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 have you any idea about their everyday lives?
Writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss dug in to the reputation for Tudor England therefore the royal court for the words for their pop music opera, and greater historic knowledge means greater admiration associated with the nuances in Marlow and Moss’ writing. Listed here are the CliffsNotes that will help you navigate this chapter in British history.
Catherine of Aragon Queen from 1509–1533The “paragon of royalty” ended up being the wife that is first of VIII. A spanish princess, she ended up being the child of Isabelle and Ferdinand, thus the Latin beats and Spanish trumpets inside her Six solo “No Way.” Catherine first married Arthur (Henry’s older sibling and heir obvious to your English throne) in 1501 whenever she ended up being 15. But five months after their wedding, Arthur passed away. Arthur’s daddy almost had to get back her dowry, however a King could not spend money—or European alliances. He married her down to their more youthful son, Henry VIII, in 1509, though Henry had been 5 years her junior. She faithfully served England, ruling as regent in 1513 whenever Henry ended up being away in France. But once she did not produce a male heir, things got complicated. Along with her 5th maternity, Catherine provided delivery to Mary (the long term Mary I of England), but Henry became preoccupied with siring a kid. He became believing that his 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 widely thought he utilized the Bible as a reason to divorce the princess that is spanish a want to marry her woman in waiting, Anne Boleyn. Catherine ended up being furious he cast her apart; she had tolerated their affairs (“I’ve never destroyed control regardless of how times that are many knew you lied”) as any Queen had been anticipated. More over, Catherine maintained that she had never ever consummated her wedding to Arthur—so that is the marriage that has been null. Complicated, we understand. Whilst the track shows, Catherine declined an annulment, claiming until her death that she had been the rightful Queen. Catherine had been delivered to a “nun-ry” but sooner or later relocated to The greater Castle. She passed away in 1536 during the chronilogical age of 50, nevertheless keeping she had been truly the only wife that is legitimate of VIII.
Anne Boleyn Queen from 1533–1536Though affairs amongst 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 sibling of their mistress that is former that. Anne was raised during the court associated with the Queen of France before returning house to England to participate the court that is royal.
Anne Boleyn is normally depicted whilst the devious spouse, presumably plotting to dethrone Catherine—unsatisfied to be simply 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 along with his brand new wedding to Anne valid—thus breaking through the Catholic Church and starting the Church of England. Anne had been crowned queen 1, 1533; she soon gave birth to a girl, the future Elizabeth I june. But after three miscarriages, Henry took a mistress that is new Jane Seymour. Needing a real solution to rid himself of Anne, Henry advertised that Anne had bewitched him while he ended up being hitched to Catherine. Anne maybe flirted with a few men “just to create him jel,” but that merely resulted in accusations of adultery and incest. She had been beheaded during the Tower of London may 15, 1536, at age 35.
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 up to a son, Edward, in October 1537 and passed away a couple of weeks later of postnatal problems. Jane is usually regarded as the favourite, if it she sings that “without my son your love could disappear completely. as she’s the actual only real spouse Henry freely mourned as well as the just one to get a queen’s funeral, which is the reason why her song in Six is considered the most like an electric ballad—even” Henry VIII ended up being fundamentally hidden beside her at Windsor Castle.
Anne of Cleves Queen from January 1540–July 1540Anne of Cleves lasted only months that are sixth Queen, but she kept her mind. Musician Hans Holbein younger went along to Germany to paint Anne and her sibling, as Henry VIII considered which will be their fourth spouse. (We read about these travels in “Haus of Holbein.”)
Nevertheless when Anne arrived after her portrait, Henry felt she “didn’t didn’t appearance like her profile image.” She showed a basic not enough elegance, “sippin’ on mead and I also spill it on my dress,” which additionally displeased the royal. Essentially, the master made excuses for their displeasure her, saying there was no way she was a virgin when they wed with her and found another excuse to be rid of. Issued an annulment, Anne remained in benefit using the King and frequently checked out court through the reigns of this last two queens. She passed away in 1557.
Catherine Howard Queen from 1540–1541Catherine, better referred to as Kitty, had been very very long the thing of intimate attention as recommended in “All You Wanna Do.” She ended up being molested by her music instructor, Henry Mannox, as he had been 36 ( perhaps maybe not 23 asian wife 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 could come to haunt her later. 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 ended up being 49 yrs old as he married the 16-year-old. Nevertheless the gossips at court—some of who had witnessed Dereham—quickly spread word to her behavior that Catherine was committing adultery behind Henry’s straight straight back with Henry’s courtier Thomas Culpeper. Culpepper, Dereham, and Catherine had been all performed (Dereham had been quartered and drawn). Catherine, beheaded February 13, 1542, had been hidden in a grave that is unmarked.
Catherine Parr Queen from 1543-1547The last wife 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 instances. She had dropped in deep love with Thomas Seymour (Jane’s sibling) before she caught the attention associated with the King. Plus in “I Don’t Need Your Love,” she pleads with Thomas to keep her alone to save lots of them both through the King’s wrath and specific death.
Catherine ingratiated herself into the master by becoming a mom to their three young ones: 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 ended up being the initial queen of England and Ireland; she ended up being additionally the queen most abundant in influence that is diplomatic Catherine of Aragon, as she served as regent whenever Henry traveled to France again. Catherine ended up being an advocate of reformation into the Church, Protestantism. In reality, she published publications on prayer inside her name—and that is own was very first Queen of England to take action. That she“fought for female education. so that it’s real” Before Henry VIII passed away 28, 1547, he instructed that she be respected as the Queen of England even after his death—which is what happened january. She stepped down through the throne whenever Prince Edward, Jane Seymour’s son, ended up being willing to ascend in 1547. This time around, she ended up being the main one to re-marry, to gentleman regarding the court Thomas Seymour. She passed away September 5, 1548.