The Tudors are one of my many obsessions. The wives of Henry VIII seem particularly tragic:
Poor Catherine of Aragon was traded in for a newer model because she couldn’t force her body to become pregnant with a male heir.
Anne Boleyn was rejected for the same reason, except she lost her head.
Jane Seymour gave Henry the heir he always wanted and then promptly died of sepsis.
Anne of Cleves was rejected for not being pretty enough, but at least she got out alive.
Katherine Howard was only a teenager, but that didn’t stop Henry from beheading her, just as he had her cousin, Anne Boleyn.
Lucky Catherine Parr married Henry a few short years before his death, outliving him.
The rhyme used to remember all of Henry’s marriages goes:
King Henry the Eighth, to six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded.
Henry was kind of a dick.
It’s ironic, he was so concerned with having an heir, yet he had the greatest heir of any king in history: Elizabeth I, who reigned for 45 years and had an entire era named after her. He just couldn’t see it because, you know, she had a vagina.
Obviously, Henry’s queens are pissed. Their ghosts are still looking for him, haunting the halls of his castles, hoping they’ll get the last word.
The ghosts of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Katherine Howard have been repeatedly spotted in Hampton Court Palace. I like to think they’ve formed a coven and meet every Tuesday to stick pins in a Henry-shaped voodoo doll.
Anne’s ghost has also been seen in Windsor Castle. Elizabeth I haunts Windsor as well. Let’s hope they found each other in the afterlife. I picture them sitting in a window seat with the drapes closed around them, comparing facial features. They totally have the same eyes.