I know that many people do not share a love for history so I will keep this short and sweet. This is something I came across during one of my searches to quench my thirst for knowledge. Ok, ok… I am faking it. I read this novel 'The Other Boleyn Girl', loved it so much that I went ahead and watched the movie 'The Other Boleyn Girl', did not really like it much but it had Eric Bana so was worth it and then I did some background research into 16th century England, and this is what I found…
King Henry VIII married six times in his life. This is more or less how it went…
Catherine of Aragon marries Arthur, the King's brother, but the brother dies a few months later – Catherine marries King Henry – becomes the 'First' Queen of England (not first as in first ever… but first as in the first wife of King Henry to become queen) – gets pregnant a total of six times – children are either stillborn or die at birth – only surviving child is a girl, Mary.
King is upset because he wants a male heir to his throne – believes his marriage is cursed – begins chasing Anne Boleyn – divorces the Queen – marries Anne Boleyn – Anne becomes the 'Second' Queen of England – is pregnant at least thrice – somehow her luck is just like the first queen's – only serving child is a girl, Elizabeth – Anne is accused of witchcraft, adultery and incest – is publicly executed – buried in an unmarked grave
Next day the King is betrothed to Jane Seymour – marries her and she becomes the 'Third' Queen of England – gives birth to a male heir, Edward – dies a few days later of birth complications
King Henry marries Anne of Cleaves a few years later – she becomes the 'Fourth' Queen of England – six months later the marriage is annulled – no kids here
Few weeks later the King marries Catherine of Howard – she becomes the 'Fifth' Queen of England – two years of marriage, no kids – charged with treason and adultery – publicly executed – buried in an unmarked grave… Catherine was Anne Boleyn's cousin. Guess their family connection did not bear well on their coincidental death circumstances and unmarked tombs
Finally, the King marries Catherine Parr – no children here – the King dies four years later
Besides his six marriages, technically two, because four of his marriages were actually annulled, the King had two mistresses in his life (at different times) – Bessie Blount who had a son from the King, named Henry Fitzroy and Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn's sister who had a girl and a boy from the King, Catherine and Henry (however, it is not certain if these two were fathered by the King)
After the King's death, the children in order of their claim to the throne were – Edward, Mary, Elizabeth, and Henry Fitzroy.
Edward becomes the King – the catch here is that he is just nine at the time – dies when he is fifteen
Mary becomes the Queen – dies five years later
Elizabeth becomes the Queen – and – rules England for 44 years!
For all the King's troubles of wanting a male heir and marrying one woman after another, this is how it turns out - Elizabeth is a woman – third in line to the throne –rules for the maximum number of years (4 decades is long) – and is the daughter of Anne Boleyn who was executed for heresy. Who could have expected the events to have such a drastic twist?
We know Elizabeth today as Queen Elizabeth I and she is a legend. I wonder if this is where Shakespeare, who was very much alive during this time, and enjoyed the Queen's favour, got his famous line 'Much Ado about Nothing'.