Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves: journey to a doomed marriage? - English Heritage Blog
Anne of Cleves wanted to remarry Henry VIII. . suggests a somewhat closer relationship to Henry and his issue than is otherwise documented. The accounts at right were written by the Spanish ambassador Eustace Chapuys. Anne was Henry VIII's fourth wife. The marriage was annulled after only a few. Anne of Cleves was Queen of England from 6 January to 9 July as the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. The marriage was declared unconsummated and, as a.
Oil and tempera on oak, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid. Court artist Hans Holbein was sent to Cleves, and his painting of Anne, the oldest of the sisters, intrigued the king. She looked appealing to him, and certainly, when her portrait is compared to that of his third wife, Jane Seymour, she is at least as good looking as her, to our modern eye.
Anne of Cleves, a lesser known sketch The marriage contract was signed, and Anne traveled to Calais, in France, to make the crossing.
“I like her not,” Henry VIII’s unhappiest wedding day
What struck many who met her was that she seemed like a serious young woman, determined to be gracious to everyone she met and to be a good queen. By the end ofAnne of Cleves was in England along with her German entourage but had not yet reached London.
This was the moment when the middle-aged king seemed to have forgotten his priorities and decided to act like a young man of a chivalrous, romantic age. He and his courtiers would ride to Canterbury, where she was staying before continuing on to London, but in disguise.
By all reports, Anne of Cleves was standing at an upstairs window, watching a bear baiting with interest, when a group of gentlemen suddenly entered the room and walked up to her. There was one man in particular, very tall and quite overweight, who thrust himself forward. Eyewitnesses said she turned away from all of them, displeased by the intrusion and uninterested in her strange guests, and returned to watching the bear.
The men retreated, but a short time later returned, and this time the tall, fat man wore luxurious robes and furs. He announced he was the King of England. It was most likely French. But no matter which language used, it was a disaster. Anne of Cleves had been anything but taken with her future husband when he was incognito, and there was just no denying it.
The two of them conversed awkwardly, and the King left.
The first meeting of Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII 1539-154
Their relationship never recovered. It is worth taking a moment to compare this reaction to a similar royal marriage years later.
- Anne of Cleves
- The relationship of Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard
- Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves: journey to a doomed marriage?
King George III agreed to an arranged union with a young German princess who was not at all sophisticated. When Princess Charlotte arrived in England and her future husband met her, witnesses say he was taken aback by her plain looks. But he made an effort to get to know her, they married, and had 15 children. King George III in coronation robes.
English Historical Fiction Authors: Seven Surprising Facts About Anne of Cleves
He married a German princess as did many other English kings. The men who served the king, after studying the marriage contract and treaties, said they found no loopholes. What is interesting is observers thought the Queen was very attractive: Cleves was part of a confederation of German states, the Schmalkaldic League, with its own political and religious troubles with the Emperor and the Pope, and was inclined towards independence and reform.
Anne was part of the alliance deal, for which negotiations extended from March until October His painting, which survives, depicts an attractive and confident young woman. It was winter and the journey was slow through Antwerp, Bruges and Dunkirk. She reached English territory, Calais, by 11 December. Foul weather kept her there sixteen days, but eventually she crossed the Straits of Dover on 27 December. It was a grey winter day and though making for Dover, the ships were forced north by wind and tide.
Eventually, several boats crunched into the gravel on the beach at Deal in Kent. These also survive today, on the first floor of the great tower, though much altered. Though ruinous, you can still see the site of these apartments today.
Her reaction was polite but cool. Thinking she did not recognise him, Henry returned to the chamber that evening as himself, dined with Anne and again the following morning. He spoke with his closest privy councillors and the Cleves ambassadors.
Unhappily ever after But Henry went ahead with the wedding, which took place on 6 January The relationship quickly soured. Although the couple spent nights together, Henry could not consummate their marriage. She resisted for several days but gave in when it became clear that Henry was not rejecting the Cleves alliance, just the marriage.