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Who were Henry VIII's six wives?

King Henry VIIIHenry VIII (1509–47) had six wives. They were, in the order he married them, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. Henry’s first wife, Catherine, bore him a daughter and not the son he had hoped for. Henry tried to cancel the marriage and marry Anne Boleyn instead. But the Pope refused to agree to this. Henry then declared himself Supreme Head of the English Church and broke off relations with Rome. He now married Anne. Henry’s actions began the English Protestant Reformation.


Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon

Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, bore him a daughter, Princess Mary, and not the son he had desperately hoped for. Henry therefore tried to annul, or cancel, the marriage on the grounds that Catherine had previously been married to his brother, Arthur. He also wished to marry Anne Boleyn, who insisted on becoming queen.

Henry VIII was the most married king in English history. His sixth wife, Catherine Parr, outlived him on his death in 1547. She was also the most married English queen; she had four husbands in total.

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