Ready for a trip back in time? Here at Nat Geo Kids, we’re travelling back to Tudor England in our Henry VIII wives feature. Hold onto your hats – and your heads!

 

Henry VIII wives…

1. Catherine of Aragon

Henry VIII wives

Henry VIII’s first wife was Catherine of Aragon, daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Eight years before her marriage to Henry in 1509, Catherine was in fact married to Henry’s older brother, Arthur, who died of sickness at just 15 years old. Together, Henry and Catherine had a daughter, Mary – but it was a son that Henry wanted. Frustrated that Catherine seemed unable to produce a male heir to the throne, Henry had their marriage annulled (cancelled) in 1533. But there’s more to the story, gang – towards the end of their marriage, Henry fell in love with one of Catherine’s ladies-in-waiting (woman who assisted the queen) – Anne Boleyn

 

2. Anne Boleyn

Henry VIII wives

Anne Boleyn became Henry’s second wife after the pair married secretly in January 1533. By this time, Anne was pregnant with her first child to Henry, and by June 1533 she was crowned Queen of England. Together they had a daughter, Elizabeth – the future Queen Elizabeth I. But, still, it was a son – and future king of England – that Henry wanted. Frustrated, he believed his marriage was cursed and that Anne was to blame. And so, he turned his affections to one of Anne’s ladies-in-waiting, Jane Seymour. And Anne’s fate? Following accusations of numerous crimes, including witchcraft and treason (plotting to kill the king), she was arrested and beheaded. Eek!

 

3. Jane Seymour

Henry VIII wives

On 30 May 1535, King Henry married Jane Seymour. Unlike his previous wives, however, Jane never had a coronation and so was never crowned Queen of England. Some people believe this was because Henry wanted her to provide an heir to the throne first. And in October 1537, the time had finally come – Henry became the proud father of Prince Edward. But the prince came at a price – Jane took ill and died just two weeks after the birth. She was buried in a tomb at Windsor Castle, and would later become the only one of Henry’s six wives to be buried with him.

 

4. Anne of Cleves

Henry VIII wives

Henry was single for two years after Jane Seymour’s death. But as time passed, the King and his ministers felt that England needed a foreign ally – and so the hunt for a new bride began! Henry sent a talented painter called Hans Holbein to Germany to paint portraits of the Duke of Cleves’ daughters, Anne and Amelia. Anne’s portrait pleased him, and arrangements were made for the pair to wed. But Anne’s arrival in England proved to be a bit of a disaster to say the least. Seeing her in person, Henry took an instant dislike to Anne and, finding her ugly, referred to her as “The Mare of Flanders”. Poor Anne! Too late to cancel, their wedding took place 6 January 1540, only for the marriage to be annulled a few weeks later.

 

5. Kathryn Howard

Henry VIII wives

Next in line to marry King Henry VIII was young Kathryn Howard – lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves and first cousin to Henry’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. By the time they married in July 1540, Henry was 49 years old, overweight and unable to walk, and Kathryn a lively teenager. Delighted with his new wife, Henry is said to have spoilt Kathryn with gifts and called her his “rose without a thorn”. But trouble lay ahead for Kathryn – two years into their marriage, she was accused of being unfaithful to the king. Her fate..? Beheaded!

 

6. Catherine Parr

Henry VIII wives

The last of Henry VIII wives was Catherine Parr. An educated woman who loved to learn new things, Catherine married Henry on 12 July 1543. She proved to be a kind wife who looked after Henry in his sickness, and a good stepmother to the king’s three children, Mary, Elizabeth and Edward. But yes – you guessed it – she didn’t have it easy with Henry! Her interest in Protestantism (a new religious faith) made her enemies in court – enemies who tried to turn the king against her and have her arrested. Luckily for Catherine, she managed to convince Henry that she was loyal to him and his religion, and was spared execution. Phew! Henry died in 1547, leaving Catherine widowed and free to marry her former love, Thomas Seymour.

 

Love reading about Henry VIII wives? Leave us a comment letting us know what you think!

Portraits: Getty Images UK
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COMMENTS

  • Teresa[Ye] Kiang

    He has so many wives!

  • Mary am

    Really cool amazing fact I always use this website for homework

  • Chloe

    Interesting!

  • Prekshica

    I loved this fact and I know already know what to learn and also I can able to do my homework and revision.

  • lottie

    so interesting

  • Pip

    Fascinating!

  • Catherine

    I like Catherine of Aragon the best

  • Chrissy2.0

    This is cool and very intresting to bad most of those ladies died

  • Hannah Rahman

    Thanks this website is amazing it helped me with my homework

  • Jeff

    I liked Jane Seymour the most it is so sad that she died

  • Starlight

    Why do Henry the VIII need so many wives why can't he just afford one wife rather than 6! I need to investigate more about why he wanted so many wives! What I think was that Henry the VIII was a greedy man that wanted everything he want's.

  • Sean

    He sounds like a weird fella COOL

  • Awesome girl

    I liked Anne Bolyn the best

  • abbyshanaT

    DIVORCED , BEHEADED AND DIED DIVORCED , BEHEADED ,SURVIVED

  • Catherine Parr is the best.

  • History

    I wonder why King Henry married 6 wives.6!

  • SEA21

    You just taught me something new about king henry.So cool

  • Ericaamarteifio

    King Henry VIII is sooooooooooooo crazzy

  • Turtle girl

    Wow! I never knew this

  • Amber Chambers

    Cool, those facts were amazing!!

  • Ari12

    Amazing! King Henry is so evil though.

  • WilliamTillman

    Very educational and highly interesting

  • mimi

    wow 6 wives

  • Lovebear5000

    Wow I never thought someone can have so many wives!

  • GIZ12

    I ❤️ Henry V111

  • roseabell

    cool

  • Rawr

    Wow.. I gotta tell my friends this!!

  • History_Lover

    Oh my goodness! What amazing new facts to add to my one hundreth book of knowledge on history! Ekkkk can't wait! My teacher would be soooooo proud of me

  • SquishyDonuts

    We liked reading about Henry VIII beheading his wives.

  • mikail

    this is a cool Story!!!

  • Emma Kate

    I LOVE reading about history. this was super cool to read

  • Charlotte

    I was looking at a book about history yesterday and saw somethings about 5 of his wives and could name them but didn't know about the others!!!!:)

  • Zoe

    Amazing, and gruesome

  • ella scott

    great website helped me with my class work

  • Kate Stanley

    I love it!!! Henry was mean

  • finn-b14

    DIVORCED, BEHEADED AND DIED! DIVORCED, BEHEADED, SURVIVED!

  • Unicorn lover 20

    We are learning about Henry and his wives in history thanks for the tips

  • Mahmoud

    Thanks for helping i had an exam about the Tudors and you gave me a lot of information.

  • Caramel

    This really helped me on my Tudor project thx

  • Shakthi

    kind of scary to get beheaded dont you think although it is interesting

  • KEROLLOS

    thank you so much nat geo your the best

  • misspuppy123

    great!

  • tstrange

    Wow very interesting I done my topic about it is awsome

  • PopularMMOs

    Thinking about the wing tomorrows video about Henrys wives maybe for epic proportions!!!

  • Ellie007

    Thank you so much!! This helped me revise for my history exam this afternoon! Nervous!

  • LIONSAREBAE

    Nice facts! My sis loved them!

  • hfhgh

    lol

  • shadow

    thx, helped me with my Homework!!!!!!!!!!

  • ch3b

    Theres a rhyme - divorced ,beheaded,died, divorced ,beheaded,survived!

  • ted

    awesome

  • ted

    cool!!!!!!!!!!

  • factalicious

    amazing

  • tilly5ooooooo

    wow

  • Toby

    EtageAfgdsgrerysrgdyrdgezrgnjlgougio

  • bob88888

    cool

  • Dolphin1

    Wow! I love the facts!

  • Jasmine4786

    I can not believe henry had so many wives!

  • DSH

    This is a very interesting topic. I really enjoyed it!!!!!

  • Hannahlew

    this really helped! thanks :)

  • madison4569871230

    awesome

  • jeffjones123

    not true at all henry had 9 wifes

  • kurtfgfbjhjhghhg

    wow

  • kitty12

    IT IS COOL THANKS IT HAS SO MANY FACTS THAT I NEED XD

  • zdfgb

    cghmdghjmndt

  • sunhigymnastics555

    love tudors lol

  • Kara cooper

    Do yo hav eny fink about Henry v111

  • fib

    what a terrible man me out

  • Tudors1

    Yay!

  • QTpie

    OMG ,cool!

  • QTpie

    I needed to do a presentation . thisll reeally help.thanks!

  • QTpie

    wow

  • LiZzY20

    wow!

  • Jallen2810

    were

  • Jallen2810

    great!!!!

  • Elephants_are_cool

    Thank you so much for this !such a big help!

  • MOOOOOO

    divorced beheaded died divorced beheaded survived

  • zollow

    very good! we r doing tudors 2!

  • Lucinda

    Soooo coool!

  • CoolMonkey6

    Great facts. Thanks a lot

  • Freddie_Rackstraw6

    AWESOME!

  • Achan

    AMAZING

  • wierdmonkey

    we are doing the tudors and this will REALLY help me THANKS!!!!!!

  • wierdmonkey

    cool

  • Composer

    I love tudors awesome website

  • Dude elephant

    This website is amazing

  • akalabobo

    awesome!

  • Bop

    This is a really good wbsite

  • Cherrybakewell

    Thank you soooooo much! I now love history!!! You made history class a breeze! You deserve a big THANK YOU!!!!!

  • ashton0911

    we are doing tudors at school and this has helped me get in front of the class

  • Marina19942003

    Awsome... its full of information i didnt know about Henry the 8th.

  • Rainbow Tiger24

    I love the tudors

  • Anne_Boleyn_Fan

    Amaze! Love it!!!!!

  • Aishah

    That helped me a lot I was so bad at History but now I am so good at it my brothers and sisters are so interested in it and love it when I read it to them they beg my to tell them thank you so much

  • Blueda

    Why do he need to marry again when he already have a son

  • kiwi

    Henry didnt have six wives , apparently three of his weddings were declared nul and droid

  • Factastic

    Amaze . THese facts are hilarious fun and interesting. I love the tudors and I think Anne Boelyn and Anne of Cleeves are pretty in their paintings

  • anonymouss

    poor wives

  • giraffegir

    why did King Henry have to marry so many women

  • seasand

    Wow he had loads of wives!!!

  • Safiyah

    These 10 facts about King Henry Vlll are really good they helped me allot.I would recommend them! King Henry Vlll wives. :)

  • sinali

    thank you

  • Ariana-Grande

    Ive just got to say a massive THANK YOU! You helped me with all my work and last year I used to be rubbish at History and now Im really good at it! lol x

  • MrDolphinDucks

    good facts

  • Animal_awesome101

    Loved learning about this! An easy way to remember the wives is All Boys Should Come Home Please. It has the first letter of their last names

  • Epicbackflip

    That is my very favourate part of history! Anne Boleyn was very beautiful!

  • james

    looked like anne and catherine were popular names

  • hemlock17

    Looks like at that time Catherine was a very common name

  • keelin

    He has a lot of wives!!!! 6 of them!!!!!

  • marie

    add more facts

  • dude

    cool dude

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