Henry VII: A Model of Modern Celebrity Marriage.

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

The-tudors HenryI’m considering trying to watch The Tudors again.  The last time I tried to make it through the series I ended up stopping about halfway through the second season.  I don’t know why, but something about watching that show makes me physically exhausted.  But now it’s a personal challenge to make it through the whole thing.  To gear myself up and get into the true Tudor mindset, I did a little background about Henry’s many wives in the hopes that it might keep me more involved in the show.  Henry had six of them total, and not many of them got happily-ever-afters with him, as I’m sure you all know.

First up was Catherine of Aragon.  This girl had it rough on her way to becoming queen.  First she married Arthur, the son of Henry VII and brother of Henry VIII.  But before she could rise to queen status through this marriage, poor Arthur died.  But she wasn’t through with English royalty yet, and a little over a year after becoming a widow she was betrothed to Henry VIII.  It wasn’t until 1509, several years later, that they were actually married.  After bearing through several miscarriages and short-lived children, Catherine gained further heartache when Henry divorced her for Anne Boleyn.

Henry-VIII-and-his-wives.Boleyn was Henry’s great hope for a son.  Before he was even officially divorced from Catherine he married Anne in secret.  She gave birth to one child but it wasn’t the son Henry hoped for.  With a daughter from each wife he was still left without a male heir.  Within three years of marrying Anne, Henry grew infatuated with another woman.  Poor Anne was charged with adultery and plotting to murder the king, and she was taken to the Tower of London to be executed. Had Catherine been alive a few more months, she might have been able to laugh at the death of the woman who stole her husband.

Henry’s next wife, Jane Seymour, could arguably have been his favorite wife.  Jane Seymour was the first of his wives to give him a son, and Prince Edward was born in 1537.  This must have been proof enough for Henry that she was his true wife, and though she died shortly after childbirth, she was the only one of his wives to be buried in his tomb at St. George’s Chapel.  Jane practically died to give him the thing he always wanted; how could Henry ask for a better wife?

HenryWivesRegardless of whether Jane was perfect or not, she was still dead, which meant that before long Henry would be sniffing around for a new bride.  To his credit he didn’t marry again for two years, so maybe he did mourn for her a little.  His next marriage wasn’t out of love like the two before, but was an attempt at foreign alliance.  It also backfired horribly as Anne of Cleves only lasted from January to July of 1540 before they were divorced.  Still, that’s better than execution, which was the fate of another of Henry’s wives, Kathryn Howard.  They were only married two years before she was executed.

Katherine Parr was Henry’s last wife.  Ironically she was named for his first wife because her mother was a lady-in-waiting for Queen Catherine.  Katherine Parr was widowed twice before Henry met her.  Around the same time that he requested her hand in marriage she was also being courted by Jane Seymour’s brother.  She married Henry despite her feelings for Thomas Seymour and lived to become a widow for the third time when Henry died in 1547.  She married one last time to Thomas and gave birth to his child before she died a little over a year after Henry VIII.  I wonder, if she had lived longer, would she have gained as many husbands as Henry had wives?  She came pretty close and may have been the luckiest of his wives simply by outliving him.

photo-6Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

(I prefer the sexy Showtime version.)

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