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We all know the legend of Anne of Cleves, the German princess who’s portrait Henry fell in love with, for only a sour relationship. However, here are some facts you might not know about Henry’s fourth wife. 

1.     Hans Holbein painted her truthfully. Contemporaries held Holbein’s pictures to be accurate depictions of the girls—not flattering misrepresentations, as the legend came to describe them.

Image source:


2.    At the time of their marriage, Anne was literally half Henry’s age. She was just 24 years old; he was 48.

3.    Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves were only married for six months. She ruled as a queen for just four months and she was never crowned.

Anne of Cleves and Henry VIIIImage source:

4.    Henry VIII married Catherine Howards within only a few weeks of his official annulment from Anna.

Image source: By Hans Holbein, Public Domain, 

5.    Anne of Cleves wanted to remarry Henry VIII. After the king’s fifth wife, young Catherine Howard, was divorced and then executed for adultery, Anne wanted to be queen again. Her brother, William of Cleves, asked his ambassador to pursue her reinstatement. But Henry said no.

6.    Anne is the longest surviving of Henry’s wives; she outlived not only the other queens, but also the king himself. She is the only one of Henry’s wives to be buried in Westminster Abbey.
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  • Six Tudor Queens: Anna of Kleve, Queen of Secrets: Six Tudor Queens 4 - Alison Weir

    A GERMAN PRINCESS WITH A GUILTY SECRET. The King is in love with Anna's portrait, but she has none of the accomplishments he seeks in a new bride. She prays she will please Henry, for the balance of power in Europe rests on this marriage alliance. But Anna's past is never far from her thoughts, and the rumours rife at court could be her downfall. Everyone knows the King won't stand for a problem queen. ANNA OF KLEVE THE FOURTH OF HENRY'S QUEENS HER STORY

Jemma Rowe

Jemma Rowe

Publicist at Hachette Australia and mother of two miniature dachshunds. My love can be bought with a glass of wine or a good romance.

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