The Rose Without a Thorn: 5 Wives and Counting

Seriously, Henry. We know you’re the VIII-th King of England and all, so you can do what you want. We believed you when you said 3rd time’s a charm. But your 3rd wife Jane died, and you were supposed to be a sympathetic widower King in mourning. Then you said 4th time’s a lucky rabbit’s foot, which we doubted was a real saying, but we went with it. And that marriage lasted all of what… 6 months? Now you’re into this Catherine Howard chick, and you’re saying 5th time’s a mystic talisman? This is seriously suspicious.

Nonetheless, we’re interested to see what young Catherine Howard has to say for herself:

Like, hi. Okay, so like, I was super young when I married Henry (sources say between 16-22, but a lady never tells her age). Maybe I shoulda known better, since Anne Boleyn was my first cousin, and she got the axe… guess beheadings run in the family?

Anyways, I blame my parents. They shipped me off to live with my step-grandma, the dowager Duchess of Norfolk, when I was a kid. I was barely supervised, since the Duchess was always at Court. So maybe I started the romantic flings a little early. Like, these guys just kept coming after me. First, it was my music teacher, then it was the Duchess’ secretary, Francis Dereham. I called him “Hubby Franky,” and he called me “Wifey Cathy.” We were supposed to get married, but the Duchess found out, and that was the end of that.

Lady in Waiting Gown: 

Lady in Waiting Gown

My uncle got me a place at Court as one of Anne of Cleves’ ladies-in-waiting. And that was the start of some trouble. Henry liked me immediately. Like, who wouldn’t? Especially compared to that frankfurter, Anne. The minute Henry and Anne split, he was all about marrying me. Three weeks later I was the Queen of England! Isn’t that rad?

Florentine Gown: 

Florentine Gown

Now that I’d reached the top, I realized I was stuck with a 50-year-old, 300-pound husband with a leaky ulcer. Like, eww. Sure, he gave me lots of pretty jewels, but a girl needs more excitement than that. That’s when I started fooling around with Thomas Culpeper, one of Henry’s courtiers. Maybe I was in love – he was some pretty hot stuff. But soon people began to catch us at it, and I was being blackmailed left and right!

Finally, this guy John Lascelles found out about my former affair with Dereham, and he sent the info to the King! Once they investigated, they found out about Thomas, and that was the end of the rope for me – except it wasn’t really a rope, since I was beheaded, not hanged. Same difference. I was executed on February 13th of 1542 and buried in an unmarked grave. So much for enjoying my youth…

For enticing queenly attire a la Catherine Howard, look no further:

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