I’m doing some projects on the six wives and i was wondering if there was really any signifigance to why Henry VIII married Katherine Parr. I mean he was an old man by then, so what was it about her that made him want to marry her?
Henry VIII needed to marry again after Catherine Howard because he needed to secure the succession, the Tudor line. He had one son, Edward, but he did not have a "spare", a second son, and in Tudor times, when many children died in childhood, it was risky for a king to have just one son. Men are fertile for much longer than women and Henry may have still been capable of having children, although he was probably suffering with impotence. It was his duty to marry and try for an heir.
As far as why Catherine? After Catherine Howard had cheated on him and lied about her virginity (or lack of it!), Henry passed a law making it treason for a woman who was not a virgin to marry the King. This rather narrowed his choices and obviously would put women off marrying him, but, as author and historian Elizabeth Norton points out, the sixth wife could be a widow, a woman who would not be expected to be a virgin, a woman who had lawfully given up her virginity to another man and so Catherine Parr, who had been widowed twice, was the perfect choice. She was also from a good family, she was not young and inexperienced, she was a lady and was used to court life, she was friends with Henry's daughter, Mary, and she also had experience as a stepmother. I also wonder if the fact that Thomas Seymour fancied her made her more attractive to Henry, he could exercise his power, remove Thomas and take Catherine as his wife. However, she had not had any children with her first two husbands so I wonder if Henry was ever concerned about her ability to have children.