Yes, in the 1st six terms of Olivier Award–nominated musical Six, we learn the fate of every of Henry VIII’s wives. But simply how much do you realize about their lives?
Writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss dug in to the reputation for Tudor England additionally the royal court for the words for their pop music opera, and greater historical knowledge means greater admiration regarding the nuances in Marlow and Moss’ writing. Listed below are the CliffsNotes that will help you navigate this chapter in Uk history.
Catherine of Aragon Queen from 1509–1533The “paragon of royalty” had been the wife that is first of VIII. a princess that is spanish she had been the child of Isabelle and Ferdinand, hence the Latin beats and Spanish trumpets in her own Six solo “No Way.” Catherine first married Arthur (Henry’s older cousin and heir obvious into the English throne) in 1501 whenever she had been 15. But five months after their wedding, Arthur passed away. Arthur’s dad almost needed to get back her dowry, but a King could not spend money—or European alliances. He married her down to their more youthful son, Henry VIII, in 1509, though Henry ended up being 5 years her junior. She faithfully served England, ruling as regent in 1513 whenever Henry had been away in France. Nevertheless when she neglected to create a male heir, things got complicated. Together with her 5th maternity, Catherine gave delivery to Mary (the long term Mary we of England), but Henry became preoccupied with siring a child. He became convinced that their wedding to their brother’s widow ended up being cursed by Jesus, or, as Catherine sings, “You state it is a shame ‘cause quoting Leviticus ‘I’ll find yourself kidiless all my entire life.’”
It’s commonly thought he utilized the Bible as a reason to divorce the Spanish princess with a want to marry her lady in waiting, Anne Boleyn. Catherine ended up being furious he cast her apart; she had tolerated their affairs (“I’ve never lost control no matter what times that are many knew you lied”) as any Queen had been expected. Moreover, Catherine maintained that she had never ever consummated her wedding to Arthur—so that’s the wedding that has been null. Complicated, we understand. Due to the fact track shows, Catherine declined an annulment, claiming until her death that she ended up being the rightful Queen. Catherine ended up being provided for a “nun-ry” but ultimately relocated to The greater Castle. She passed away in 1536 during the chronilogical age of 50, nevertheless keeping she ended up being the actual only real genuine spouse of Henry VIII.
Anne Boleyn Queen from 1533–1536Though affairs involving the King along with his Queen’s feamales in waiting were common and anticipated, no body expected him to go out of Catherine to wed Anne—the sis of their previous mistress, at that. Anne spent my youth in the court for the Queen of France before coming back house to England to become listed on the royal court.
Anne Boleyn is frequently depicted given that devious wife, presumably plotting to dethrone Catherine—unsatisfied to be merely a mistress, “some woman in a threesome.” Henry and Anne married in key January 25, 1533; they got the Archbishop to declare Henry’s wedding to Catherine null and his marriage that is new to valid—thus breaking through the Catholic Church and starting the Church of England. Anne ended up being crowned queen June 1 russian brides match, 1533; she quickly offered delivery to a woman, the long term Elizabeth we. But after three miscarriages, Henry took a mistress that is new Jane Seymour. Needing a real solution to rid himself of Anne, Henry stated that Anne had bewitched him as he had been hitched to Catherine. Anne maybe flirted with a few men “just to produce him jel,” but that merely resulted in accusations of incest and adultery. She had been beheaded in the Tower of London may 15, 1536, at age 35.
Fun reality: Historians believe Henry VIII had written “Greensleeves” for Anne Boleyn, who he had been attempting to woo. Thus, the techno remix of “Greensleeves” in “Ex-Wives.”
Jane Seymour Queen from 1536–1537Just as Anne Boleyn overtook the girl she served, Jane Seymour had been a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne, after serving Queen Catherine. Henry VIII became betrothed to Jane one after Anne’s execution day. Jane provided delivery to a son, Edward, in 1537 and died two weeks later of postnatal complications october. Jane is actually regarded as the favourite, as she actually is the actual only real spouse Henry freely mourned while the just one to get a queen’s funeral, and that’s why her song in Six is considered the most such as for instance a power ballad—even if it she sings that “without my son your love could fade away.” Henry VIII had been ultimately hidden beside her at Windsor Castle.
Anne of Cleves Queen from January 1540–July 1540Anne of Cleves lasted just sixth months as Queen, but she kept her mind. Musician Hans Holbein younger went along to Germany to paint Anne and her cousin, as Henry VIII considered which will be their 4th spouse. (We find out about these travels in “Haus of Holbein.”)
But once Anne arrived after her portrait, Henry felt she “didn’t did look that is n’t her profile image.” She revealed a basic not enough sophistication, “sippin’ on mead and I also spill it on my dress,” which additionally displeased the royal. Fundamentally, the master made excuses for their displeasure along with her and discovered another reason to be rid of her, saying there is not a way she had been a virgin if they wed. Provided an annulment, Anne stayed in benefit with all the King and sometimes checked out court throughout the reigns for the last two queens. She passed away in 1557.
Catherine Howard Queen from 1540–1541Catherine, better called Kitty, had been very long the item of intimate attention as recommended in “All You Wanna Do.” She had been molested by her music instructor, Henry Mannox, as he ended up being 36 ( maybe maybe not 23 as Six states) and she 13. At 15, she relocated along with her grandmother, “the dowager Duchess,” and became enthusiasts with “sexy secretary” Francis Dereham—an event that will started to haunt her later on. Her grandmother discovered the affair and delivered her to your Tudor court.
Like her relative, Anne Boleyn, she served as a lady-in-waiting however in the court of Anne of Cleves. The master had been 49 yrs . old as he married the 16-year-old. Nevertheless the gossips at court—some of whom had witnessed her behavior with Dereham—quickly distribute term that Catherine had been committing adultery behind Henry’s straight back with Henry’s courtier Thomas Culpeper. Culpepper, Dereham, and Catherine had been all performed (Dereham had been drawn and quartered). Catherine, beheaded February 13, 1542, ended up being hidden in a unmarked grave.
Catherine Parr Queen from 1543-1547The last spouse of Henry VIII lived in constant anxiety about her very own execution. Ahead of her wedding to King Henry VIII, she had two husbands that are previous had been widowed both in situations. She had dropped deeply in love with Thomas Seymour (Jane’s cousin) before she caught the optical attention of this King. Plus in “I Don’t Need Your Love,her alone to save them both from the King’s wrath and certain death” she pleads with Thomas to leave.
Because of the right time she wed Henry, he had been 52 as well as in ill health. Catherine ingratiated herself to your master by becoming a mom to their three kiddies: Catherine of Aragon’s Mary, Anne Boleyn’s Elizabeth, and Jane Seymour’s Edward. This woman is the one who restored Mary and Elizabeth’s royal standing therefore that they might come in the type of succession.
During her reign, Catherine had been initial queen of England and Ireland; she ended up being additionally the queen most abundant in diplomatic impact since Catherine of Aragon, as she served as regent whenever Henry traveled to France once again. Catherine ended up being an advocate of reformation into the Church, Protestantism. In reality, she published publications on prayer in her own name—and that is own was very very first Queen of England to take action. That she“fought for feminine training. therefore it’s true” Before Henry VIII passed away January 28, 1547, he instructed that she be respected given that Queen of England even with their death—which is what occurred. She stepped down through the throne whenever Prince Edward, Jane Seymour’s son, had been willing to ascend in 1547. This time, she ended up being the main one to re-marry, to gentleman for the court Thomas Seymour. She passed away 5, 1548 september.