Anne of Cleves

(1515—1557) queen of England, fourth consort of Henry VIII.

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4th queen of Henry VIII. The daughter of John, 3rd duke of Cleves, Anne was suggested by Thomas Cromwell as a wife for Henry VIII to strengthen the protestant alliance. On first meeting, in December 1539, Henry was dismayed to find her ‘well and seemly…but nothing so fair as reported’, alluding to Holbein's flattering portrait. He was persuaded to go through with the marriage in January 1540. After Cromwell's fall and the swing back towards catholicism, Henry sought swiftly to extricate himself, citing grounds of non‐consummation. The annulment was declared in July 1540, according Anne a handsome settlement and residences, on condition that she remain in England and accept the status of royal sister. Not surprisingly, Anne felt that she had fared rather well. She lived at Chelsea until her death in July 1557 and was buried in Westminster abbey.

Subjects: British History.

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