While the point of this meeting was to form a solid and unbreakable friendship, and to ultimately put into action the treaty that would forbid wars among Christian nations (which included England and France), there was much more to it than that, and in fact the political part of the meeting seemed to get a little lost in all the glitz and glamour of the event.
After their original meeting on June 7th or 8th - which, as I blogged about, was significant and seemed to be a very powerful meeting between the two Kings - there followed several days of festivities, tournaments, banquets, and fun for both Kings and their families/following. Of course, Henry's wife Katherine of Aragon was there, as well as Francois' wife Queen Claude. The two women, although hailing from rival families, were remarkably friendly with each other and enjoyed the pageantry with the rest of the retinues.
At this time in their lives, they were hopeful about the relationship their countries may have, and like I said, this was all done in the interest of peace between nations. However, both men were young and relatively new to their respective thrones. Both of them were also known for their tempers and both were naturally competitive, as any King may have been during this time. In an age when war was so easily declared and thrones so easily usurped, this was an absolutely crucial era to have strong allies, and a terrible time to have enemies.
Showtime's The Tudors shows a scene during this event where Henry challenges Francois to a wrestling match, which goes poorly for him. This is, in fact factual, and Francois did beat Henry in this match, which some contemporaries reported turned the meeting a bit sour for the cocky English King. The festivities would go on until June 24th, when mass would be said and the Kings would return to their own palaces.
The aftermath of the Field of Cloth of Gold is actually not what either King would have expected. French/English relations turned sour after Charles V declared war with France later that year. Since England and Spain were also allies, this made England look like they supported the war with France, which wasn't great for the friendship between Henry and Francois. Clearly, the political motives behind the meeting were not very successful, but it does leave us with some great images of what this gathering looked and felt like for both countries!