This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Catherine of Aragon Anne Boleyn Jane Seymour Anne of Cleves Catherine Howard Catherine Parr
Meet the Wives Find a Wife Portrait of a King Tudor Times
About the Series
Support PBS[an error occurred while processing this directive]

King Vs. Queen
Page 1 Page 2
rom the first, Henry was anxious to rid himself of Anne of Cleves. He tried legal technicalities. He considered simply withdrawing from the engagement. Nothing worked.

The answer was found on the couple's wedding night when Henry VIII proved unable to consummate his union with Anne. By church law, this would easily provide grounds for annulling the marriage. To secure his goal, though, Henry needed Anne's cooperation.

Official reports back to the king, however, stated that she took the news "without alteration of countenance." Anne's ultimate response was a submissive letter that stated her willingness to comply with His Grace's wishes.

The grateful Henry offered a plush severance package. Anne would rank as the second lady in the realm after any future queen consort and before the king's daughters. A rich collection of estates and manors would provide Anne with a handsome yearly income. She would receive this on condition that she did not leave England. Instead, she was to bear the title of the king's "good sister" and become a naturalized English subject.

Page II Go

Intro Background Why choose this wife? Role as queen King vs. queen Love Life Children Ultimate fate