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What was Henry's real problem with Anne of Cleves?
April 11, 2015
10:30 pm
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Alexandria
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At the time of the marriage to Anne of Cleves Henry complained that princes were not free to choose their own wives, but had to take what was brought to them by others. But in fact Henry was a most untypical prince of his era in making most of his marriages for love and of his own choice. Anne of Cleves was his only purely diplomatic marriage (KoA he could after all have refused, his father made him deny his betrothal to her and he could have stuck to that, but he wanted her). In all others he chose for himself, for love, or perhaps for sex. In dynastic terms he chose quite badly, since he needed three marriages to produce the necessary heir, and he never did get the much desired “spare”.
Anne of Cleves is the only diplomatic marriage, and by this time Henry seems to have been unable to cast aside his expectation of feeling sexual love for his partner before marriage. She was in fact a healthy specimen of womanhood (she lived a long life by contemporary standards), personally she seems to have been intelligent, honourable and straightforward, not unattractive apparently in the eyes of others, and completely unrelated to him. The likelihood of her bearing healthy children to him would have been as high as he could expect anywhere.
So what was his problem? I wonder… several things occur to me, discounting all that stuff about her clothes and her smell – he could after all have got her ladies to sort those out. He could not share his intellectual interests with her as he could with Anne Boleyn or Katherine Parr, not least because of the language barrier, but she would have learned. She was of course a foreign Princess – not as powerful in her overseas contacts as KoA of course, but still she had an independent power base, she was not his subject in the complete sense, and he may have subconsciously disliked a woman who was not completely in his power. But, was his sexual failure with her perhaps simply because she was called Anne? Did another Anne come between them in his mind?

April 12, 2015
1:02 am
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Anyanka
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I think Hery had built up a fantasy “Anne” who ws the embodiment of the kind of European under-educated princess unlike KoA and his own sisters. Henry would teach her and lead her, mould her to his own ideal of feminity.Holbien’s picture added to this image that Henry desired.

Unfortunatly when Henry went to surprise Anne at Rochford, Anne didn’t recognise him..but unlike KoA “not recognising” her golden king…Anne was shocked by a strange elderly man forcing his way into her chamber and by the time Henry returnd as ing it was too lte.

Anne didn’t see the golden prince that Henry wanted to be..she saw an old man and shattered henry’s self-delusions. Hnry would find tht hard to get over, let alone live with the person who was shockd into honesty about him and his charms.

It's always bunnies.

April 12, 2015
11:20 am
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Hannele
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Anyanka said Unfortunatly when Henry went to surprise Anne at Rochford, Anne didn’t recognise him..but unlike KoA “not recognising” her golden king…Anne was shocked by a strange elderly man forcing his way into her chamber and by the time Henry returnd as ing it was too lte.

Anne didn’t see the golden prince that Henry wanted to be..she saw an old man and shattered henry’s self-delusions. Hnry would find tht hard to get over, let alone live with the person who was shockd into honesty about him and his charms.

Karen Lindsay and Kyra Kornelius Kramer agree in their books Divorced, beheaded,survives and Blood will tell.

Also I think that it explains Henry’s violent reaction much better than disappointment in his bride’s appearance. Even if it was the latter, any other king would have thought that it was of little consequence as, besides that he had to do his duty to beget a spare heir, he could always have affairs. And any man capable of empathy would have thought how his bride would feel, in a foreign county and unable to speak its language, forced to marry a stranger – and she could not have affairs!

April 13, 2015
10:56 am
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Boleyn
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Anyanka said

I think Hery had built up a fantasy “Anne” who ws the embodiment of the kind of European under-educated princess unlike KoA and his own sisters. Henry would teach her and lead her, mould her to his own ideal of feminity.Holbien’s picture added to this image that Henry desired.

Unfortunatly when Henry went to surprise Anne at Rochford, Anne didn’t recognise him..but unlike KoA “not recognising” her golden king…Anne was shocked by a strange elderly man forcing his way into her chamber and by the time Henry returnd as ing it was too lte.

Anne didn’t see the golden prince that Henry wanted to be..she saw an old man and shattered henry’s self-delusions. Hnry would find tht hard to get over, let alone live with the person who was shockd into honesty about him and his charms.

It was Rochester Castle that Anne C and Henry had their rather unfortunate meeting. Anyanka.
Stupid Henry and his dress up games really made a complete tit of himself. K.O.A, Anne B and Jane S. and K.P all knew of Henry’s fancy dress games, K.H quickly caught on about them and acted the surprised woman as he expected, which was all good. But Anne.C I think was left very much in the dark when it came to the silly games Henry used to play. I would be interested to know exactly what she was told about Henry? I suspect that judging by her reaction to him at Rochester, she had been given just the spin, about a Golden haired Sod, who was passionately in love with her etc. Really the events of the first 6 months of 1540 are a joke. If only Anne had been given a little more time to prepare, and Henry not been so impetuious things may have been very different. Although I find it very strange, that they became very good freinds after the divorce? I think they would have been very happy together if they had given their marriage a chance.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

April 13, 2015
8:06 pm
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Hannele
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Boleyn said If only Anne had been given a little more time to prepare, and Henry not been so impetuious things may have been very different. Although I find it very strange, that they became very good freinds after the divorce? I think they would have been very happy together if they had given their marriage a chance.

Who could really be happy when married with Henry. Maybe Katherine of Aragon in the beginning of their marriage, but hardly any of his later wives, as it was clear to them that his love would change to hate in the moment they did not do what he wanted. Anne of Cleves was happy to become a free and wealthy woman, independent on any man.

April 13, 2015
9:56 pm
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Boleyn
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Hannele Henry only ever had one true love in his life and that was himself. There was simply no room in his little pipe dream world for anyone else but himself.
As long as things were going his way and people were doing and saying what he wanted he was ok. He totally failed to see that most if not all of his problems were down to him completely.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

April 14, 2015
3:32 am
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Anyanka
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Boleyn said

Anyanka said

I think Hery had built up a fantasy “Anne” who ws the embodiment of the kind of European under-educated princess unlike KoA and his own sisters. Henry would teach her and lead her, mould her to his own ideal of feminity.Holbien’s picture added to this image that Henry desired.

Unfortunatly when Henry went to surprise Anne at Rochford, Anne didn’t recognise him..but unlike KoA “not recognising” her golden king…Anne was shocked by a strange elderly man forcing his way into her chamber and by the time Henry returnd as ing it was too lte.

Anne didn’t see the golden prince that Henry wanted to be..she saw an old man and shattered henry’s self-delusions. Hnry would find tht hard to get over, let alone live with the person who was shockd into honesty about him and his charms.

It was Rochester Castle that Anne C and Henry had their rather unfortunate meeting. Anyanka.

And this is why proof -reading before posting is a good idea!…Epecially when I wrote a long post elsewhere discussing the pros andn cons of a potential US President and realised I had actually typed the name of a Drag Queen via auto-correct instead( RuPaul instad of Rand Paul!!!!)

Stupid Henry and his dress up games really made a complete tit of himself. K.O.A, Anne B and Jane S. and K.P all knew of Henry’s fancy dress games, K.H quickly caught on about them and acted the surprised woman as he expected, which was all good. But Anne.C I think was left very much in the dark when it came to the silly games Henry used to play. I would be interested to know exactly what she was told about Henry? I suspect that judging by her reaction to him at Rochester, she had been given just the spin, about a Golden haired Sod, who was passionately in love with her etc. Really the events of the first 6 months of 1540 are a joke. If only Anne had been given a little more time to prepare, and Henry not been so impetuious things may have been very different. Although I find it very strange, that they became very good freinds after the divorce? I think they would have been very happy together if they had given their marriage a chance.

Ane was certainly more unsophisicated then Henry’s other wives but I think she may have been one of the smartest. she wasn’t naive at all but had a lot of street-smarts..

Had she been more forward and not rejected Henry when he approached her at Rochester, then Henry may have found more favour with Anne than he did. Or being the caprious barstool he was, her forwardness may have turned him offf….

It's always bunnies.

April 14, 2015
7:43 pm
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Sharon
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Anyanka said
Had she been more forward and not rejected Henry when he approached her at Rochester, then Henry may have found more favour with Anne than he did. Or being the caprious barstool he was, her forwardness may have turned him offf….

You never know how Henry would react. I’d go with the latter, Anyanka.
He did not want to marry Anne. The way she smelled, the way she dressed, the way she was built, because she didn’t fall all over him when he was dressed as a slob, are all excuses. I still say he had found a new love and was using any excuse he could think of to get out of that marriage.

April 15, 2015
9:22 am
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Hannele
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Sharon said I still say he had found a new love and was using any excuse he could think of to get out of that marriage.

Any other king would understand that marriage had nothing to do with love and taken Katherine Howard as his mistress as she, although a niece to Duke of Norfolk, was no great catch. Any man of empathy would have put more stress on the feelings of a young bride in a strange country than his own ego.

Instead, Henry had to be in love (or rather imagine he was) in order to marry. On the hand, his self-love was such that he did not understand at all if any woman he wanted did not fall in love with him.

August 31, 2017
5:54 pm
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HollyDolly
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I think your right in many ways. It might have been the fact she didn’t play up to his vanity.And she wasn’t sophisticated like Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and his other wives. Jane Seymour having been a lady in waiting would know and even maybe taken part in masques and balls, events in which the king might dress up in costume and play a part. Maybe the german court didn’t do that. And I have no clue what her education was.Heck, my mother was hungarian and my dad german, and have no idea about my ancestors lives during this time period. I know my dad described them as landholders, petty court officials and military men, so I assume the boys got an education that befitted a family of the untitled nobility, since we can use von in our name, though it seems they rarely did use it. The girls I guess got the usual instructions for a future housewife and mother, but beyond that don’t know. It’s possible they did have some education, like reading writing,etc. Any who entered the convent , depending on the house, might have learned latin and even greek if the convent was known for its learning.

July 1, 2018
11:11 pm
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seymour
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I agree if only Henry had been able to be straightforward with Anne and have approached their marriage as a beginning to their relationship. If only, as many have said, he would have given her time. I have read Henry was very spoiled and his mother was the only one able to curb his attitude had she lived he might have been different. Yes, Henry was playing a game with this young woman who did not know the rules of the game, did not speak the language, was not familiar with the customs but she was prepared to learn and if only Henry had given her time. When their marriage was over and Katherine Howard dead some have said Anne wished Henry would marry her again. I find that a sad thought…in effect she probably felt rejected twice.

Henry was the second son and destined for the church and so his father did not attempt to find a bride for Henry. After Arthur died Henry VII sheltered Henry. His mother was dead and Henry never had to learn first hand how to conduct himself through a diplomatic engagement and marriage. He was probably too young to learn from Arthur how to handle his wedding to Catherine of Aragon. And then Henry VII was dead and he was on his own with no one to stand up to his selfish behavior.

Henry’s problem was his own imagination and selfish attitude. He saw her picture and built her up in his mind. He thought he would play the game of young gallant knight and thought “true love” would allow her to recognize her white knight. When she didn’t, he felt rejected and humiliated and from then on there was nothing that would make Henry give this marriage a chance.

Sadly Anne could have been a great Queen and perhaps the mother of the spare. She became a great friend of Princess Mary and she got along well with both Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr. She was respected and became a friend to Henry. To us looking at it from our 21st lens she was the lucky one!

" ...and, as you can raise me no higher in the world, you are now sending me to be a saint in heaven."

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