Ever since I was a child, I’ve done a LOT of reading about the six women unlucky enough to marry Henry VIII, the most famous monarch in English history.  I thought it would be fun to rank them in order of my interest in them.

6. Jane Seymour

The queen who bore Henry his beloved son is also one of his most unpopular with modern history fans.  I don’t believe she would have had much choice in getting engaged to the king the day after Anne Boleyn’s execution; however when compared to the other queens, Jane’s performance as the obedient wife and sainted mother earns her my last place.

5.  Katherine Howard

When I think of Katherine, I think that her marriage should never have happened.  She had no chance of survival in the brutal Tudor court, and was deluded if she thought Henry’s love for her would never sour.  I feel there is little more to be said about her unfortunately, her brief life being a very, very sad footnote in history.

4. Anne of Cleves

I feel there’s been a renewed recent interest in the life of the woman who was only queen for six months.  Anne was definitely the true survivor of Henry’s wives, the only one to happily accept a divorce and live comfortably for years after the other wives were long gone.  However, if it were not for her marriage, Anne would probably barely have been remembered by history.

3. Catherine Parr

There are many reasons why Catherine interests me so much; how close she came to arrest, her dedication to education and her career as an author, her closeness to Henry’s children.  Most of all, her haste to marry Thomas Seymour after Henry’s death, and her tragic end after giving birth to her longed-for first child.  Catherine’s happiness in her fourth marriage was tragically short-lived.

2. Katherine of Aragon

Katherine was brought up in Spain, convinced that her destiny was to be Queen of England.  When Henry questioned the validity of their marriage, she steadfastly stuck by her vows and the rights of her daughter as Henry’s heir.  Her courage and determination have resonated down the centuries and won her as many admirers now as she had when she was queen.

1. Anne Boleyn

No surprise here!  Find out why Anne fascinates me so much.

How would you rank these queens?

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  • For me, the most interesting one is Katherine of Aragon. Her parents were fascinating too and her story is wonderful, sad, but still remarkable. The second one is Anne of Cleves, 3rd is Anne Boleyn, 4th Katherine Parr, 5th Jane and the last one Katherine Howard.

  • I’ve been learning about Katherine’s sister Juana lately, such a sad story. Thanks for your rankings, interesting!

  • I would love to read about her too. Do you have any book recommendations?

  • I have this one on reserve at the library, looks perfect for us https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sister-Queens-Katherine-Aragon-Castile/dp/0753826828

  • Hooray for more Tudor themed posts, I always love reading these from you, Llinos! I think that in my rankings, I’d place Katherine Howard a bit higher just because I’m really fascinated by her, I really want to read more about her life and history because she is always portrayed in such an interesting way in the historical fiction / TV shows about Henry’s wives! Anne Boleyn will always be top in my book as well though hehe!

    Abbey 🍂 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  • Thank you. I found it at the library, I’m going to take it this month. It sounds very interesting. x

  • Brilliant, we must share our thoughts after reading it x

  • Glad you like these posts, Abbey! I agree TV portrayals of Katherine are interesting, although I think they make her a bit too ditzy a lot of the time.

  • Kate

    Ooooh I was talking to Abbey recently about how I’m keen to take up studying, and posts like this only make me more enthusiastic for it! You always put such a fun spin on history! Jane does indeed sound a little dull, and I think I too would have placed Anne Boleyn at number 1!
    Fab post.
    Kate x

  • So glad you enjoy posts like this. I do wonder sometimes if there was more to Jane beneath the ‘perfect wife’ layer, perhaps if she hadn’t died she would have revealed it a bit more.

  • Food & Baker

    This was such an interesting post, I can’t say I remember all of them but your top few are the ones I have heard of and I can do understand the interest in them! I am very intrigued about each of their stories now!

    Jessica & James | http://www.foodandbaker.co.uk / http://www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

  • They are so intriguing!

  • Lifethrough Tsg

    This is definitely an interesting post! I’m actually learning quite a bit about Henry VIII at the moment for my literature degree and this post has definitely given me a little helpful insight into his wives!
    Hayley x

  • Ooh enjoy your studies, happy to help!