Meet Henry’s Queens. I’ve been reading about them over the last two months.
I realized a few ways they’re alike, but a lot of ways they’re different.
Part 1 – Comparing Henry’s Queens:
Here are six ways his queens were the same. Finding similarities wasn’t easy.
Part 2 – Contrasting Henry’s Queens:
Here are 12 ways they’re different. Finding them was easy!
- From England – Four of Henry’s queens came from the UK.
- From Abroad – The other two came from Spain (Catherine of Aragon) and Germany (Anne of Cleves).
2. Their age when they married Henry:
- Teen – Catherine Howard
- Twenties – Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Anne of Cleves
- Thirties – Catherine Parr.
Interesting . . . his last two queens were his youngest, and oldest.
3. Henry’s age and health when he married them:
- Young and fit – Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn
- Old and heavy, with leg wounds – The rest of his queens
- Most educated – Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Catherine Parr. All three learned Latin and Religion. Most girls didn’t. Those were boys’ subjects.
- Basic Education – Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves. They were taught basic household skills, plus reading, writing, and a little math.
- Least educated – Catherine Howard. She had tutors, but she’d rather sing and dance than read or write.
5. Why Henry picked them:
- Political alliances – Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves
- For knowledge and personality – Anne Boleyn
- For kindness – Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr
- Catholic – Catherine of Aragon
- Church of England - Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Howard. According to the novels which are historical fiction, Jane, Anne, Catherine, and their families, leaned toward the Catholic faith, privately. Anne of Cleves was chosen because her brother belonged to a Protestant league of German princes, but she was Catholic, like her mother.
- Protestant – Anne Boleyn and Catherine Parr. Catherine was almost arrested for heresy, for being too Protestant in her beliefs. I didn’t know the Church of England was more like the Catholic church than the Protestant one.
- Henry crowned his first two queens, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. He made the others wait until they produced that all-important son. They didn’t. Jane Seymour died giving birth to one. Unfortunately, she was never crowned.
- Anne of Cleves was betrothed to the Duke of Lorraine’s son, but the betrothal was broken. Later Henry used it to delay, then annul his marriage to Anne.
- Catherine Howard got involved in common law marriages before she married Henry. It was one of the things that brought her down.
9. Children: - His first three queens had children – Catherine of Aragon (Mary), Anne Boleyn (Elizabeth), and Jane Seymour (Edward, that all-important son)
- His last three queens – Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr
- All of Henry’s queens had miscarriages. Those babies didn’t make it to full term.
10. The end to their marriages :
- Divorced – Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves, the foreign princesses.
- Beheaded – Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. The nieces of Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk. He helped them become queen. Then he helped convict them. Nice uncle!
- Died – Jane Seymour – She was Henry’s favorite wife . . . She gave him that son.
- Lived – Catherine Parr – She was the only queen to outlive Henry. He died first. Anne of Cleves lived longer than Catherine, but she wasn’t queen. Thank goodness Henry divorced her!
- BTW – In England they say there’s a pattern to the six queens. Divorced, beheaded, died. Repeat . . . Divorced, beheaded, lived. I read it in another series starring three of Henry’s queens.
- The exception, Catherine of Aragon, who was born in 1485.
12. Birthdays :
- Known dates with year/month/date – Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves
- Circa dates – Anne Boleyn (Between 1501-1507), Jane Seymour (Sometime in 1508), Catherine Howard (1521-1525), Catherine Parr (August 1512). It’s sad! No one took the time to record the year Anne Boleyn or Catherine Howard were born.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!