Henry VIII (1491-1547) reigned in England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Despite his achievements in foreign policy, religion, and the arts, he is best remembered for having an unusual and large number of wives - six in all. All marriage annulments, deaths, and marriages were also historically highly significant. During the annulment process of his first marriage, Henry VIII introduced the Protestant Reformation in England. Fortunately, there are several tricks to remember all of Enrique's wives and their order.
Method 1 of 3: Remember with the help of a rhyme
Step 1. Learn the rhyme that tells the fate of the queens:
“ Divorced, beheaded, died; Divorced, beheaded, survived (divorced, beheaded, die; divorced, beheaded, survive) ". This little ditty has been memorized by generations of British students.
This rhyme is not entirely exact, since the marriage with Catalina de Aragón and Ana de Cléveris ended in nullity and not in divorce. Both Ana de Cléveris and Catalina Parr survived the king, that is, they lived longer than he
Step 2. Rhymes “wedded” with “beheaded” (married to beheaded)
Another poem says: " King Henry VIII, to six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded (King Henry VIII married six women. One died, one survived, two divorced and two beheaded) ”.
This version is not exact because instead of using the term divorce, the term marriage nullity should be used. Although it also does not indicate the order of the queens, it has a catchy metric and is easy to remember
Step 3. Rhyme the queens first name
“ Kate and Anne and Jane, and Anne and Kate (again, again!). Its translation would be: Catalina, Ana, Juana, Ana, Catalina (once and again) ”. This poem helps you adopt an English accent, as Jane (Juana) rhymes with again. Notice that “again, again” (once and again) reminds you that there are two Catalinas at the bottom of the list: Catalina Howard followed by Catalina Parr.
Method 2 of 3: Remember through initials and names
Step 1. Remember the names of the queens with the help of the last initials
The most recited version says: All Boys Should Come Home Please. If you remember this phrase, you can remember Aragon, Bolena, Seymour, Cléveris, Howard and Parr.
Step 2. Remember the initials by relating them to the story
This version says: A Big Secret Concealing Her Past (his past hides a big secret). This phrase is easy to remember because of all the drama surrounding the lives and deaths of Enrique's wives. Think of Anne Boleyn's strategy to ascend the palace and get closer to the king, or imagine Catherine Howard, cousin of the late Anne, having an affair behind the king's back.
Step 3. Use a phrase that sounds like the names of queens
This is a little known but effective mnemonic: Arrogant Anne Seemed More Clever at How to Catch the Ring (Arrogant Anne seemed more interested in how to get the ring). Arrogant (arrogant) sounds like Aragon; Anne (Anne) refers to Anne Boleyn; Seemed More (seemed more) sounds like Seymour; Clever (interested) as Cleves (Cleveris); How (like) as Howard and Catch (get) as Katherine Parr (Catherine Parr). Another good thing about this mnemonic is that it is historically correct. Ana was truly arrogant and interested in getting the wedding ring.
Method 3 of 3: Learn more about the six queens
Step 1. Learn about each queen
It is easier to remember the order and fate of Henry VIII's wives if you know something about their lives. This way, you will see them as real people and not just a list of names.
Step 2. Catalina de Aragón arrived from Spain to marry Arturo, Enrique's brother, who died shortly after
Enrique and Catalina were married in 1509.
- Catherine of Aragon had only one descendant, a daughter who reigned as María I (also known as "María la Sanguinaria").
- Henry's first marriage was also the longest, lasting from 1509 to 1533.
- Desperate to have a child, Enrique asked for annulment, arguing that his marriage was invalid because Catalina had been married to Arturo. When the pope refused to annul the marriage, Henry broke off relations with the Catholic Church, declared himself head of the church in England, and ordered the annulment of his own marriage.
Step 3. Anne Boleyn was already pregnant when she married Henry in 1533
They had an affair when Anne was one of Queen Catherine's waitresses.
- Ana also had only one descendant, a daughter who would become the famous Queen Elizabeth I.
- After suffering several miscarriages, Enrique decided to end this marriage on the pretext that Ana was having an affair with another man.
- Anne was tried for treason and beheaded in 1536.
Step 4. Juana Seymour finally bore Henry a son
Like Ana, she was one of the waitresses who caught the king's attention.
- In 1537 she gave birth to Eduardo, who reigned for a short time due to his untimely death.
- Joan Seymour died a few days after giving birth, causing the king great pain.
Step 5. Ana de Cléveris arrived from Germany in 1540 to enter into a diplomatically arranged marriage
Enrique did not find her attractive and, what was even worse, the diplomatic situation changed which made the marriage less beneficial.
Ana de Cléveris agreed to the annulment of the marriage and survived the king for a decade. In 1522 he died in his castle
Step 6. Catherine Howard was another doomed waitress
She married Enrique at the age of nineteen, in 1540, a few days after their previous marriage was annulled.
Catalina Howard was Ana Bolena's first cousin and they both shared the same fate. Her affair with Thomas Culpeper was discovered and in 1542 she was beheaded for treason
Step 7. Catherine Parr was Henry VIII's last wife and the second to survive him
They were married in 1543 and their marriage lasted only 4 years before the king died.
- Educated and devoted, Catherine wanted to strengthen the Protestant Reformation.
- She was the first woman and queen of England to publish a book under her own name. After the death of King Henry he published another book.
- After Henry's death, she remarried Thomas Symour, King Edward VI's uncle.
- In September 1548, five days after giving birth to her only descendant baptized as Maria Seymour (after her stepsister who also belonged to royalty), Catherine died.
- Catherine's Tomb, which is in Sydeley Castle and has an elaborate effigy, is the most ornate of the six tombs belonging to Henry's wives.