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Anne of Cleves

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Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves was the 4th wife of King Henry VIII and Queen Consort of England. She is the only queen to have survived her reign and remained in the King's favor.






Full Name Anne of Cleves
Who Queen of England
Birth Date September 22, 1515
Death Date July 17, 1557
Country Germany
Born Dusseldorf, Germany
Died London, England, UK
Cause of Death cancer
Education -
Father John III, Duke of Cleves
Mother Maria of Julich-Berg
Spouse King Henry VIII
Children none
Siblings

Sibylle of Cleves

Amalia of Cleves

Connections

Through her sister's marriage, Anne was the sister-in-law of John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony.

In 1527, Anne became engaged to the son of Antoine, Duke of Lorraine, but as she was only 11 and the prospective groom only 10, the betrothal was not considered official and was later called off.

In 1539, Thomas Cromwell scrutinised the political bonuses that would come of a possible match between King Henry VIII and Anne, and, after finding her a suitable bride, strongly advised the king to marry her.

While considering Anne as a future bride in 1539, Henry VIII sent out Hans Holbein the Younger to paint Anne's portrait, commanding him to be as accurate as possible and not to flatter her.

On New Year's Day of 1540, Henry and Anne met for the first time in Rochester, when the king entered her chambers unnanounced with a few of his courtiers, "disguised," and brazenly kissed her. Anne, who was unaware of who he was, did not appreciate this gesture, even after Henry revealed his identity. Their stony first meeting immediately put Henry off the approaching marriage. He pressed Cromwell to find a way out of the wedding, but as their alliance with Germany now rested on the couple's union, no escape was found. They were married a month later in London by Thomas Cranmer. On the wedding night, Henry and Anne apparently once again failed to find seductive qualities in each other, and Henry vocally reported the union still unconsummated, saying "I liked her before not well, but now I like her much worse." Anne, however, did not seem to have many complaints about the lack of bedroom activities with her husband, telling Eleanor Manners, Countess of Rutland, that he sweetly held her hand and kissed her cheek each night. Tension between the pair heightened, though mainly on Henry's side, over the following months, and Anne was asked to leave court in June, only four months into her marriage. In July, she was notified that Henry had plans to end their marriage, though this would have already been blatantly obvious. A few days after recieving this information, Anne and Henry's marriage was officially annulled. Though many feared for Anne's life - and rightly so - Henry bafflingly remained amicable and deeply respectful of Anne, giving her a generous settlement, Richmond Palace, and Hever Castle, the former home of Anne Boleyn. She was formally referred to as the king's "beloved sister," was regularly present at court, and was granted by Henry status over all other women in England save for his own wife and daughters.

Only a few days after divorcing her, Henry married Catherine Howard, who had formerly been a lady-in-waiting to Anne. However, Anne expressed no ill feelings toward the younger girl.

Anne did not get along so well with Henry's sixth wife, Catherine Parr, and disapproved of the marriage. Originally, Anne had requested that Henry re-marry her after his execution of Catherine Howard, but the king adamantly refused without even pretending to give the matter thought.

Anne was a friend of her former step-daughter Mary I, and the two corresponded in letters excitedly about Mary's engagement to Philip of Spain. On Mary's voyage from St. James' Palace to Whitehall, Mary's personal traveling companions included only Elizabeth and Anne, and Anne was also an honored guest at Mary's coronation. Unfortunately, their friendship fell apart due to Anne's friendliness toward Elizabeth, making Mary suspicious of her loyalties.


How Added - Through her husband Henry VIII.

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