Henry VIII’s Wives – Six Women and One King

Henry VIII’s wives – divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived!

You’ve probably heard this rhyme before. A short rhyme that summarizes the story of six women bound to one man by marriage. These incongruent women met very similar ends, with only the last destined to outlive him in the marriage.
The six wives of Henry VIII, who were they and what was their fate?

Henry VIII wives

Let’s take a look at each one of the wives of Henry VIII:

Catherine of Aragon

The first of Henry VIII’s first wives, Catherine was the youngest daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Needless to say, she was a princess. The marriage of Catherine and Henry was indeed the longest of the illustrious king’s marriages, lasting over twenty years. There was a twist, though. Catherine had been married at the tender age of 16 to Arthur, Henry’s elder brother. She was also unable to provide him with a son, an heir to his throne. These two factors combined to send her out the door. She divorced him, leaving him a daughter, Mary I.

Henry viii wives

Catherine of Aragon

Anne Boleyn

The marriage to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second love stirred some controversy. Henry’s desire for a male son had led him into the arms of Anne, one of Catherine’s ladies-in-waiting. The nature of her marriage always meant she was to be on the edge of controversy. Unauthorized by Catherine and uncertified by the Pope, Anne and Henry VIII spent only three years together before she was beheaded by the court. She, too, could only produce him a daughter, Elizabeth I.

henry viii wives

Anne Boleyn

Jane Seymour

Married to King Henry without any official coronation, Jane was different from any of his other wives. In October 1537, that difference culminated in Henry VIII’s ultimate desire, a prince to take his place. Prince Edward was born. Unfortunately, Jane took ill and died soon after she gave birth. Henry mourned her death and she came to be the only one of his wives buried by his side.

henry viii wives

Jane Seymour

Anne of Cleves

The fourth of Henry VIII’s wives and the second to be divorced, Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne was doomed from the beginning. 2 years after the death of Jane, Anne was brought to the King as his wife to be from far away Germany. That was to be his first time of setting his eyes on her and he saw her ugly. The marriage was annulled a few months later.

henry viii wives

Anne of Cleves

Kathryn Howard

Henry’s fifth marriage was a repeat of the second. Kathryn was a lady-in-waiting to the now divorced Anne of Cleves. The ending was similar. Henry soon found out that the lively, bubbly teenager, Kathryn was having affairs behind his back. The short-lived marriage came to an end after two years. Kathryn? Beheaded!

henry viii wives

Catherine Howard

Catherine Parr

The wife who saw the mercurial king off on his journey to the other side. Catherine was kind and devout, and easily won over the heart of the king. Already in love with Thomas Seymour, Catherine was soon remarried after the demise of the great Henry VIII. The marriage also produced a daughter.

henry viii wives

Catherine Parr

That’s all six!

Thanks for reading History Hustle

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