The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Catherine of Aragon Anne Boleyn Jane Seymour Anne of Cleves Catherine Howard Catherine Parr
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Catherine Howard | 1525?-1542
Why choose this wife?
Henry and Catherine


y all accounts, Henry fell in love at first sight with Catherine Howard. Henry, now 49 years old and worn down by divorce worries, was rejuvenated by Catherine Howard's youth and vivacity. As the annulment of his marriage to Anne of Cleves proceeded in Spring 1540, Henry began to court his queen's maid-of-honor.


Soon, all of the court and London knew his feelings, for the king was frequently seen being rowed in a small boat to Lambeth, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk's residence where Catherine had retired once Queen Anne, separated from her husband, had left court. The French ambassador Charles de Marillac observed of the love-struck Henry, "the King is so amorous of her that he cannot treat her [Catherine] well enough, and caresses her more than he did the others." Henry lavished extravagant gifts on Catherine -- from diamond pendants and ropes of pearls to lands and manors once owned by Queen Jane. Henry would reportedly spend more on the youthful Catherine Howard than on any of his four preceding wives. In return, Catherine played her part well and enthusiastically welcomed Henry's advances. Once rid of his fourth wife, the king, invigorated by Catherine's youth and charm, was determined to marry his teen-aged "rose without a thorn." Dutifully, parliament expressed its wish that the king remarry and beget additional heirs. Perhaps the result of court gossip about Henry's May-December relationship, the name of the intended bride -- Henry's fifth -- was left blank.

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