Let’s throw WAY back this Thursday! One of my favorite historical eras is the Tudor era. You don’t find people much more interesting than Henry VIII. Charismatic and flawed, Henry ruled England from 1509 to 1547.
Most people know Henry was married six times and had an unfortunate quirk for killing some of his wives. And you may also be aware that he created the Church of England and put himself at the head of it after fighting with the Pope. But here are some other fun facts about Henry VIII:
- Henry was never meant to be king. He was the second son of Henry VII and likely would have gone to the church if his older brother Arthur had not passed away when Henry was 10 years old. Of Henry’s six siblings, only he and his two sisters (Margaret and Mary) lived to adulthood.
- Henry’s first marriage was with his brother Arthur’s widow, Katherine of Aragon. Katherine and Arthur were married for 5 months before Arthur’s death – and according to Katherine and her ladies, the marriage was never consummated. Katherine’s mother Isabella of Castille and Henry VII were still very interested in uniting their two countries in marriage and signed a treaty betrothing Henry and Katherine about a year after Arthur’s death – when Henry was only 11 years old! The road to the marriage was rocky and Henry didn’t actually agree to it until after his father’s death. Henry and Katherine were eventually married in 1509 shortly after Henry’s coronation at age 17.
- Henry didn’t just behead wives. He started his reign by executing two of his father’s ministers and Wikipedia lists 92 people he ordered executed!
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