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The following is a list of Queen Consorts who were six queens during King Henry's reign of England.

The position of Queen Consort should not be confused with the position of Queen Regent or Queen Regnant.  The Queen Consort certainly has great wealth and authority over the royal household, but nearly all her political power is subservient to her husband the King unless he grants power to her. Her main purpose is generally to provide heirs and sometimes seal alliances through marriage.

A Queen Consort may be appointed Regent (acting monarch) if the King is clearly unable to rule or the King himself may make her Regent when he is absent.  This is usually only done if the Queen Consort has sufficient education, nerve and political experience, however.  Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon, served as regent early in his reign during a prior war with France and Scotland. During the war with France in Season Four, Henry appointed his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, as regent until he returned from the battlefield, a role she performed quite well in. Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn, also had the potential to play the role of Regent, but she was never appointed.

Queen Regnants, on the other hand, are deemed the heirs to the throne they ascend to and wield the power of a ruling monarch.  Still, due to prejudice against women rulers, their power was slightly restricted and the Queen Regnant is encouraged to delegate to or share her power equally with her husband, the Prince Consort. The first crowned Queen Regnant of England was Henry's eldest daughter, Mary Tudor.

List of Henry's Queen Consorts[]

Queen Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon - The first wife and Queen Consort of England during Henry's reign, a Spanish Princess whom he was encouraged to marry after her first husband, his older brother, died after a very short time.  She reigned longer than all the other queens combined and was very popular with the people for her charity and Catholic piety. Henry initially loved her dearly, but her greater age lead to menopause when he was still seeking a male heir, and she fell out of favor despite continuing to maintain loyalty and love for him. She tolerated his various mistresses, but flatly refused to accept his attempts to annull their marriage during Season One, which destroyed what was left of their relationship; she died in exile at the Castle More, having been stripped of her title as Queen early in Season Two. Despite her fall from grace, she remained very popular.  She was succeeded by Anne Boleyn.  Children:  Mary I Tudor, Queen of England, several stillborn/miscarried children.  Marriage: June 1509-May 1533 (annulled, though still viewed as Queen by Spain and the Pope until her death) 24 years.

Queen Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn- The second wife and Queen Consort of England during Henry's reign, a daughter of the ruthless Lord Thomas Boleyn. Henry becomes attracted to her early in the series while still married to Catherine, intrigued by her resistance to having sex with him unless he makes her his wife for most of Season One and she becomes Queen early in Season Two after he impregnates her. She was a well-educated, opinionated queen who influenced Henry to embark on the religious Reformation, but her outspoken personality eventually began to clash with his. Many enemies attacked her when she fell from Henry's favor for failing to produce a son just as Catherine of Aragon had, leading to her execution on false charges of adultery she deniedto the end, maintaining her devotion to Henry.  She was succeeded by Jane Seymour. Children: Elizabeth I Tudor, Queen of England, two stillborn/miscarried children. Marriage: May 1533-May 1536 (annulled before her beheading) 3 years.

Queen Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour- The third wife and Queen Consort of England during Henrys reign, the daughter of the ambitious Sir John Seymour.  Henry began courting her formally when his marriage to Anne was on the rocks, pleased with Jane's modest nature, despite she was used by her family to usurp Anne much as she was used to usurp Catherine. Henry married Jane at the start of Season 3 after Anne was deposed and executed; she was wary of her husband due to the fate of her two predecessors, but nonetheless loved him genuinely. She was was the only consort to give him a male heir and played a vital role in reconciling Henry with his daughters, but she died soon after giving birth, plunging the king into grief. Children:  Edward VI Tudor, King of England.  Marriage: May 1536-October 1537 (her death) 1 year, 5 months.

Queen Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves- The fourth wife and Queen Consort of England during Henry's reign, a minor German Princess suggested by Cardinal Thomas Cromwell, largely for political reasons he favored more than Henry did.  She was supposedly as ugly as a Flanders mare despite her pleasant personality, and they were sexually incompatible, but after their agreeable annullment (less than a year after the wedding, near the end of Season 3), she and Henry became good friends, and she also befriended his children, particularly Elizabeth.  Anne lived out her days in England in relative obscurity, but she was provided for generously and referred to as "the King's beloved Sister".  Marriage: January 1540-July 1540 (annulled) 6 months.

Queen Katherine Howard

Katherine Howard- The fifth wife and Queen Consort of England during Henry's reign, a granddaughter of the Duke of Norfolk.  Henry initially acquires her as a mistress near the end of Season Three, already unsatisfied with his new wife Anne of Cleves. He soon annulls the marriage and weds the young Katherine instead. However, she was too immature compared to her predecessors, and his love for her was superficial since her youth - and sexual appetite - made him feel young again.  When his old leg wounds meant he could no longer satisfy her sex drive, Katherine turned to adultery (partly influenced by members of her household), which lead to her beheading.  Marriage: July 1540-November 1541 (annulled, later beheaded for further charges) 1 year, 4 months.

Queen Catherine Parr

Catherine Parr- The sixth and last wife and Queen Consort of England during Henry's reign. He was clearly attracted to her, but she was not in love with him, only having eyes for the dashing Thomas Seymour. Catherine knew Henry by his reputation and continued to fear him when they were married (halfway through Season Four), but she hid it very well. She carried herself with great dignity in political and literary affairs, acted as a kindly stepmother to Mary, Elizabeth and Edward, and took care of Henry tirelessly in his old age, but the court's attitude towards her was mixed due to her rumored Lutheran background.  After his death, Catherine remarried to Thomas, but died after giving birth to their only child.  Marriage: July 1543-January 1547 (widowed by Henry's death) 3 years 6 1/2 months.

Favourite consort []

Henry's first three wives and their children: Catherine and Mary(left) Anne and Elizabeth (center) and Jane and Edward (right)

Henry had six consorts, but only the first three truly loved his affections and provided him with children. In return, he genuinely loved all his consorts to varying degrees, except Anne of Cleves, who instead became a close friend of his.

Henry's original love for the intelligent, kind Catherine of Aragon was legendary and echoed by the Engish people to the day she died, but their six years of age difference limited their ability to conceive. He was also given to adultery, and his flings caused rifts in their marriage. Although he blamed her for not bearing him a son, in actuality she had given birth to multiple boys prior to the show's timeline. High rates of infant mortality in those days meant their sons were either stillborn or dead within a month of birth, which was later seen as disfavor from Heaven.

Henry used to have a great deal of love and lust for the witty, bold Anne Boleyn. He initially saw her as an equal, until she failed to provide him a son, just as Catherine had. Their relationship was genuinely loving, but like that for Catherine it gradually soured because of his infidelities. It was later blighted by his denounciation of Anne - long after her death - on the false charges of adultery that were raised against her.

Henry adored Jane Seymour the best despite his constant infidelity, in both reality and the series, mostly likely because of her modest nature and because she gave him a male heir - although Edward died young and Henry had no knowledge of this. In the series, Henry spends an entire episode isolating himself in his chambers after her death. He was buried beside her, his request when he was alive.

The Final Dream[]

Not long before Henry's death but after the death of his best friend Charles Brandon, he had a series of dreams/hallucinations showing him his surviving children and his three most beloved Queens, all of whom were long dead.  Each of these visions gave him a hint of what would happen to each of their children. 

Henry's vision of Catherine and Mary

First came Catherine of Aragon, with her daughter Mary; this occurred when Henry was posing for his famous portrait by Hans Holbein. Henry showed clear remorse for his constant abuse towards her in their marriage in this scene. Catherine rebuked him for having never gotten around to betrothing their daughter when the timing was right, and his neglect of her as well; she mentioned how Mary should have been married and had children by now, and that she was proud of her. Henry feebly told Catherine to leave, but she simply replied that he had sent her away before. Her final words were "I was still your wife in God's eyes- and still am."  Although Mary married King Philip of Spain, this was only after she took the throne for 5 short years, a reign which produced no children, like her siblings.  

Henry's vision of Anne and Elizabeth

Second came Anne Boleyn, with her daughter Elizabeth, while Henry was alone in his study one night, drinking infusions for the pain in his ulcered leg. He was initially hostile towards this vision until Anne stated she had come to see their daughter, whom she described as being as clever as she had been, but not so intemperent.  Anne expressed fierce pride in Elizabeth and regret that she'd had so little time with her, having neglected raising her herself in favor of trying to give Henry a son.  He stated that he noticed her intelligence and was also proud of her, and that he wished he could love her more, but he avoided her sometimes because she reminded him of Anne and what she had 'done to him'.  Anne angrily replied that she was innocent of her accusations and had done nothing to him; she pitied the deceased Katherine Howard, who like her was a 'moth drawn to the flame, and burned' due to the unfortunate circumstance she was put into when she was the King's wife.  As Anne departed with Elizabeth, Henry called despairingly for her to come back. Their mutual pride in Elizabeth would be well-founded, as she became the longest-reigning and most effective monarch in the Tudor dynasty.  

Henry's vision of Jane and Edward.

Thirdly and finally came Jane Seymour, with her son Edward. Again, this illusion came at night, when Henry was pacing in his empty throne room. After greeting her as his truly beloved, Henry assured her that he had done everything to keep Edward safe and that he was the most beloved of Henry's children, but she clearly did not acknowledge any of this. When rebuking Henry, Jane does not address him by name, unlike Catherine and Anne. Although she died two weeks after Edward was born, Jane described him as her 'poor boy, her poor child' and angrily rebuked Henry for forcing too much onto him before he was ready, saying he would die young as a result of Henry's foolishness. Henry desperately tried to deny it as his most prized wife and child disappeared, to his grief. Edward, who came to the throne at an extremely young age, did indeed die before he was 18 years old and left no children.       

Catherine of Aragon's ghost

Mary Tudor's ghost

Anne Boleyn's ghost

Elizabeth Tudor's ghost

Jane Seymour's ghost

Edward Tudor's ghost

 

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