Henry VIII has been holding a wooden chair leg for a century after a student prank.
The statue of Henry VIII on Trinity College's Great Gate dates back to the early 1600s, and continues to be one of the most popular sights in Cambridge.
This is, in part, down to the famous sceptre-chair leg.
It's understood the original sceptre was broken around 100 years ago, leaving a stump that resembled a chair leg.
However, it wasn't long before student pranksters replaced it with an actual chair leg.
Photo: Trinity College Great Gate
A History of the Trinity College Chair Leg:
- To mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the Great Gate was renovated, and a new sceptre was installed. However, in less than a week, students had replaced it with another chair leg.
- In 1958, newspapers reported that a gale had blown away Henry VIII’s hand, including the infamous chair leg. The college repaired the damaged hand, but this time decided to keep the chair leg.
- In the 1980s, its rumoured a window cleaner spotted the sceptre was missing again and leant out of the window to replace it with a chair leg.
Photo: Trinity College lawns
Now, in 2023, the old chair leg has been replaced with a new gilded sceptre.
It is the handiwork of members of the Association of Pole-lathe Turners & Green Woodworkers, who set a Coronation-year challenge to create a sceptre.
The winning sceptre was donated to Trinity College, where it was gilded by carpenter Jon Squires.
It has now been given to Henry to hold for years to come!