Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today In History, Happy Birthday Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves, a woman who had no idea what she had gotten herself into when she stepped foot in England to marry Henry VIII. The arraignments for the marriage had been made by Cromwell and boy did he pay for it, with his own head.

Henry did not like Anne from the beginning. He had called her "The Flanders Mare" meaning she was ugly. Which I do not think so judging from this portrait. I think Henry did not like her because she was not like the previous other women in his life. She was far from glamorous but she did have a good heart and in the end Henry did recognize that.

The end of the marriage was that Henry had it annulled on the grounds that the marriage had not been consummated. Luckily Anne escaped with her life and Henry gave her a very good settlement. She lived the rest of her days in England labeled as "The sister of the King". Though she never married again or had any children. She was happy to escape her childhood home where her oppressive brother ruled.

9 comments:

  1. Happy birthday to Anne! I first came across her in The Boleyn Inheritance and ever since, I've wanted to know more.

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  2. Isn't it also true that the first time they met, she didn't recognize that he was King Henry?

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I am trying to return visits!

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  3. Margaret Campbell Barnes wrote a fantastic novel on Anne of Cleves, called My Lady of Cleves and I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to get to know Anne better. And surprisingly, she is a fascinating character though she may look plain. Highly intelligent and personable - she is my favorite wife of Henry VIII.

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  4. I've always liked Anne of Cleves. I think she got the best of the deal, not being married to Henry and having to deal with his mood swings.

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  5. The Boleyn Inheritance is where my interest started with her too.

    I am not sure if that is completely true about their first meeting. I think either way it did not go well.

    Anne I think was the lucky one who did not meet a tragic end and was still beloved after Henry was gone. I think she had to have sweet disposition.

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  7. Thank you Christy I am heading there now.

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  8. Lizzy, I developed great respect for Anne of Cleves when I was researching her marriage to Henry VIII for NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES. I think there was a lot more to her than meets the eye; great depth and savviness. I think she very cleverly (knowing Henry's marital history) initially put the blame on herself for not understanding the mechanics of the birds and the bees, so that her apparent cluelessness could be blamed for the problems in the bedchamber.

    And after the divorce she became quite the anomaly in the Tudor court: a woman of independent means and property who was answerable to no man.

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  9. I agree she did end up alone but she did make it away from Henry. Was she not friends with Mary I later on?

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