What do you think would’ve happened if Catherine of Aragon had lived longer? As if to see (not literally) Anne’s execution? Do you think she would have been happy? Do you think she would’ve expected Henry to return to her? Do you think things would’ve turned out differenly with his other wives, for example, would Jane seymour have become his next wife?

I actually don't think that Anne would have been executed if Catherine had still been alive as I think that Henry would have been forced into admitting that his second marriage was a mistake and forced into returning to Catherine. I think Anne was actually safe while Catherine was still alive, although she saw Catherine as a threat and a hindrance.

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1 thought on “What do you think would’ve happened if Catherine of Aragon had lived longer? As if to see (not literally) Anne’s execution? Do you think she would have been happy? Do you think she would’ve expected Henry to return to her? Do you think things would’ve turned out differenly with his other wives, for example, would Jane seymour have become his next wife?”

  1. THOMAS says:

    Very good insight.

    At the time of Anne’s execution, very little had changed in English society. The monasteries and religious houses were still intact (though being investigated for sufficient income by Cromwell) and the rhythm of daily life for the average English person was unchanged from earlier reigns. Henry was “on the outs” with the Pope, but he wasn’t the first king to be excommunicated: nor was he the last.

    I think it is safe to say that Cromwell’s policies, along with Cramner’s theology, is what pushed England into the reformation; or, more correctly, away from Rome. Those men’s influences were much more lasting in historical terms than Anne’s was. She may have provided the spark, but she wasn’t the explosive.

    Whether Henry would have returned to Katherine of Aragon or “legitimized” Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, is a matter of speculation: one of those fascinating “what if” questions that vex us so.

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