King Henry VIII
King Henry’s Wives
King Henry VIII’s first wife was Catherine of Aragon. She had been married to his brother Arthur before he died, and Henry had been betrothed to her since he was a young boy. They were married in 1509, after Henry became King.
His next wife was Anne Boleyn, a lady-in-waiting to Catherine. She was young, beautiful, and a very clever woman. Henry was instantly taken with her, and he soon proposed marriage to her.
But this was difficult, as Catherine was still his wife. To get around this problem, Henry petitioned the Pope to annul his marriage to Catherine. Unfortunately, the Pope refused, and so Henry decided to take matters into his own hands. He declared himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England, allowing him to get the annulment he desired.
He was now free to marry Anne, and so he did. Unfortunately, she too was unable to produce a son. After four pregnancies, and one living daughter, Anne was arrested on false charges of adultery and treason. She was beheaded on 19 May 1536.
Henry’s third wife was Jane Seymour, another lady-in-waiting to Catherine. She finally provided him with a son, Edward. However, Jane died shortly after giving birth. You’d think he could stop there, but royalty always needs an heir and a spare. Something you may have heard on the news with the current royal family.
Henry’s fourth wife was Anne of Cleves, a German princess. The marriage was arranged as part of a diplomatic alliance between England and the German state of Cleves. But Henry didn’t care much for her, and soon their marriage was annulled.The portrait sent was said to flatter her a bit too much for his liking. When she turned up, he felt he’d been catfished.
His fifth wife was Catherine Howard. She was young, beautiful, and a cousin of Anne Boleyn. Unfortunately, she was also very promiscuous, and she was eventually executed on charges of adultery.
Finally, Henry’s sixth wife was Catherine Parr, who had been married twice before. She was older and more mature than his previous wives, and she was much better able to handle the demands of being Queen. They were married for six years, and she provided Henry with much-needed companionship in his old age. Unfortunately, the poor lady survived Henry VIII but died only a year later in childbirth.