In Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bill and Ted land in what we are told is "Medieval England." Bill mentions that they are at the castle of King Henry and that they are in 15th century England:

Billy: Where are we dudes?

Bill: England, 15th Century.

Ted: We are in most excellent shape for our report.

Bill: Yeah, all we need is one more speaker from Medieval.

Ted: Check it out.

Bill: It must be the castle of King Henry.

Bill and Ted spot the princesses in the castle. The names of the princesses are Joanna and Elizabeth.

There were a total of four monarchs assuming the name of King Henry in 15th century England.

  • King Henry IV reigned 1399 - 1413. Had 2 daughters neither were named Joanna or Elizabeth.
  • King Henry V reigned 1413 - 1422. Had no daughters.
  • King Henry VI reigned 1422 - 1461. Had no daughters.
  • King Henry VII reigned 1485 - 1509. Had 2 daughters. Neither were named Joanna or Elizabeth.

I understand that this film is a silly comedy. However, filmmakers do at least get the names of the other historical figures correct and they get the correct time periods that the other historical figures lived.

When Bill claims that they are at the castle of King Henry, which King Henry is he referring to? Is there any evidence to suggest that the King that sentences Bill and Ted to execution and Princess Joanna and Elizabeth were based on actual historical figures?

  • This interesting Wiki page might shade some light on it. According to a user's calculations on Wiki, it could only be Henry VII. Another user suggests they could be someone's sisters or adopted princesses.
    – Walt
    Feb 14, 2017 at 9:47
  • @Walt Yeah, I thought that too, but they call the King "Father" and there were no adopted princesses in 15th century England, especially by Henry VII. His daughters were named Margaret and Mary. I do remember now that they say the age of the princesses in the sequel. Feb 14, 2017 at 9:51
  • 5
    Obviously historical accuracy is going to an issue here but since the daughters / princesses were actually removed from their original timeline perhaps the whole issue was erased from history...or just covered up. The king had ordered them executed..not exactly a nice thing to have known.
    – Paulie_D
    Feb 14, 2017 at 11:21
  • 4
    Henry VIII had a daughter Elizabeth. Maybe they confused 15th century for the 1500s? Feb 14, 2017 at 11:35
  • @DisgruntledGoat Good call. Considering Bill & Ted's personalities, it's not all out of character to say they saw the year was 15XX and called that "the 15th century"
    – Steve-O
    Feb 14, 2017 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


IMHO, Bill and Ted assumed that the castle belonged to King Henry VIII because he was the most famous King Henry of England, and mistook the 1500s for the 15th Century. Probably the only thing that they know about other King Henrys is that there should have been seven before Henry VIII.

If the people wore renaissance costumes instead of medieval ones that would indicate it was the reign of Henry VIII. For example, codpieces in male costume would indicate the reign of Henry VIII.

If the King was bearded and very fat that would be Henry VIII in his later years. If the King wore a crown with arches or it was depicted on his coat of arms that would be more likely Henry VIII. If the royal coat of arms had one or more dragons as supporters that would be Henry VII or Henry VIII.

Considering that this is a goofy comedy there is probably little strong evidence of what reign or century they visited.

  • The king in the film was neither fat or bearded...he was just old. There were no coat of arms depicted. However, Henry VII and Henry VIII only had one dragon on their coat of arms. Henry VII had one dragon with a dog and Henry VIII had one dragon with a lion. They state in writing when they landed in their time machine that they were in "medieval England" and that they are in the 15th century. Feb 25, 2017 at 7:42

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