01/6/17

Ghost Queens: Anne of Cleves

On January 6, 1540, King Henry VIII reluctantly married his fourth wife, the German Anne of Cleves. Though Henry had been smitten by Anne’s portrait, he was not smitten by her appearance in person.

“She is nothing so fair as she hath been reported,” the surly king complained.

After just six months of marriage, Henry requested an annulment on the grounds that the union had never been consummated. Anne agreed to the request, and a grateful Henry gave her a generous settlement and thereafter called Anne “the King’s Beloved Sister.” Now, more than 475 years after the ill-fated marriage, ghosts reportedly walk properties bearing Anne’s name.

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07/10/16

Ghost Queens: Jane Seymour

Jane_Seymour

King Henry VIII famously had six wives, but what he wanted most was a male heir. Henry’s first two wives, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, tried in vain for sons, but each only bore a single daughter. Henry divorced Katherine for Anne, and the former queen died alone in January 1536. Accused of witchcraft and adultery, Anne lost her head on the chopping block just a few months later. The two former queens reportedly haunt several English properties, but they aren’t alone. Legend has it Jane Seymour, Henry’s third wife, roams Hampton Court Palace, searching for the baby she left behind.

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02/2/16

Ghost Queens: Katherine of Aragon

queen katherine

King Henry VIII,
to six wives he was wedded.
One died, one survived,
two divorced, two beheaded.

Henry VIII is perhaps the most infamous king in English history. The fickle Henry married six times in his 55 years, but could never seem to find the happiness he craved. Though his wives tried their best to please him, Henry was a cruel and difficult man who thought nothing of forsaking those close to him.

Given the heartbreak the king left in his wake, it’s hardly surprising that each of Henry’s wives reportedly haunt the English palaces they once called home. This is the story of Katherine of Aragon.

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