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
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Why choose this wife?

Anne of Cleves
Yes, that Anne of Cleves. The likelihood of Henry VIII remarrying his fourth wife was largely nil, but this did not stop Anne's brother, William, Duke of Cleves, from lobbying for her candidacy after the execution of Catherine Howard in 1542.


The signs were promising: Henry had sent his personal physicians to attend to Anne for fever and had exchanged New Year's gifts with her: pots and a wine holder for Anne, strips of crimson cloth for Henry.

The Privy Council, weary of Cleves's persistence, finally responded with no uncertain refusal, writing that "what was done was founded upon great reason, whatever the world might allege." Two of Anne of Cleves' ladies-in-waiting were sent to prison for speculating that God must be arranging things to make Anne queen again. The king had no interest in his so-called official "sister."

The news broke hard upon the former Queen Anne. This rejected wife was in no mood to be as generous toward Catherine Parr as she had been toward Catherine Howard. The new queen, she sniffed, was "not nearly as beautiful as she," the Spanish ambassador reported her saying. "A fine burden Madame Catherine has taken upon herself!"

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