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Henry VIII Marries Anne of Cleves

Posted By on January 6, 2010

Anne of Cleves by Hans Holbein the Younger

Anne of Cleves by Hans Holbein the Younger

Thanks to Barb Alexander for reminding me about this Tudor event. Yes, on this day in 1540, in  Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves, the woman that history calls “The Flanders Mare” although I don’t think that those words can be attributed to Henry VIII. I can just see the headlines, “Henry Marries Horse!”!

“The Flanders Mare” title does not do the fourth wife of Henry VIII any justice and she does not deserve to be thought of in this way or discounted as Henry VIII’s unimportant wife, the one he couldn’t even bed. So, who was Anne of Cleves and what was she like?

Anne of Cleves

Here are a few Anne of Cleves facts that I have taken from David Loades’ wonderful book “The Six Wives of Henry VIII”:-

  • Anne of Cleves was born in 1515 (22nd September) and so was 25 when Henry VIII married her.
  • Anne was the sister of William, Duke of Cleves.
  • Loades writes that “Anne had received no education worthy of the name, being mainly trained in modesty of thought and expression.” Her only talent was needlework.
  • At the time of her marriage, Anne could only read and speak “Low German”.
  • When Henry sent envoys to Cleves, Anne was wrapped up for modesty and the envoys could not see much of her face or body.
Anne of Cleves by Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder

Anne of Cleves by Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder

  • Henry VIII did indeed surprise his future bride by meeting her in disguise a few days after she arrived in England. Loades points out that Anne may well have believed that she was about to be abducted by this group of cloaked men and it is no wonder that she did not faint with love and passion into the King’s arms. It was after seeing her reaction and then meeting her “properly” a few minutes later that Henry VIII said his famous words: “I like her not”.
  • Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves on 6th January 1540 in the Queen’s Closet at Greenwich.
  • Of the wedding night, David Loades writes: “The wedding night was a fiasco. Anne was not merely a virgin, she had a kind of total innocence which might have baffled a much more ardent lover.” An already disappointed King did not have the patience to deal with such a clueless bride.
  • Henry VIII blamed his failure to consummate the marriage on Anne’s ugliness and said “I liked her not well before, but now I like her much worse.”
  • Anne of Cleves was never crowned Queen.
  • On the 10th of June 1540, Thomas Cromwell was arrested and condemned by act of attainder. His fall was partly due to his failure to provide the King with an annulment. Cromwell was executed on the 28th July 1540, the same day that Henry VIII married Catherine Howard, his new love.
  • On the 24th June 1540, Anne was sent away from court to Richmond and on the 25th was informed by Henry’s commissioners that her marriage to the King was invalid.
  • Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne of Cleves was annulled on the grounds of it being unconsummated and also because of a pre-contract from 1527 between Anne and a son of the Duke of Lorraine.
  • Anne agreed to the annulment of the marriage and was rewarded with lands worth around £3ooo a year. She lived mainly at Hever Castle, the old Boleyn family home. She was named “The King’s Beloved Sister” and took precedence over all other women apart from Henry’s wife and daughters.
  • Anne of Cleves became friends with Henry VIII’s daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, and she attended Mary I’s coronation with Elizabeth.
  • When Henry VIII married Catherine Parr in 1543, Anne of Cleves was furious as she had assumed that, after Catherine Howard’s fall, she would be reinstated as Queen.
  • Anne of Cleves died on 16th July 1557 at Chelsea Manor aged 42 after suffering from a long illness. She was buried on the 4th August at Westminster Abbey.
  • Anne of Cleves was the last of Henry VIII’s wives to die.
  • In August 1541 it was rumoured that Henry VIII was going to put aside Catherine Howard and remarry Anne of Cleves because he had been enjoying her company.
  • Kelly Hart in “The Mistresses of Henry VIII” writes of how Chapuys wrote in December 1541 that Anne “was known to have gone away in the family way from the King, and had actually been confined this summer.” This appears to be just rumour and gossip.
    • Rumours surrounding Anne of Cleves

      To find out more about Anne of Cleves, you can watch the video above and also read “Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Discarded Bride”by Elizabeth Norton.

      P.S. You can read Barb’s post on Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves over at The Tudor Tutor.

    52 thoughts on “Henry VIII Marries Anne of Cleves”

    1. Jill says:

      There may have been little chemistry to say the least between Henry and Anne but the woman had to have been street wise understanding that if she were to contest the annulment regardless of consummation it would have meant her life and war between two countries. She certainly knew the politics of court of the time rather than to go against the King. Henry VIII certainly knew how to take care of the women who knew how to make a good bargain. These women were a lot more intelligent than history has given credit for.

    2. Cynthia says:

      In this picture, she looks a bit like Jane Seymour to me. Anyone else?

    3. Lauren says:

      Yes, I do think she looks a little like Jane,actually, but not a lot. I like Anne of Cleves, I find her very interesting and would love know more about her childhood and family. Can anyone recommend anything? xx

    4. Eliza says:

      Great information! Anne of Cleves is indeed the least mentioned wife out of the 6. It’s really interesting to learn about other wives, except for our beloved Anne!

      Yes, Cynthia, she kind of looks like Jane Seymour! I have noticed that, too!

    5. Nancy says:

      “Henry Marries Horse!”– sounds hilarious but her treatment was rather sad.
      Are there any books that focus on her life before & after Henry?
      I have read a little on her life from the books that explore his six wives. Are there any recommendations?

      Thanks =)

    6. Kate says:

      I have a hard time believing that Anne was really furious when she wasn’t reinstated. After all, Henry had divorced her and another wife, beheaded another two, and killed off another in pursuit of a male heir.

      If it were me, I’d have been thanking my lucky stars and maybe hob-knobbing with plague and small pox victims so that I’d have an additional reason to stay away from the man!

    7. Claire says:

      Thanks for the comments! The only book I know of about Anne of Cleves is the one I’ve mentioned in the post and that is the Elizabeth Norton one. I haven’t yet read it but I have enjoyed Elizabeth’s other books so I’m sure that it would be a good read.

    8. Claire says:

      Hi Kate,
      I think that Henry became very good friends with Anne after the annulment and it was this friendship which caused the rumours of a relationship and possible remarriage. Perhaps Anne fell for Henry, who knows? But I agree with you, I’d just be thankful for surviving the marriage and having a lovely house like Hever Castle!

    9. Carla says:

      I have wondered what would have happened if Anne had recognized Henry when he surprised her. Would he have felt differently if she had then fell into his arms? Henry might have thought himself in love with her. But then Anne might have met the same fate as our Anne did.

    10. Great info, Claire! The gentleman in the video is so interesting, as well; wonderful pick.

    11. Carrie says:

      Oh Anne of Cleves:) She is one of my favorite of Henry’s wives. She was the luckiest and one of the wisest, I think. She didn’t have to sleep with Henry AND after their marriage was annulled, she received a “settlement.” She was very wise to not fight Henry about the annulment-perhaps she learned from the other Anne’s fate. I wish there were more books about her.

      1. Susan says:

        Lucky lady, not having to sleep with Henry. I understand that by the time this marriage was accomplished, Henry was fat, ill, and a bit (or a lot?) stinky with the open ulcerations on his legs, let alone having a mercurial emotions and a quick and vicious temper. The story was you could smell him several doors away before you even saw him.

        Yep, sounds like someone I would want to marry. Yah right.

        Anne was smart to have not consumated the marriage, and in doing so keeping her head and being given a lovely house, and by being gracious to Henry’s discarded daughters, found herself as a recipient of their affection.

        Sometimes marriage ain’t all it’s cracked up to be!

    12. lisaannejane says:

      I think that Anne made the best of a bad situation. At least she got to keep her head and had an income to live on. As Henry got older, I doubt his temper improved so in the long run, remaining the “king’s sister” was probably a good idea! I think Joss Stone did a great job of portraying her on “The Tudors’.

    13. Brittney says:

      It never ceases to amaze me that out of the six wives of Henry VIII it is Anne Boleyn that is the most remembered, debated over, and loved.

    14. Janette Parlett says:

      Anne of Cleves was purported to have had ‘buck teeth’, a ‘pock marked face’ be ungainly and not able to speak a word of English, and when Henry addressed her all she did was continually giggle with her women. What saved her, was who she was (like Katherine was a true princess) Anne was a Duke’s sister, had she been another commoner, he may have disposed of her in a worse manner. But having said that, she was a very innocent person with no fault, what else could Henry do, but not consummate the marriage, that way, was his only way out of the marriage without causing too much distress to Anne, her brother and their country. She did however prove to be – maybe – the only one of his wives to be truly genuine, a loving, lovely, gentle, caring person, who would have made an excellent step mother to Henry’s children. She picked up English fairly quickly too, also proving that she was intelligent and had the ability to learn had she be taught earlier on in her childhood.

      1. Susan says:

        I’d rather be born with buck teeth and a pock-marked face that marry that crazy King!

        1. masquerade says:

          Too right!

          1. Banditqueen says:

            Anne of Cleves didn’t have buck teeth or anything else wrong with her and nowhere is it said that she did in contemporary descriptions of her. Henry invented a story about her being smelly, but that was him. He didn’t call her a horse and he didn’t call her a Flanders Mare or pocky faced.

            Actually, Anne was very upset about the failure of her marriage and Henry was very generous to her because she agreed to an annulment which showed how smart she was. She was probably smarter than all of his other wives but that doesn’t mean that she was happy not to be married and Queen of England. She was upset when Henry remarried after his execution of Katherine Howard and regarded herself as his real wife. She lived well and was very wealthy and is buried in Westminster Abbey but she wanted to be Queen and would actually have made him a good match.

    15. Rachel says:

      I never believed that Anne was ugly. Henry never punished Holbien or the envoys for “misleading” him about Anne of Cleves. Only Cromwell truly suffered, but I believe that is because Henry hated being “handled” by him. Karen Lindsey offers the theory that when Anne met Henry, she was repulsed by his girth and features. Henry was humiliated by her reaction and sort of transfered his anger to her regarding her looks. I am glad that you agree Anne was not hideous as well.

    16. Carolyn says:

      I agree that Anne of Cleves gets a bad rap. People assume that her extreme sexual naïveté meant she must be unintelligent. I think she must have been intelligent – she managed to get out of her marriage with Henry alive and with a generous settlement, despite being a stranger in a strange land. Also, her letter accepting the annulment was written in English only six months after she arrived in England not knowing the language, so she was quick to pick up a new language as an adult. (I know how hard that is!)

      Brittney, I’m not sure why you would come to a site about Anne Boleyn and take a swipe at her. I think most people here find Anne fascinating due to her extended courtship with Henry, the controversy regarding his first marriage (including his break with Rome), her fiery personality and intelligence, her rapid fall from grace and execution, and the fact that she was the mother of Elizabeth I, one of the greatest monarchs England has known. There’s plenty to remember, debate, and love about her.

    17. Andrea says:

      Janette: I don’t think he would have done it any differently if she hadn’t been a princess. She was very smart and knew she shouldn’t fight him, and there was no need to execute her or do her any harm, since she wasn’t like KoA or AB, both of whom had just as many suppporters as they had enemies around court. She wasn’t a threat and she’d probablly agreed to the annulment either way. Anyway, that’s simply my opinion. Who knows what Henry’s crazy mind could do.

      Great post, Claire. It must have so scary for her to arrive all alone to a new, unknown country and be “surprised” the way she was! I believe she was a very brave and intelligent young woman who didn’t deserve to be remembered the way she is. Just a little detail, I thought that her marriage to H8 was annulled in 1540 -the same year they got married-, not 1541. Same for the date of KH’s wedding.

      Thanks for the wonderful post, and sorry for the rant.

    18. Cindy says:

      Anne of Cleves was the only one of Henry’s wives to live “happily ever after” (without him, of course). She was given her own home, an allowance and she was able to see his children whenever she wanted. Plus, she was even invited to spend the holidays with Henry and his family. For a woman in Tudor times, she had a remarkable degree in independence and just about everything you could want (except for a good husband). Being “the king’s sister” was definitely better than being the queen, considering how Henry treated his wives. How ironic that she ended up living happily in Anne Boleyn’s childhood home. Anne of Cleves survived, just like Hever Castle. The home of two of Henry’s wives still stands, while some of his palaces are long gone.

    19. Francesca says:

      The video is very interesting but I must disagree with the premise that Henry divorced Ann on purely political grounds.The precontract was wel l known to the English negotiaters at the time the marriage was arranged. It was also only one of the grounds for the divorce, the other was the non consummation of the marriage. This stemmed directly from Henry’s stated aversion to Anne of Cleves. The day after the wedding when asked “How liked you the Queen?”the answer was “I liked her beofre not well but now I like her much worse.” As Antonia Fraser observes: “Naturally he was quick to blame the lady rather than himself.”

      And being Henry he decided she had to go….it was purely personal – nothing to do with politics. The precontract was wheeled out as a handy excuse but there is no doubt as to the real reason for the divorce.

      However it is hard to disagree that Anne came out with the best deal any of the wives managed. Imagine if Katharine of Aragon had been so pragmatic…….

      1. Susan says:

        It’s interesting that most historical information, either documented or otherwise, speaks of Henry’s aversion to Anne of Cleves based on her appearance. At the time Henry was cursed with aversion toward her, it was more likely she found him as distasteful, if not more. Henry’s condition was not pretty by that time – overweight, diabetic with terrible ulcerations and infections of his legs that left him in a state that would challenge even the most tolerant of young ladies. So the question might be, who was more likely to be offended by the appearance of the other?

    20. Claire says:

      Hi Carolyn,
      Yes, being a Brit and living in Spain I know exactly how hard it is to learn a language so Anne of Cleves was far from being “thick”. I don’t read Brittney’s comment as a swipe at Anne, I think she is just saying that it is amazing that we are still discussing Anne and debating her today and that it is Anne, out of all these 6 fascinating women, who captivates us and manages to make us so passionate about her and her story. I think Brittney is an Anne fan too. I love Anne and Elizabeth, so much to debate, so much to admire and so much mystery. Addictive stuff!

    21. Claire says:

      Sorry, Andrea, that was a typo, I had it down right on my notes and then got 1541 in my head. I’ve corrected it now.

    22. Carolyn says:

      I apologize if I took your comment in the wrong spirit, Brittney. I’m used to having to spring to Anne’s defense. Thankfully, that’s not often needed here, and I am sorry.

    23. Claire says:

      Carolyn, I’m always carrying my soap box round with me so I can quickly get on it and lecture people!!! Seriously, it’s great that we are so ready to defend Anne, I’m sure she’d be very proud of us and very overwhelmed by our passion. I think we’re all a friendly bunch here and even when we’re correcting each other or debating we always seem to do it in the right spirit and you are always polite and caring, so don’t worry.

    24. Jenny says:

      Although it is a novel, Philippa gregory’s treatment of Anne of Cleeves, in my opinion, is wonderful.
      Somewhere I do have some books (I think one is by Alison Weir) about the 6 wives of H8.

      However, he did leave it sometime (well for him) after Jane Seymour’s death before looking for another wife. Anne of Cleves was just one of a bunch but a favourite with Cromwell as she came from pure Lutheran Stock which it seems where Cromwell was heading.

      The official Holbein Portrait shows quite an attractive woman but as said, he could hve painted her through an artist’s eyes and definitely not through those of a lecher such as H8.

      And, Anne’s education would have been very little. Dancing, etc. was frowned upon in Lutheran countries, women were not held in any esteem and knowledge of the bible was the only prerequisite. As far s dress was concerned, it would have been the full cover-up and nothing of the fashions of France or England.

      From her brother’s point of view, she would have been consideed a “future brood mare” and nothing else because women didn’t count. Whether thta goes on in the 21st century I cannot say but I do personally know of cases of young women in the 1960s in the north of Wales having to spend Sundays just reading the bible and food was prepared the night before so work would not be done on the sabbath.

      According to Philippa Gregory, Anne’s father was very close to her as a child but then went mad. She was not treated well by her brother and any chance to get the hell out of Cleeves, even if to marry a man who had hounded one wife to the grave (K of A) and beheaded another, that was better than staying where she was.

      Whatever the circumstances, Henry didn’t want her (posibly because of her clothing – possibly because of her hygiene). It sems that she was in no way prepared for the behaviour of an English Court.

      However, it seems there were things she did begin to like. It is like when children are forbidden to do things, a lot will just to find out nd Anne seems a little like that. I do agree with Carolyn though that she must have had her wits about her to be able to pick up English so quickly, assimilate that she had to go, but being a Princess of the Royal Blood, wouldn’t get the chop.

      She seemed to enoy the freedom of living in England without a husband and with the money and estates willed on her. I have to say that my personality lightened a lot when I moved from England to Spain. I would love to learn more about her.

      So far from what I can see the two weak links in H 8’s marriages were Jane Seymour (and it would have been very weak if she hadn’t produced a son) and Katherine Howard – but I am open to suggestions and challenges on this one

    25. Carolyn says:

      “She seemed to enjoy the freedom of living in England without a husband and with the money and estates willed on her.”

      I think she did, too. I’ve read that she developed a fondness for English ale and gambling. Antonia Fraser describes her life after Henry as one of “endearing hedonism”.

    26. Sheena says:

      I too have read somewhere that she did indeed like card playing, and perhaps it is from there that she was able to learn some of her English language. When I was little, I lived in Japan, and it was through playing games that I learned a lot of the language and was able to interact with the other children in the neighborhood.

      Anne of Cleves is a very interesting character- despite the fact that her brother was a strict Lutheran, Anne was brought up as a Catholic. She converted to Anglican upon her marriage to H8 (which was expected) and then converted back to her Roman Catholic roots upon the coronation of Mary I- in fact, Anne of Cleves was present at Mary’s coronation.

      I believe that she annulment of the marriage was more of a personal vice political move, because when Anne was 12 (1527) she was betrothed to Francis, son and heir of the Duke of Lorraine while he was only 10. The betrothal was considered ‘unofficial’ due to their young ages, and was canceled in 1535. Using the pre-contract excuse just seemed like something that was drummed up for H8’s lawyers/ advisers to sound legitimate so that he didn’t look like a fool. I find it interesting that Anne of Cleves is distantly related to Charlemagne thru Baldwin IV, Count of Flanders, considering that she has gone down in history being known as a “Flanders Mare.” I don’t know if anyone has seen any paintings of her sister Ameila, but I have seen one of her elder sister Sybille, and it would appear that all the sisters were quite pretty…

      Despite being remembered in history as “the Ugly wife of H8,” I too believe that Anne made out better than any of the other 6 wives- she got Richmond Palace AND Hever Castle (former Boleyn estates), a household, money, favor, and Anne of Cleves House in Sussex. Better than losing one’s head, I say! =)

    27. Claire says:

      Thanks for all the wonderful comments!

      I’ve also read that Anne of Cleves was pockmarked and ungainly but I can’t see Holbein risking the wrath of his royal patron by “airbrushing” Anne of Cleves too much. He may well have accentuated her good points but I’m sure his painting was probably an ok likeness. News of Anne’s “ugliness” did not seem to spread after people met her. Lady Lisle heard from her husband that Anne was pleasant and would make a good mistress for their daughter who was going to be one of the Queen’s ladies.

      My own personal opinion is that Henry was humiliated when Anne of Cleves did not recognise him or swoon into his arms. He was so used to people massaging his ego and I’m sure Anne’s disgust showed on her face and he suddenly felt unattractive and unwanted. This coupled with his on and off impotence problems and his fear and feelings of inadequacy led to him blaming her for everything.

      I’ve just read something in Loades’ six wives book. In it he says that after Henry’s death, Anne tried to get the annulment set aside so that she could be joint queen dowager with Catherine Parr. Edward VI’s council refused her request. He also writes of how she wanted to return to her homeland at one point but again was refused this and she didn’t fight. She then concentrated on “turning her house into a miniature Rhenish court”. Interesting!

    28. Jenny says:

      Hi Sheena,

      Wow!!!! For me to learn even nother Eurpean language lways had difficulties but to learn something such as Japanese must give you an incredible insight into life-styles.

      I always understood that Anne of C was bought up a Lutheran but converted to Cathloism after H8 died but again I stand to be corrected.

      I have read she was a neat card player, and when it was a question of losing a head or gaining the cash and the estates she obviously knew how to throw the dice.

      Strange that H8’s wives also come into another poem.
      K
      A
      J
      A
      K
      K
      All rhyme but “J” is the odd one out in the letter scale even though she officially deiivered the goods.

      I think that Anne Boleyn might have had a sneaky admiration for Anne of C (from the grave of course) and a great pity that Anne of C was not around to help Anne Bolyen during her troubles because from what is being said, she might have helped to keep Anne Bolyen’s head on. Anne of C did not want to be Queen in my opinion – she just wanted out of Cleeves.

    29. Belle says:

      After Anne Boleyn and Katherine Parr, Anne of Cleves is my favourite of Henry’s wives, even though not much is known about her – and a lot of that is rumour. I think Henry just wasn’t in love with her, just didn’t plain out didn’t fancy her and I think that it was important for him to be in love with the woman he married – even if that love could just as easily turn to hate. Has anyone read the Elizabeth Norton book on Anne of Cleves? I’ve just ordered it and would be interested in people’s opinions.

    30. Miriam says:

      I read somewhere that Holbein had fallen in love with Anne which is why her portrait was so well done… who knows…

    31. Sheena says:

      Jenny- yes, living in Japan and living in Asia for most of my life was interesting, but I would have given anything to live in Europe. The closest we ever got was Iceland, and I longed to go to England and the continent so bad! Now that we have moved to the east Coast of the United States, my husband has promised me a trip to Europe. I heart is hoping that there is going to be a Anne Boleyn experience in 2011! =)

    32. Miss Moppet says:

      I also loved the portrayal of Anne of Cleves in The Boleyn Inheritance. It made a refreshing change from the usual stereotypes!

    33. Katie says:

      Hi Claire! I think you’ve done a fantastic job with the site and I wish I’d discovered it sooner! Your research and all the comments left by everyone have been extremely useful in a project I’ve recently been doing on Anne Boleyn, so thank you all!
      I agree with Miss Moppet, I loved Philippa Gregory’s take on Anne. Anne of Cleves is perhaps the wife I most admire, after K of A, most probably because she was the one who brought Henry to the ground and reminded him that he wasn’t the stud he had once been! Their first meeting, I believe secured Anne’s future, and I think her lack of life experience saved her.
      I think Anne, thanks to her innocent ignorance, forced Henry to do a bit of self-reflecting. The disguise he wore when he met her was like the mask he wore in his life – Henry was putting petals on a withering plant. He had to come to terms with the fact he was no longer the young dashing prince who could turn on the charm and have whatever he wished.

    34. Pom says:

      I just want to say that it’s wonderful to run into a site where so many of my thoughts and feelings about these women are echoed so heartily! I’ll have great fun browsing articles and information and I’m sure I’ll continue enjoying the thoughtful comments made by so many.

      Thank you!

    35. Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
      I would like to, kindly, advise you, that my Dear Ancestry Grandmother the German Princess and English Queen Anne of Cleves, with my Ancestry Grandfather the English Monarch King Henry VIII have had together two Royal Children.
      Their first-born Royal Child – their little Princess, was born, in Sept/October 1540, which, then, became, my next Ancestry Grandmother, (so that the “not consummation of their marriage” is absolute nonsense, please, see the proves of the consummation of their marriage, for example: http://englishhistory.net/tudor/pricleve.html  – “amusing themselves in another chamber”- absolutely alone, for 24 hours, in one go…!)
      and their second Royal Child was the “Faire Boye”, born, in January 1542, (Please, see the witnessing Document, about his birth :
      http://books.google.com.au/books?id=hf0TAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA97-IA1&q=Anne+of+cleves+Agnes+STRICKLAND,+%22+Lives+of+the+Queens+of+England#PPA85,M1  see PAGE 83)
      when this truth, about these their concealed Absolute Legitimate Royal Children, have been exposed, by the servants, which loved their English Queen Anne of Cleves, very much, and wanted her, to live, also, officially, with her Royal Husband, and not just secretly.
      But however, at this moment, when this have been exposed – revealed, our Dear Ancestry Grandmother the English Queen Ann of Cleves, according which, all CLEVER Beings, in this world, have been named, have immediately, lost both, of her Royal Children, at ones, as they had to be, immediately, sent, secretly, into Exile, on to the Slovak Territory, of the Kingdom of Hungary, where they, then, had to live, without Mother and Father, in poverty and need and in discriminations, and where all their Royal Descendants lives, this way, even, until today!

      Dear Friends,
      I would like to ask you, very much, please, be so kind, and do not say, anymore, about our Dear Ancestry Grandmother the German Princess and English Queen Anne of Cleves, such slanderous, disgracing her, (and also us, – all her Royal Descendants,) totally untrue things. She is my Maternal Strait Line Ancestry Grandmother, and she was the most beautiful and the most decent, merciful and kind, and the most humble Queen, England and even, this entire World ever had!
      And this, I know absolutely exactly!
      Because, exactly the same human character and beautiful look, have and had, also, all her Royal Descendants, – also my dear Mom, my dear Grandmother, and all the Ladies and Girls, in our Family, which were, and are the Royal Descendants from this Genuine English Royal Family!
      Please, be so kind, and just, read very carefully, and cautiously, everything about her, and do not believe any illogical statements, about her.
      Please, just, Open your Eyes and see, that she was a very beautiful Lady.
      Holbein did not lie, he was a GENUINE ARTIST!
      And nothing was “flattered”, nothing was “old fashion”, she, just, have done something, which no one, in this world ever did, which caused, then, just, quite logically, also this “strange/loving” behavior of my Ancestry Grandfather the King Henry VIII, towards her.
      But all this illogical, disgracing her, slanderous GOSSIP, against her, putting her down, were just made up, by her enemies, wanting to get, instead of her, and instead of her ABSOLUTELY LEGITIMATE English Royal Children and instead of their Royal Descendants, on to my Ancestry Grandfather’s the English Monarch’s King Henry VIII’s English Royal Throne!
      But our Grandfather the King Henry VIII loved her very, very much!!!
      Just look, what he gave her, and how he treated her, he made her the most richest Lady, in England!
      But on the other hand, he wanted to protecting, her, and also his most Precious Dear and Beautiful Royal Children, as otherwise, no one from us, would be here, today!
      His first three Children, with his previous Wifes, died, without being able, even, having children, is this not strange, enough?
      And the Royal Descendants, from their both Royal Children, even, despite of the poverty discriminations and very hard life, in Exile, they, still, live in Slovakia, even, until today!

      And what their enemies did to me, personally, you can read on: http://www.ludovitbialon.com

      Thank you very much and Best Regards to all!

      Prince of England and Ireland from Tudor-Cleves Ludovit Bialon.

      1. masquerade says:

        Get a life!

    36. Claire says:

      Hi Ludovit,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment and it was a really interesting comment, but I do not think that the marriage between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves was ever consummated and although they became good friends I cannot believe that a highly religious woman like Anne would have slept with Henry after their marriage had been annulled and he was married to Catherine Howard.
      Also, I have never said that Anne was ugly, I think that she was pretty and that Henry was just covering his embarrassment and his sexual problems by saying that he did not like her and that she was ugly. I have never slandered Anne of Cleves or disgraced her name, I think she was an intelligent woman who was lucky enough to escape Henry with her head still on her shoulders.

    37. marybeth says:

      Ludovit-

      You are nuts dude.

    38. I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles. You obviously know what you are talking about! Your site is so easy to navigate too, I’ve bookmarked it in my favourites 😀

    39. Masquerade says:

      Andrea you are right when you say Anne of Cleves was as equally as repulsed by Henry as he was by her. It’s just that when Henry’s envoy’s went to Cleves to see Anne for themselves to report back to Henry, they never actually saw her as her face was covered with a piece of cloth and when Holbein saw her to paint her portrait he made her appear more pleasing than she was under the instruction of Wolsey and also his artist interpretation and impression came into play and what an artist can see is different to what everyone else can see, so can be let off the hook, so to speak. But had Henry have consummated the marriage it most definitely would have been a different kettle of fish! He could not have put her to one side as his sister, there would have been uproar! So I do feel her being who she was did play a big part in her freedom. Janette

    40. Masquerade says:

      Jenny, nice thought, but unfortunately no one could have kept Anne Boleyns head on! Anne of Cleves was a princess and the marriage was not consummated, Anne Boleyn was not, and she had sired a child with Henry. Anne would not have faded into the background and neither should she have, she had given birth to the future Queen of England, whom she had to protect and make sure that she/Elizabeth was not made illegitimate at some future point in time and that in time she would be Queen. Henry could not have said a second time, “my marriage is not legal “, he’d already pulled that stunt with Katherine. It was such a terrible state of affairs…

    41. Rian says:

      I am new to the whole Tuder obsession and mostly because i only discovered the Showtime show The Tudors only recently. From what i can gather about Henry the VIII and Anne of Cleves is that these two people were pushed into a marriage. It was purely political and obviously Henry was a very stressed man seeing as his 3rd wife had recently died and he was definitely having some health problems. Either way, at this time neither of them felt romantic. Anne was just too innocent and it was clearly obvious that Henry was having some other *ahem* issues. Also from the portrait that was showed in the above video, it was pretty clear that Anne of Cleves was very pretty indeed compared to the other Queens. I also believe that maybe there was something more to their friendship after the annulment when everything was a little less stressful and when Anne began to loosen up a bit.

    42. Manja Winston says:

      Yes I agree Marybeth. Nut job alert! Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when if flys in the face of historical fact?!?! If Anne had had a child I’m sure it would have been known, she was extremely naive and devoutly religious so I doubt a child was ever born. I’m sure she was still spied on too, ANY hint of a child would have been known to those who where anxious to rid her of her status, title, money and land.
      Brilliant site. So glad I found it.
      It was fun to read the comment by the apparent heir though, I am tempted to look at the links to see what ‘facts’ are there!
      Best wishes to all at this time of year

    43. Baroness Von Reis says:

      Claire ,I don’t think anyone make your say anything to disgrace The Kind Queen Anne of Cleves,nor insult her familys good name. I new that she was a kind women and loyal to Henry also a gentle agood women to Henrys childern. To say Ludovit we thought of the Kind Queen Anne of Cleves at least I do bless her ,we just wanted to know more about her and donot speak Ill of her. That is why I could’nt understand why the King didnot want to keep her as his wife and Queen. Please take know offence from the A B Fs.

    44. Russell says:

      Anna of Cleves by Mary Saler is an illuminating read as is Norton’s biography of Henry’s 4th Queen. In a feminist re-interpretation of Henry’s Wives by Karen Lindsey, it is proposed that Henry’s rejection of Anna stems from her own revulsion at Henry and the fact that she held up a mirror to him and it was in that moment that he saw himself not as the young stud that he once was but how he was now, bloated, nearing 50 and way past his prime. It was this that led him to reject her and declare her ugly and most male historians have not had a problem with accepting this. Female historians have looked upon Anna with a later clarity and charity. The misogyny and “bad press” that Saler says she has generally suffered has been perpetuated down the centuries due to that moment. Her pragmatism, diplomacy and good nature is overlooked in favour of her status as the “Flanders Mare.” She was never protestant, as many believe and was born, died and raised a Catholic. 🙂

    45. I’ve always thought that even if Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves did have sex, it was in their mutual interest to claim they had not. Both wanted out of the marriage and Anne of Cleves well knew that Henry would go to extreme lengths to get rid a wife. As long as she had not gotten pregnant, it was much easier to go along with a claim of nonconsummation. I’ve always had trouble believing she was as sexually ignorant as some of her remarks made her out to be, but they make perfect sense if she and Henry were already planning to end the marriage and she was laying the groundwork.

      1. Banditqueen says:

        Anne of Cleves didn’t want to end her marriage to Henry Viii. She was shocked when she was told he wanted her to agree to an annulment. She didn’t actually agree at once but tried to find out if she could prevent an annulment. According to David Starkey Anne sent for the contract of marriage to find a way to stop it. It was only when she realised that she couldn’t do anything about it and that if she agreed she would get a generous settlement that she showed her intelligence and smartly agreed. Anne remained in her own mind Henry’s true wife and even hoped he would return to her after the fiasco with Kathryn Howard. Henry was desperate to get out of the marriage before their wedding. It was in both of their interests in the long term to agree that the marriage was not consummated as this allowed for the shortest root out, but it was also very embarrassing and it didn’t do the reputation of either party any good. On the other hand, Anne came out of this with a ton of cash, six posh houses and three palaces and a generous income. She didn’t have any children whose inheritance was put at risk and unlike Katherine of Aragon she hadn’t been married to Henry for twenty four years. Henry and Anne were only married six months. Thus she had less to lose.

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