Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 12th, 1543: The Wedding of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr

A miniature portrait, most likely of Katherine Parr. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

On this day in Tudor history, 1543, King Henry VIII married his sixth and final wife, Katherine Parr at Hampton Court Palace. Queen Katherine Parr was to become the mother figure that the young Elizabeth and Edward never had. While Mary was now an adult and in no need of mothering, she and Katherine were friendly, even if they differed on matters of religion.

A view of some of the sumptuously recreated Hampton Court Palace Gardens. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

Twice widowed before she wed the King, Katherine was a mature and accomplished woman who made a competent Queen. Just one year after her wedding, Katherine would serve for three months as regent in England while Henry VIII embarked on another fruitless campaign in France. Henry VIII's decision to entrust his realm to Queen Katherine showed a tremendous amount of faith in his sixth wife's judgement and ability to govern, a trust he had not given since his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

A portrait miniature of Catherine of Aragon with her pet monkey, by Lucas Horenbout. Painted between 1525-26. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

To learn more about the accomplished Queen Katherine Parr, I recommend reading,  Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr, the Last Wife of Henry VIII by Linda Porter. Read my review HERE.

To learn more about Elizabeth's relationship with her stepmother Katherine Parr, please see my article, published exclusively at On The Tudor Trail, An Education: The Shaping of Elizabeth I, through Childhood Events and Academic Pursuits.

To learn about the young Elizabeth's impressive gift to her stepmother, a lengthy translation of The Mirror of the Sinful Soul, and to read a letter written by Elizabeth to Queen Katherine in 1548, please see Elizabeth Tudor's letter to Katherine Parr.

The cover to Elizabeth Tudor's translation of The Mirror of the Sinful Soul, embroidered in her own hand. Elizabeth has incorporated her stepmother's initials, "KP" , in the center of the knot-work on the cover. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

And to learn more about the Katherine Parr Quincentenary celebrations at Sudeley Castle, visit the Sudeley Castle Website

An exterior view of Sudeley Castle. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

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