Yes, in the 1st six terms of Olivier Award–nominated musical Six, the fate is learned by us of every of Henry VIII’s spouses. But just how much have you figured out about their everyday lives?
Writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss dug to the reputation for Tudor England plus the court that is royal the words with their pop music opera, and greater historic knowledge means greater admiration for the nuances in Marlow and Moss’ writing. Listed here are the CliffsNotes to assist you navigate this chapter in Uk history.
Catherine of Aragon Queen from 1509–1533The “paragon of royalty” ended up being the wife that is first of VIII. a princess that is spanish she ended up being the child of Isabelle and Ferdinand, thus the Latin beats and Spanish trumpets inside her Six solo “No Way.” Catherine first married Arthur (Henry’s older bro and heir obvious to your English throne) in 1501 whenever she had been 15. But five months after their wedding, Arthur passed away. Arthur’s dad almost had to get back her dowry, however a King could not spend money—or European alliances. He married her down to their more youthful son, Henry VIII, in 1509, though Henry ended up being 5 years her junior. She faithfully served England, ruling as regent in 1513 when Henry ended up being away in France. Nevertheless when she neglected to create a male heir, things got complicated. With her 5th maternity, Catherine offered delivery to Mary (the long run Mary we of England), but Henry became preoccupied with siring a kid. He became believing that their wedding to their brother’s widow had been cursed by God, or, as Catherine sings, “You state it is a shame ‘cause quoting Leviticus ‘I’ll find yourself kidiless all my entire life.’”
It’s commonly thought he utilized the Bible as a reason to divorce the Spanish princess with a want to marry her woman in waiting, Anne Boleyn. Catherine had been furious he cast her apart; she had tolerated their affairs (“I’ve never destroyed control in spite of how often times we knew you lied”) as any Queen ended up being anticipated. More over, Catherine maintained that she had never ever consummated her wedding to Arthur—so that’s the wedding which was null. Complicated, we all know. Since the track shows, Catherine declined an annulment, claiming until her death that she ended up being the rightful Queen. Catherine ended up being delivered to a “nun-ry” but fundamentally relocated to The greater Castle. She passed away in 1536 during the chronilogical age of 50, nevertheless keeping she ended up being really the only legitimate spouse of Henry VIII.
Anne Boleyn Queen from 1533–1536Though affairs amongst the King along with his Queen’s women in waiting were common and anticipated, no body expected him to go out of Catherine to wed Anne—the sibling of his mistress that is former that. Anne spent my youth during the court for the Queen of France before coming back house to England to become listed on the court that is royal.
Anne Boleyn is oftentimes depicted once the wife that is devious presumably plotting to dethrone Catherine—unsatisfied to be only a mistress, “some woman in a threesome.” Henry and Anne married in key January 25, 1533; they got the Archbishop to declare Henry’s wedding to Catherine null and their brand new wedding to Anne valid—thus breaking through the Catholic Church and beginning the Church of England. Anne ended up being crowned queen 1, 1533; she soon gave birth to a girl, the future Elizabeth I june. But after three miscarriages, Henry took a brand new mistress: Jane Seymour. Needing option to rid himself of Anne, Henry advertised that Anne had bewitched him while he had been hitched to Catherine. Anne possibly flirted with a few men “just in order to make him jel,” but that merely resulted in accusations of adultery and incest. She had been beheaded in the Tower of London may 15, 1536, at age 35.
Fun reality: Historians believe Henry VIII had written “Greensleeves” for Anne Boleyn, who he had been wanting to woo. Ergo, the techno remix of “Greensleeves” in “Ex-Wives.”
Jane Seymour Queen from 1536–1537Just as Anne Boleyn overtook the lady she served, Jane Seymour ended up being a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne, after serving Queen Catherine. Henry VIII became betrothed to Jane one time after Anne’s execution. Jane offered delivery to a son, Edward, in 1537 and died two weeks later of postnatal complications october. Jane is frequently looked at as the favourite, if it she sings that “without my son your love could disappear. as she actually is the sole spouse Henry openly mourned additionally the just one to get a queen’s funeral, and that’s why her song in Six is considered the most like an electrical ballad—even” Henry VIII ended up being sooner or later hidden beside her at Windsor Castle.
Anne of Cleves Queen from January 1540–July 1540Anne of Cleves lasted only months that are sixth Queen, but she kept her mind. Musician Hans Holbein younger went along to Germany to paint Anne along with realmailorderbrides her sibling, as Henry VIII considered which may be their 4th spouse. (We find out about these travels in “Haus of Holbein.”)
Nevertheless when Anne arrived after her portrait, Henry felt she “didn’t did look that is n’t her profile picture.” She revealed a lack that is general of, “sippin’ on mead and I also spill it on my dress,” which additionally displeased the royal. Fundamentally, the master made excuses for their displeasure together with her and discovered another reason to be rid of her, saying there is not a way she had been a virgin if they wed. Given an annulment, Anne stayed in benefit aided by the King and frequently checked out court throughout the reigns regarding the last two queens. She passed away in 1557.
Catherine Howard Queen from 1540–1541Catherine, better referred to as Kitty, had been long the thing of intimate attention as suggested in “All You Wanna Do.” She ended up being molested by her music instructor, Henry Mannox, as he had been 36 ( maybe perhaps not 23 as Six states) and she 13. At 15, she relocated along with her grandmother, “the dowager Duchess,” and became enthusiasts with “sexy secretary” Francis Dereham—an event that will visited haunt her later on. Her grandmother discovered the affair and delivered her towards the Tudor court.
Like her relative, Anne Boleyn, she served being a lady-in-waiting however in the court of Anne of Cleves. The master ended up being 49 years of age as he married the 16-year-old. Nevertheless the gossips at court—some of who had witnessed her behavior with Dereham—quickly distribute term that Catherine had been committing adultery behind Henry’s straight back with Henry’s courtier Thomas Culpeper. Culpepper, Dereham, and Catherine had been all performed (Dereham had been drawn and quartered). Catherine, beheaded February 13, 1542, had been hidden within an grave that is unmarked.
Catherine Parr Queen from 1543-1547The last wife of Henry VIII lived in constant anxiety about her very own execution. Ahead of her wedding to King Henry VIII, she had two past husbands and had been widowed both in instances. She had dropped deeply in love with Thomas Seymour (Jane’s cousin) before she caught the optical attention associated with the King. Plus in “I Don’t Need Your Love,” she pleads with Thomas to keep her alone to save lots of them both through the King’s wrath and specific death.
By the right time she wed Henry, he had been 52 plus in sick wellness. Catherine ingratiated herself into the master by becoming a mother to their three young ones: Catherine of Aragon’s Mary, Anne Boleyn’s Elizabeth, and Jane Seymour’s Edward. This woman is the one who restored Mary and Elizabeth’s royal standing so that they might come in the type of succession.
During her reign, Catherine ended up being the very first queen of England and Ireland; she had been additionally the queen most abundant in influence that is diplomatic Catherine of Aragon, as she served as regent whenever Henry traveled to France once more. Catherine had been an advocate of reformation into the Church, Protestantism. In reality, she published publications on prayer in her very own name—and that is own was very very first Queen of England to take action. So that it’s real that she “fought for feminine education.” Before Henry VIII passed away January 28, 1547, he instructed that she be respected whilst the Queen of England even with their death—which is what took place. She stepped down through the throne when Prince Edward, Jane Seymour’s son, had been prepared to ascend in 1547. This time around, she ended up being the main one to re-marry, to gentleman regarding the court Thomas Seymour. She passed away September 5, 1548.