Wives of King Henry VIII
In common parlance, the wives of Henry VIII were the six queens consort wedded to Henry between 1509 and his death in 1547. In legal terms, King
The six women who were married to Henry VIII, in chronological order:
|No.||Name||Marriage dates and length||Fate of marriage||Fate of wife and issue|
|1||11 June 1509 – 23 May 1533
(23 years, 11 months and 12 days)
|Annulled||Died 7 January 1536. Mother of |
|2||28 May 1533 – 17 May 1536
(2 years, 11 months and 19 days)
|Annulled, then beheaded||Died 19 May 1536. Beheaded at the |
|3||30 May 1536 – 24 October 1537
(1 year, 4 months and 24 days)
|Died||Died 24 October 1537, twelve days after giving birth due to complications.|
|4||6 January 1540 – 9 July 1540
(6 months and 3 days)
|Annulled||Died 16 July 1557, possibly of cancer.|
|5||28 July 1540 – 23 November 1541
(1 year, 3 months and 26 days)
|Beheaded||Died 13 February 1542. Beheaded at the |
|6||12 July 1543 – 28 January 1547
(3 years, 6 months and 16 days)
|Survived||Survived Henry VIII. Later remarried to |
Died 7 September 1548.
Henry's first marriage lasted nearly 24 years, while the following five lasted less than 10 years combined.
A mnemonic device to remember the names of Henry’s consorts is “Arrogant Boys Seem Clever, Howard Particularly”; a mnemonic for their fates is "Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived". There are also two rhymes:[
King Henry VIII,
To six wives he was wedded.
One died, one survived,
Two divorced, two beheaded.
Boleyn and Howard lost their heads,
Anne of Cleves he would not bed,
Jane Seymour gave him a son – but died before the week was done,
Aragon he did divorce,
Which just left Catherine Parr, of course!
It is often noted that Catherine Parr survived Henry, but Anne of Cleves also survived him and was the last of his queens to die. Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour each gave him one child who survived infancy: two daughters and one son. All three of these children eventually ascended to the throne as
Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn were first cousins and were both beheaded. Several of Henry's wives worked in service to another wife, typically as a