Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2009

His First Love

Henry VIII will always be remembered for his six wives, but the endurance of his marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, is often forgotten. Catherine, the widow of Henry's older brother, was seven years Henry's senior. The two married when Henry was just 19, and they remained married for 24 years — two thirds of his 37 year reign — before Henry annulled their marriage after Catherine failed to bear him a male heir. His other marriages lasted on average only 2 years — ranging from three and a half years with Catherine Parr to less than 6 months with Anne of Cleves.