Henry VIII became king of England on April 21, 1509. He was 17 years old! He ruled England for almost 38 years.
As king, Henry had two important jobs to do. First, he had to keep England safe from war with other countries. Henry worked hard to become friends with other countries; this process is called forming alliances. In the alliances, the countries would agree not to go to war with each other or to help each other if the other was attacked. Henry also made the English navy much bigger and more powerful. While he was king, the navy grew from 5 to 53 ships!
Henry's second important job was to make sure that England did not fall into a civil war. Henry was very worried that if he did not have a son, people would fight over who would be the next king. These jobs kept Henry very busy.