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The "Ugly Wife," Anne Of Cleves

 

In his insane search for male heirs, King Henry VIII of England married six women, the luckiest of whom was Anne of Cleves, even though she didn't feel like it at the time. Although he referred to her as his "ugly wife", among other cruel sentiments, she was one of the few who escaped marrying the king without dying or even actually marrying her.

Political Lover

Although Henry was known partly for romantic and lustful whims, his marriage to Anne of Cleves was primarily political. Two years after the death of his beloved third wife in childbirth, his chief adviser, Thomas Cromwell, suggested that it might be time to take another, and make an alliance with a prominent German Duke of Cleves especially prudent. could. Protestant, marrying one of his sisters.


Ugly Wife

Nevertheless, Henry had his own standards, as they could be, so he tasked the famed artist Hans Holbein the Younger to travel to Germany and bring back portraits of women so that he could choose the most beautiful. He chose Anne, and wedding planning began, but when Henry finally met his bride, he was so overwhelmed by her that he began to make wild accusations of exaggerating her beauty by his advisors and the artist. were given, which were instructed to be painted. Sisters as accurate as possible, no existing warts and all. The king found that her personality and intelligence were also lacking, and while it is true that Anne had no formal education, it is also true that Henry was fickle and had tantrums. Others described her as completely pleasant and pleasant-looking. It's entirely possible that Henry was locked up simply because the asylum maiden failed to shower him with the adoration he felt he deserved.


The Queen Who Was Not

Whatever the reason, Henry sought to annul the marriage to his "ugly" bride, but Anne's dowry had already been paid and the political risk of dishonoring her family was too high. The marriage took place as scheduled on January 6, 1540, but Henry could not bring himself to complete the marriage and Anne was asked to leave the court on June 24. Their marriage was annulled within months. For her troubles, Anne was given several estates and the title of "beloved sister of the king". Without the pressures of an intimate relationship, Anne and Henry became truly friends, and unlike most of his wives, she lived well into her forties in peace and security. The real loser was Cromwell, who soon found his head on a spike, mostly for treason, although the king was not helped by "cheating" him into marrying an "ugly" woman.

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