period: Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots
Mary, Queen of Scots
The Golden Age
La derniè̀re nuit
Mary, Queen of Scots
Elizabeth R

Period makeups: the wives of King Henry VIII

Henry VIII (1491–1547) was King of England and Lord of Ireland, later King of Ireland, from 1509 until his death. He is famous for having been married six times, and almost by accident founding the Church of England. He wielded perhaps the most unfettered power of any English monarch, and brought about the dissolution of the Monasteries and the union of England and Wales.

The mnemonic about his wives that I was taught at school went: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. It’s not exactly accurate as technically they were annulments not divorces (and he had the marriages to both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard annulled as well before they were executed). Anyway, a case can be made that Henry actually only had two wives (or four), depending on how you count annulments – and whether you start off from the standpoint of Archbishop Cranmer or the Pope. Whatever, I’ll stick with six.

Besides his wives Henry had a number of mistresses, including Elizabeth Blount and Mary Boleyn (Anne’s sister).