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The Wives of Henry VIII - Katherine Parr

The Wives of Henry VIII - Katherine Parr

The last wife of Henry VIII was Katherine Parr, who married the king in 1543 at Hampton Court Palace. She was the eldest, at the time of her marriage to Henry, out of all the other wives and had in fact been married twice before to members of the English nobility. Seeing as she was older and had more experience in looking after children, being a step mother to the children to her second husband, Katherine loved Elizabeth and Edward like her own. Katherine took much care in the education of the children, and their religious upbringing. Katherine was protestant, like Elizabeth and Edward, and took her own religious teaching and education very seriously and was the first Queen in England to publish a piece of work; ‘Prayers and Meditations’. Had the king lived longer, Katherine may have found herself in trouble like many of the other Wives that came before her as her free thinking at court caused unrest and upset. In the early years of her marriage to Henry Katherine caused waves with her religious views, which were seen by many at court as heretical and far too drastic for the times. After Henry’s death in 1547 Katherine married for a fourth time in secret to the brother of Jane Seymour, Thomas, and for a time lived quietly as the guardian of Princess Elizabeth. Katherine in all led a very unfortunate life, as after four marriages she only became pregnant in her late thirties. After giving birth to a daughter, Katherine fell ill and died in 1548, being buried in a chapel in Sudeley Castle which can still be visited today.

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