir. Yet for most of the time he already had a son - the illegitimate Henry Fitzroy. Born in 1519 after the King's affair with a Shropshire gentlewoman, Elizabeth Blount, Fitzroy was the only illegitimate offspring ever acknowledged by Henry VIII. Created Duke of Richmond and Somerset, he was educated as befitted a Renaissance prince and the offices bestowed upon him included Lord Lieutenant of the North and Lord Admiral of England; indeed, rumours abounded that Henry VIII intended to make him King of Ireland. Widely reported to resemble his father in both looks and character, he weathered the difficult years of the Reformation and, as the years passed with no legitimate heir to the throne, many believed that Henry VIII's bastard son would be the next king of England. Today, Fitzroy is very much a forgotten Tudor prince. This work examines his life in full.