In this podcast I’ll be looking at the life of the fourth wife of Henry VIII, Anna of Cleves. I had to research her story for my new book, Katherine Tudor Duchess, about Katherine Willoughby, who was the senior lady sent by King Henry, with her husband Charles Brandon, to welcome Anna when she first arrived in England. The shortest reigning of all Henry’s queens, Anna of Cleves outlived them all.
Jane Seymour, the third wife of King Henry VIII, is often portrayed as being shy and even boring and described as the opposite of Anne Boleyn, passive and introvert, but of course the truth is far more complex.
Her short reign was during the often chaotic events of the reformation, and she must have struggled with her conscience as a devout Catholic when the Church of England was established.
One chronicler of the time said Jane Seymour was the most beautiful of all Henry’s wives, noting that when she donned her queenly regalia no woman was more beautiful - while others described her as pale and unattractive. Which is likely to be true?
We think we know a lot about Anne Boleyn, but even the familiar portrait of her has been challenged as a good likeness – and it’s not certain what year she was born in. Her enemies delighted in stories about her being a witch who’d used unfair means to entrance poor King Henry VIII. To the supporters of Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, she was a scheming “goggle-eyed whore” who bewitched Henry VIII away from his true wife and the true religion of Catholicism. To her supporters, she was an intelligent, cultured and graceful lady with great drive and ambition.
When Henry VIII married Catherine, she was an auburn-haired beauty in her twenties with a passion she had inherited from her parents, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, the joint-rulers of Spain.
This daughter of conquistadors showed the same steel and King Henry was to learn, to his cost, that he had not met a tougher opponent on or off the battlefield when he tried to divorce her.
Handsome, charismatic and a champion jouster, Sir Charles Brandon is the epitome of a Tudor Knight. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Brandon has a secret. He has fallen in love with Henry’s sister, Mary Tudor, the beautiful widowed Queen of France, and risks everything to marry her without the King’s consent.
Brandon becomes Duke of Suffolk, but his loyalty is tested fighting Henry’s wars in France. Mary’s public support for Queen Catherine of Aragon brings Brandon into dangerous conflict with the ambitious Boleyn family and the king’s new right-hand man, Thomas Cromwell.
Torn between duty to his family and loyalty to the king, Brandon faces an impossible decision: can he accept Anne Boleyn as his new queen?
Links to all my books cab be found at https://www.tonyriches.com/
Prince Arthur was heir to the throne of England and the embodiment of the union between Lancaster and York. His wedding to the young and beautiful Catherine of Aragon was one of the first great events of Henry's reign. Then, at the age of fifteen, Arthur's sudden death changed history.
What changed Henry VIII from a renaissance prince into the 'tyrant' we know in his later rule? In this podcast I take a look at the theories and evidence for the possible causes, as well as talk about some of the less well know facts about King Henry.
Margaret was the eldest daughter of Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York, and was born on 28 November 1489 at the Palace of Westminster, a year and a half before her famous brother, who became King Henry VIII.
Henry VII wanted to use his daughter’s marriage to James IV of Scotland to end the wars, stop him supporting Perkin Warbeck, pretender to the English throne, and make a lasting alliance with Scotland. This podcast tells the story of what happened next.
I chose to write about Mary Tudor, Queen of France, because I’d researched her birth and early life for Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy, about Mary’s father King Henry VII. In the trilogy I’d moved forward one generation with each book, so it appealed to me to write a ‘sequel’ which did the same. I’d become intrigued with Mary’s story of how she risked everything to defy her brother when he became King Henry VIII.
My book Mary - Tudor Princess is available from Amazon in audiobook, eBook and paperback editions
Bosworth 1485: After victory against King Richard III, Henry Tudor becomes King of England. Rebels and pretenders plot to seize his throne. The barons resent his plans to curb their power and he wonders who he can trust. He hopes to unite Lancaster and York through marriage to the beautiful Elizabeth of York.