Anne of Cleves Meets Henry VIII - 1 January - The Anne Boleyn Files
Is it true that Tudor king Henry VIII was so repelled by Anne of Cleves ( ) that he was unable to consummate their marriage? Henry. Anne of Cleves was the German princess whom he married for diplomatic to agree to a divorce, trading in an obese tyrant for a rich settlement. But her father, Duke John, was a patron of Erasmus, the Dutch Renaissance scholar. She did not hesitate to follow the lead of her husband Henry VIII, who. Anne of Cleves Meets Henry VIII – 1 January distracted as she was watching bull-baiting out of the window so did not pay any attention.Anne of Cleves - Henry VIII's Fourth Wife
The very fact that Henry VIII had six different wives makes it tempting to catalogue each by their closest stereotype: Not so coincidentally, these were also the narratives promoted by Henry and his entourage following the dissolution of each marriage. A nice respite from the litany of horror that are the tales of the other five.
Anne of Cleves: The One That Got Away
When Anna was 11, she was betrothed to the similarly-aged son of the Duke of nearby Lorraine; the betrothal was cancelled Three years later, her father died and the Dukedom was passed on to her younger brother, William.
The main selling point of Anna as a possible match for the newly single English King was that, under the rule of William, Cleves was butting heads with the Holy Roman Emperor — making them an ideal ally for England. A marriage would help solidify this connection… or so they thought.
For a guy who previously always had a back-up ready in case a relationship ended, this lengthy period of bachelorhood was unusual. And for a King with two daughters and one very young, sickly son, it was becoming increasingly problematic.
Henry himself was obviously obsessed with having sons and continuing on his Tudor family legacy, but so were like everyone else around him. Henry had known all three of his previous wives before he married them, so the prospect of a sight-unseen arranged marriage was entirely new to him.
Just to be sure he knew what he was getting into, the artist Hans Holbein the Younger was sent to Cleves to paint portraits of the two possible new wives who lived there: Anna, and her younger sister Amalia. Do you see where this is going? I think you do. Cromwell, I think, knew what he was doing. He had seen how happy Henry was with the submissive, inoffensive Jane, and also how his dramatic marriage to the opinionated Anne Boleyn had nearly brought the country to ruin.
The bit he was potentially neglecting the importance of was education. Katherine and Anne had both been extremely well educated, and even Jane Seymour had a level of cultural sophistication that Anna did not possess.
In fact, Anna had received literally zero formal education and was raised away from the skuduggery and scheming of a royal court. She had been told that her first meeting with her future husband would be once she arrived in London; Henry, unfortuately, had different plans. Bear in mind that inAnna was 25 and Henry was a hard lived OK, now imagine yourself to be year-old, sheltered Anna, hanging out in some sort of manor en route to meet her future husband.
This pus-covered person embraces and kisses you, handing over a gift he says is from the King. And this all happened. Duke William was not as interested in peace as his father. What he wanted more than anything else was to add Guelders to his country—but the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V had other ideas. William took the bold step of a French marriage so that France would support him should it come to war. She was whipped by her family and physically carried to the altar by the Constable of France.
The four-year-old marriage was annulled—it had never been consummated. Her next husband was Antoine de Bourbon, whom she loved.
Anne of Cleves: The One That Got Away | Ann Foster
Their son would one day become Henry IV, king of France. Holbein's portrait of Amelia of Cleves.
Hans Holbein painted her accurately. In portraits she looks attractive, certainly prettier than Jane Seymour. The famous Hans Holbein was told to paint truthful portraits of Anne and her sister Amelia.
Later the king blamed people for overpraising her beauty but he did not blame or punish Holbein.
Royal marriages sealed diplomatic alliances, and queens were expected to be pious and gracious, not sexy. Henry wanted more than anything to send Anne home and not marry her, which would have devastated the young woman. He was only prevented from such cruelty by the temporary need for this foreign alliance. But while he fumed to his councilors and friends, he did not publicly ridicule her appearance.