Wishing, a very happy birthday to King Henry VIII; my favourite king from all British history. My fascination about this king started when I was around 8 years, and I was assigned a project at school about this king. Back in those days, we did not have internet available, so we had to go to the library to look up information. During this I learned so much about the king and how much he achieved, and to this date the Tudor age is my favourite era. On the 28th of June, 1491 Henry was born, and at the age of 18, he was declared the king. If his older brother did not die, he would have never become a king, or at least not at a such young age.
There are three things that you need to know about this king:
- He broke off from the Roman Catholic Church in order to establish the Church of England – all for one purpose; to get his first divorce.
- He remodeled the government, adored art and architecture and encouraged modern politics
- He had six wives, two of which have been executed in the Tower of London:
- He has married Katherine of Aragon, as Spanish princes and they were married for 18 years. He had to introduce divorce in England in order to be able to divorce her. His reason for this is because Katherine was pregnant six times but never has managed to give him a male heir. Only one of her babies survived, a daughter; Princess Mary. At her death bed, she wrote a letter to Henry VIII telling him that throughout her life she has no eyes for anyone but him. She was the most devoted wife he has ever had.
- Ann Boleyn was his second wife, and their relationship lasted 3 years. She has given him another Princess by the name Elisabeth. Ann Boleyn was not very well accepted as a queen and had a lot of trouble at court. Right after a miscarriage, she was arrested and executed at the Tower of London for adultery and incest.
- The only wife who has managed to give him a male heir was Jane Seymour. King Henry VIII was very happy and in love, as he felt that his mission was fulfilled, however when his son Edward was one year old, his wife died on him.
- Henry has first saw his new wife on a painting by Hans Hoblein. He married Anne of Cleves and soon after he found her to be unattractive. To this, he started pursuing on of her maids of honour Catherine Howard. Anne and Henry annulled their marriage after six months, but they both remained friends. In fact, he commanded that she should be treated as the King’s sister.
- Three weeks after his annulment, he married Catherine Howard, who was still almost in her teenage years. As such, there were rumours going on about her infidelity, about her past and ongoing love affairs. Henry was enraged about this and had her arrested at Hampton Court Palace and later beheaded at the Tower of London.
- Kateryn Parr was Henry’s last wife. She evidently loved another (Thomas Seymour) however she could not refuse the king’s proposal. She was known for her devotion and intelligence, and she stayed with Henry until his very last breath. She did marry Thomas in the end, but irony had it that she died 15 months later, after giving birth to their daughter.
Prince Edward VI has become king at the age of 9 when Henry VIII passed away. Edward did die from a terminal illness at the age of 15. Upon which, the reign of his half sister Mary started. If you are interested in watching a TV Series about the life on Henry and his wives, I recommend the series by the name of ‘Tudors’.