the duke of cleves


All of Henry VIII’s six wives were related to each other–and to Henry–by a common ancestor, King Edward I (“Longshanks”). Henry was Edward’s seven- and nine-times great-grandson on his mother’s side and his six-times great-grandson on his father’s, while all of his wives–including the Spanish-born Katherine of Aragon and the German-born Anne of Cleves–were Edward’s seven-, eight-, or nine-times great-granddaughters.*

To the best of my ability, here are the wives’ ancestry dating back to Edward I.

Edward I → Edward II → Edward III → John of Gaunt → Philippa of Lancaster → Infante John of Portugal → Isabel of Portugal → Isabel of Castile → Katherine of Aragon

Edward I → Thomas of Brotherton → Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk → Elizabeth de Segrave → Thomas Mowbray → Margaret Mowbray → John Howard → Thomas Howard → Elizabeth Howard → Anne Boleyn

Edward I → Edward II → Edward III → Lionel, Duke of Clarence → Phillippa of Clarence →  Elizabeth Mortimer → Elizabeth Percy → Mary Clifford → Henry Wentworth → Margaret Wentwoth → Jane Seymour

Edward I → Margaret, Duchess of Brabant → John III of Brabant → Margaret of Brabant → Margaret III of Flanders → John I of Burgundy → Marie of Burgundy → John I, Duke of Cleves → John II, Duke of Cleves → John III, Duke of Cleves → Anne of Cleves

Edward I → Thomas of Brotherton → Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk → Elizabeth de Segrave → Thomas Mowbray → Margaret Mowbray → John Howard → Thomas Howard → Edmund Howard → Kathryn Howard

Edward I → Edward II → Edward III → John of Gaunt → Joan Beaufort → Richard Neville → Alice Neville → Elizabeth FitzHugh → Thomas Parr → Katherine Parr

While Anne Boleyn and Kathryn Howard were famously the most closely related of Henry’s wives as first cousins, (Anne’s mother was a sister of Kathryn’s father), Katherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, and Katherine Parr all share a closer common ancestor in Edward III, and the first and last of Henry’s Katherines were both descended from John of Gaunt, who was Aragon’s three- and Parr’s four-times great-grandfather, respectively.

It’s also possible that some or all of these women were descended from other members of the English royal family in yet more ways, but these are the lines that I was able to follow. Until very recently I had no idea that all of Henry’s wives, even Anne of Cleves, were related to him; I thought it was kind of wild!

* This may not be the precisely correct terminology, as I’m no genealogist.


Queens consort of England - Anne of Cleves

Henry VIII remained single for over two years after Jane Seymour’s death, possibly giving some credence to the thought that he genuinely mourned for her. However, it does seem that someone, possibly Thomas Cromwell, began making inquiries shortly after Jane’s death about a possible foreign bride for Henry.

Henry’s first marriage had been a foreign alliance of sorts, although it is almost certain that the two were truly in love for some time. His next two brides were love matches and Henry could have had little or no monetary or political gain from them.

But the events of the split from Rome left England isolated, and probably vulnerable. It was these circumstances that led Henry and his ministers to look at the possibility of a bride to secure an alliance. Henry did also want to be sure he was getting a desirable bride, so he had agents in foreign courts report to him on the appearance and other qualities of various candidates. He also sent painters to bring him images of these women.

Hans Holbein, probably the most famous of the Tudor court painters, was sent to the court of the Duke of Cleves, who had two sisters: Amelia and Anne. When Holbein went in 1539, Cleves was seen as an important potential ally in the event France and the Holy Roman Empire (who had somewhat made a truce in their long history of conflict) decided to move against the countries who had thrown off the Papal authority. England then sought alliances with countries who had been supporting the reformation of the church. Several of the Duchys and principalities along the Rhine were Lutheran. Holbein painted the sisters of the Duke of Cleves and Henry decided to have a contract drawn up for his marriage to Anne.

Although the King of France and the Emperor had gone back to their usual state of animosity, Henry proceeded with the match. The marriage took place on January 6, 1540. By then, Henry was already looking for ways to get out of the marriage.

Anne was ill-suited for life at the English court. Her upbringing in Cleves had concentrated on domestic skills and not the music and literature so popular at Henry’s court. And, most famously, Henry did not find his new bride the least bit attractive and is said to have called her a ‘Flanders Mare’. In addition to his personal feelings for wanting to end the marriage, there were now political ones as well. Tension between the Duke of Cleves and the Empire was increasing towards war and Henry had no desire to become involved. Last but not least, at some point, Henry had become attracted to young Kathryn Howard.

Anne was probably smart enough to know that she would only be making trouble for herself if she raised any obstacles to Henry’s attempts to annul the marriage. She testified that the match had not been consummated and that her previous engagement to the son of the Duke of Lorraine had not been properly broken.

After the marriage had been dissolved, Anne accepted the honorary title as the ‘King’s Sister’. She was given property, including Hever Castle, formerly the home of Anne Boleyn.


Queens of England + Anne of Cleves (1515-1557)

Anne was born in 1515, the daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves and Maria of Julich-Berg. As a child she received no formal education and could read and write in only German. At the age of 11 she was betrothed to Francis, the heir to the Duke of Lorraine. The engagement fell through when Anne’s brother became Duke of Cleves and refused to cede certain territory to the Duke of Lorraine.

Marriage negotiations began in 1539 for Henry VIII to marry Anne or her sister Amalia. Henry’s advisor, Thomas Cromwell, was keen to build connections with an alliance of Lutheran Princes that was established by Anne’s brother-in-law. Henry also looked to Germany for support when Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor became friendly. Hans Holbein was dispatched to portraits of Anne and her sister Amalia, and Henry required the portraits to be as accurate as possible and not to flatter the women.

A marriage treaty was signed in October that year for Anne to marry Henry. They met privately on New Year’s Day in 1540. Henry followed the chivalric tradition of meeting his bride in disguise but it turned out to be a failure. Disguised as a servant, he tried to kiss her but Anne was shocked at such behavior from a servant and did not respond. Humiliated, Henry did not want marry her but the marriage could not be called off without offending Anne’s brother, the Duke of Cleves, and damaging the German alliance so it went forward. 

Anne married Henry on January 6, 1540 at Greenwich. She was never crowned and the marriage was never consummated. By June she was commanded to leave court and later informed that her marriage was invalid due to her pre-contract from 1527 and the fact that the marriage was unconsummated. Anne agreed to the annulment and was rewarded with lands and the title “The King’s Beloved Sister.” She also took precedence over all other women apart from Henry’s wife and daughters. 

After Catherine Howard was beheaded, Anne and her brother pressed the king to remarry her. He refused and married Catherine Parr, whom Anne disliked. She reportedly remarked on the marriage, “Madam Parr is taking a great burden on herself.” 

In 1553, Anne made her last public appearance when she participated in Mary I’s coronation procession. A year later, she lost royal favor following Wyatt’s rebellion and was not invited back to court after 1554. She spent the rest of life living quietly on her estate, never having returned to Germany. Anne died in 1557, the last of Henry’s wives still living, and was also the only wife to be buried in Westminster Abbey. (x)


() mary of guelders (1434 - 1 December 1434)

            ► Mary of Guelders was the queen consort of Scotland as the wife of King James II of Scotland. She served as regent of Scotland from 1460 to 1463. She was the daughter of Arnold, Duke of Guelders, and Catherine of Cleves, a great-aunt of Anne of Cleves. She was a great-niece of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy.

Philip and his wife Isabella of Portugal at first planned to have Mary betrothed to Charles, Count of Maine, but her father could not pay the dowry. Mary stayed on at the Burgundian court, where Isabella frequently paid for her expenses. Mary attended Isabella’s daighter-in-law Catherine of France, while she herself was attended on by ten people. The duke and duchess then started negotiations for a Scottish marriage. Philip promised to pay her dowry, while Isabella paid for her trousseau. William Crichton came to the Burgundian court to escort her back to Scotland. 

She landed in Scotland in June 1449 and both nobles and the common people came to see her as she made her way to Holyrood Abbey. Mary married James II, King of Scots, at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh on 3 July 1449. A sumptuous banquet was given, while the Scottish king gave her several presents. It had been agreed that any sons they might have would have no right to the duchy of Guelders. James and Mary had seven children together: an unnamed son, James III of Scotland, Mary, Alexander, Margaret, David and John. 

After her husband’s death, Mary acted as regent for their son Jmes III of Scotland until her own death three years later. Mary was drawn into the War of the Roses taking place in England at this time. She appointed Bishop James Kennedy as her chief advisor; their companionship was described as well-functioning despite the fact that the bishop favoured an alliance with the Lancastrians, while Mary at first wanted to continue playing off the warring parties in England against each other. 

While Mary was still mourning the death of King James II, the Lancastrian Queen Margaret of Anjou fled north across the border seeking refuge from the Yorkists. Mary sympathetically aided Margaret and took Edward of Westminster into her household to keep them out of Yorkist hands. Mary’s dealings with Margaret were mainly to provide aid to the deposed queen. Mary gave a number of Scottish troops to help Margaret and the Lancastrian cause. She and Margaret also organised a betrothal between Prince Edward, son of King Henry VI of England, and King James III’s sister Princess Margaret in 1461. In return for her support, Mary asked for the town of Berwick on the Anglo-Scottish border, which Margaret was willing to give up.

Relations between the two women deteriorated, however, with the increasingly friendly alliance between King Edward IV of England and Duke Philip of Burgundy. Any support by Mary for Margaret, Edward’s enemy, threatened the alliance that Duke Philip wanted with King Edward IV against the French King Louis XI. Edward IV tried to put a stop to Mary’s support of Margaret by proposing marriage to the widowed queen, which Mary rejected. Her uncle, Duke Philip, pressured her to call of the betrothal of Margaret of Scotland and Prince Edward, to Margaret’s disappointment. In 1462, she paid the Lancastrian royals to leave Scotland and made peace with Edward IV. She also hinted at the possibility of a marriage between herself and the new English king. Mary, reportedly, had several affairs during her period as regent, notably one with the Lord Hailes. 

Mary went ahead with James II’s plan to build a caslte on land at Ravenscraig, designed to withstand the use of artillery, and lived in it while it was under construction until her death. A devout Roman Catholic, Mary founded Trinity College Church ca. 1460 in memory of her husband. The church, located in the area now known as Edinburgh’s Old Town, was demolished in 1848 to make way for Waverly station, although it was partially reconstructed on a different site in 1870 under the name Trinity Apse. Mary was buried in the church, although her coffin was moved to Holyrood Abbey in 1848.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  January 6th, 1540- Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleves

Henry VIII married Anna von Jülich-Kleve-Berg, or Anne of Cleves, in the Queen’s Closet at Greenwich Palace. Henry had been trying desperately to get out of the marriage since meeting Anne and deciding that he didn’t like her. There was, however, no easy way to get out of it and he knew that a cancelled wedding might drive the bride’s brother, Duke of Cleves, “into the hands of the emperor”.

Edward Hall describes the bride’s outfit that day: “Then the Lords went to fetch the Lady Anne, which was apparelled in a gown of ryche cloth of gold set full of large flowers of great & Orient Pearle, made after the Dutch fashion.. her hair hanging down, which was fayre, yellow and long: On her head a Coronall of gold replenished with great stone, and set about full of branches of Rosemary, about her necke and middle…”

Hall records that Anne curtsied to the King three times and then the couple were married by Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Anne’s wedding ring was engraved with the words “GOD SEND ME WEL TO KEPE”.


The King of Swag

His Imperial Highness 1st Prince Joachim Murat, Marshal of France, Grand Admiral of France, Grand Duke of Berg and Cleves, Horsemaster of Europe, His Majesty By the Grace of God and the Constitution of the State, King of Naples.

One of Napoleon’s Marshal’s during the Napoleonic Wars, Murat was often described as a vain and flamboyant man.  I dunno, I don’t see it. 

Anne of Cleves- “I like her not!”

When Henry VIII first met the woman who was to become his fourth bride he lamented that “she is nothing so fair as she hath been reported.” The woman was Anne, sister of the Duke of Cleves. After the tragic death of his beloved third wife Jane Seymour, Henry was required to put aside his grief and begin searching for a new queen who could produce spare heirs to the throne. The search spanned across Europe and led Henry to the small German Duchy of Cleves. The engineer of the match with Anne was Henry’s right hand man, Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell had presented Henry with glowing reports of Anne’s grace and beauty and a magnificent portrait by the great Hans Holbein. Henry was convinced Anne was the bride for him. Cromwell’s goal for this marriage was to ingratiate Henry, and by extension himself, with the budding Protestant German states. 

But from the moment of their first meeting (which was a debacle in and of itself), Henry was not pleased with Anne. He declared that he found her ugly and fat, and that she had “evil smells” about her. In reality it was probably the aging and obese Henry who embodied these flaws. When it was apparent that he had no way out, Henry married Anne. After the wedding night Henry openly confessed that he could not bring himself to consummate the marriage. Anne’s breasts were so large and loose, he claimed, that she could not have been a virgin, though she almost certainly was. Henry’s inability to consummate his marriage was seen as Anne’s failure. As far as the King and court were concerned, Anne was simply too repulsive to rouse Henry’s desire. She was branded “The Flanders Mare” and the marriage was annulled only months later.

Was Anne really so ugly that her husband could not do his marital duty? Probably not. Before her marriage Anne’s appearance was well received by the English people. She was tall, stately, slender, and had a pleasant round face with heavy lidded eyes.The chronicler Edward Hall wrote that when Anne was first seen dressed in the English fashion it “so set forth her beauty and good visage, that every creature rejoiced to behold her”. It was true, however, that Anne’s German style of dress and headdresses seemed odd and unflattering to the English. Henry very likely used Anne’s different dress, mannerisms, and supposed “ugliness” to excuse his own sexual inability. Anne seems to have borne this humiliation with grace and accepted the annulment and lived out her days in comfort, and perhaps more peace than she would have had as Henry’s wife.

Henry VIII’s meeting with Anne of Cleves

On the 1st of January 1540, King Henry VIII met Anne of Cleves for the first time in Rochester, where she was having a short rest during her journey to Greenwich. Henry wanted to surprise his wife-to-be, not knowing how negatively surprised he himself would be after this meeting.

After Jane Seymour’s death 24th October 1537, Henry mourned for her over two years. Jane was the only wife who didn’t fail him and gave him a son, which immortalized Jane’s name in Henry’s eyes. But years were passing, and the king still had only one son to inherit the throne, so he needed to remarry and secure the future of the Tudor dynasty.

It was Thomas Cromwell, the king’s chief minister, who suggested Anne of Cleves’ candidature for the king’s next wife and consort, which happened during the negotiations with the Schmalkaldic League in 1538. Cromwell saw the benefits of allying England with the Duchy of Cleves, which was not ideal but was still practical from political perspective. John III, Duke of Cleves and Anne’s father, was neither Lutheran nor a member of the league, but he was powerful and was closely linked to the Lutheran leader – John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, who was married to Anne’s elder sister, Sibylle of Cleves.

During the long years of his reign, Henry played a crafty diplomatic game with France and Spain, establishing political alliances with one of them while keeping itself open for an opposite alliance if circumstances fitting his interests emerged. The break with the Rome left the country and nation isolated, in quite a vulnerable position. France and Spain were Catholic countries, and, in 1537, a papal delegation headed by Reginald Pole, who lived in self-imposed exile in Rome and was Henry’s strong opponent in the English Reformation, swayed France and Spain to align against England. There was hope for the formation of a Catholic league against the heretical King of England.

The international situation continued to worsen. Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry in December 1538, and the English began to fear that King Francis I of France and Emperor Charles V were planning invasion. Henry, Cromwell, and the king’s other ministers were becoming increasingly worried about the ever-heating international situation, considering the possibility to secure a new alliance through the king’s marriage to a foreign princess. Encouraged by Cromwell and his ministers, Henry began to think of remarriage.

King Henry took the question seriously. He didn’t want to make “a blind betrothal proposal”. He wanted to get a young, beautiful, intelligent, and fertile bride, who would breathe into his aging body youth and energy, would please him as a lover and a companion, and would birth him more sons. To make sure that his bride would fit his strict requirements, Henry had agents in foreign courts report to him on the appearance and other qualities of various candidates, and painters were dispatched to create their portraits.

In “Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII”, David Starkey writes about the first contacts with the Cleves court:

“Early in 1539 the English took the first soundings in the Saxon court. The English ambassador, Christopher Mont, had two sets of instructions: his official ones from Henry, and another, secret set from Cromwell. The latter were addressed by Cromwell ‘to his friend Christopher Mont’, and ordered him to make discreet enquiries about ‘the beauty and qualities of [Anne], the eldest of the two daughters of Cleves, her shape, stature and complexion’. If his enquiries led him to think that ‘she might be likened unto his Majesty’, he was to suggest the proposed marriage to the Saxon minister Burchard, though the formal initiative would have to come, it was made clear, from Cleves.

Anne, Mont quickly discovered, had won golden opinions all round. ‘Everyman’, he reported to Cromwell, ‘praiseth the beauty of the said Lady, as well for the face, as for the whole body, above all other ladies excellent.’ Among the superlatives one struck home particularly with Henry. ‘She excelleth’, it was reported, ‘as far the Duchess [of Milan], as the golden sun excelleth the silvern moon.”

Anne of Cleves had a younger “rival” for Henry’s hand in a marriage – Christina of Denmark, a niece of Emperor Charles V. 

Christina was already a widow, but that didn’t preclude Henry from considering her as his consort. In 1533, she was married by proxy to Francesco II Sforza, Duke of Milan, and she made her official entry in Milan, accompanied by splendid festivities. At the time of their marriage, her husband was already physically weak: he had never fully recovered from an assassination attempt on his life – he had been poisoned but had been felicitous to survive. The Duke of Milan died only two years later, in 1535.

Christina of Denmark was watched by John Hutton, the English representative in the Netherlands, during her stay at the Imperial court in Brussels. Hutton wrote about the sixteen-year-old widowed Duchess:

“She is not pure white as (Jane Seymour) but she hath a singular good countenance, and, when she chanceth to smile there appeareth two pits in her cheeks, and one in her chin, the witch becometh her right excellently well.”

Rumours about Christina and characterizations of her beauty and her character enkindled a flame of desire in Henry’s heart, and he quickly became enamoured by her. The king sent Hans Holbein the Younger to Brussels, and the resulting portrait confirmed Christina’s breathtaking beauty. Henry’s passions were fanned white hot, and he fell in love with the young woman without meeting her. However, Henry’s marriage proposal didn’t go ahead because Christina was strongly opposed to the idea of marrying him.

Appalled by Henry’s treatment of Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon, Christina of Denmark said:

“If I had two heads, I would happily put one at the disposal of the King of England.”

By March 1539, Henry entered into marriage negotiations with the Duke of Cleves, who had two unmarried daughters – Anne and Amalia.

The king resolved to see the portraits of Anne and Amalia before choosing whom to marry. The matter was discussed with the Cleves minister Olisleger by the English envoys, ‘the little doctor’, Nicholas Wotton and Richard Beard. Two recent portraits of Anne and Amalia, probably by Barthel de Bruyn the Elder, were offered, but the English agents enlightened Henry that the said portraits should be taken with a pinch of salt because the painters were able to catch only a glimpse of the two ladies – they couldn’t see them in full because they were dressed in German Protestant fashion.

In early July 1539, Henry sent a new delegation to the Cleves court in Dusseldorf, led by Dr William Petre, with the purpose to demand to see the two women ‘since one of them [was] to be their Queen’ and to continue negotiations with the Duke.

Soon Wotton and Beard returned to England. They probably had two portraits of the Cleves maidens with them, but we don’t know about this for sure. In about a week, the envoys and Holbein were again dispatched by the king to Cleves, where they arrived in early August of 1539. Holbein started working on the portraits straight away and finished in about a week. Then the king’s party hastened to return to England.

At the beginning of September, the news was promulgated that a new embassy headed to Dusseldorf to finalize the marriage treaty. Contrary to the infamous myth, we don’t know anything certain about Henry’s reaction to the portraits presented to him by Holbein, and Holbein wasn’t the one who could exaggerate or belittle beauty or ugliness. Thus, there is a high probability that Henry simply heard a lot about Anne and was fascinated by the illusive image of Anne of Cleves which he had created in his head.

Henry’s choice of brides was limited to Anne and Amalia after Christina’s rejection. England needed a new political alliance, and he craved to have a second son, but he didn’t have a bunch of available and agreeable brides to choose from. Perhaps, Henry made up his mind to marry Anne of Cleves because she, at her twenty four, seemed to him a more suitable candidate for the role of his wife than her younger sister Amalia.

Unfortunately, Henry didn’t know many things about Anne of Cleves before their first meeting, which lay the ground for the lack of his understanding of her true personality and her upbringing.

Wotton told the king a lot about Anne, including the fact that Anne was the Duchess of Cleves’ favourite daughter and that she was of very lowly and gentle conditions, by the which she hath so much won her mother’s favour that she is very loath to suffer her to depart from her.’

Henry was in the dark that Anne’s upbringing wasn’t suited for life in at the English court. He wasn’t aware that Anne had been given only elementary education for a highborn noblewoman, usual by the standards of the Tudor time. Anne could read and write in German, but she couldn’t speak foreign languages. She was proficient with needlework and good at other domestic skills. But Anne couldn’t dance, play the lute and other music instruments, and she wasn’t taught to flaunt herself, there was no coquetry in her.

David Starkey writes about Henry’s feelings for Anne of Cleves:

“But, in any case, by this point Henry was almost beyond putting off. For he had fallen in love, not as previously with a face but with an idea. And his feelings were fed not with images but with words. All over the summer, Cromwell and his agents had told him that Anne – the beautiful, the gentle, the good and the kind – was the woman for him. Finally he had come to believe them.

Only a sight of the woman herself might break the spell.”

The Imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys wrote about Anne of Cleves’ arrival in England and her first meeting with King Henry:


This year on St John’s Day, 27 December, Lady Anne, daughter of the duke of Cleves in Germany, landed at Dover at 5 o’clock at night, and there was honorably received by the duke of Suffolk and other great lords, and so lodged in the castle. And on the following Monday she rode to Canterbury where she was honorably received by the archbishop of Canterbury and other great men, and lodged at the king’s palace at St Austin’s, and there highly feasted. On Tuesday she came to Sittingbourne.



On New Year’s Eve the duke of Norfolk with other knights and the barons of the exchequer received her grace on the heath, two miles beyond Rochester, and so brought her to the abbey of Rochester where she stayed that night and all New Years Day. And on New Years Day in the afternoon the king’s grace with five of his privy chamber, being disguised with mottled cloaks with hoods so that they should not be recognized, came secretly to Rochester, and so went up into the chamber where the said Lady Anne was looking out of a window to see the bull-baiting which was going on in the courtyard, and suddenly he embraced and kissed her, and showed here a token which the king had sent her for New Year’s gift, and she being abashed and not knowing who it was thanked him, and so he spoke with her. But she regarded him little, but always looked out the window…. and when the king saw that she took so little notice of his coming he went into another chamber and took off his cloak and came in again in a coat of purple velvet. And when the lords and knights saw his grace they did him reverence…. and then her grace humbled herself lowly to the king’s majesty, and his grace saluted her again, and they talked together lovingly, and afterwards he took her by the hand and led her to another chamber where their graces amused themselves that night and on Friday until the afternoon.

… So she came to Greenwich that night, and was received as queen. And the next day, being Sunday, the king’s grace kept a great court at Greenwich, where his grace with the queen offered at mass, richly dressed. And on Twelfth Night, which was Tuesday, the king’s majesty was married to the said queen Anne solemnly, in her closet at Greenwich, and his grace and she went publicly in procession that day, she having a rich coronet of stone and pearls set with rosemary on her hair, and a gown of rich cloth of silver, richly hung with stones and pearls, with all her ladies and gentlewomen following her, which was a goodly sight to behold.”

Henry couldn’t foresee that the real Anne of Cleves would be different from his dream bride. Upon arrival in Rochester, the king ordered his attendant, Sir Anthony Browne, to notify Anne that one of his representatives had delivered for her the king’s New Year gift, a special sign of his attention and benevolence. Then, having disguised himself, Henry entered the chamber.

The king’s dreams were shattered. Not suspecting her husband-to-be was burning with impatience to see her, she wasn’t prepared to receive the king: she was standing near the window, observing a bull-fight which had been laid on for her entertainment, and she didn’t recognize Henry in a servant who appeared in her chamber. She didn’t greet him courteously as she would have greeted the king, and he, abashed by her disinterest, strode towards her and tried to kiss her, but she didn’t welcome his advances.

Only later, the poor German princess realized that the disguised servant was the King of England himself! Henry was so shocked and so humiliated that he took an immediate dislike to Anne, saying “I like her not!”