Seriously, you are a LAW professor, not a history one. Stop it. PLEASE. STOP IT.
oh hey, there’s one of my biggest history peeves up in meme form.
“Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced beheaded survived”. But actually annulled, not divorced. And since four of the six marriages were later annulled (both Annes and the first two Katherines), Henry VIII, in retrospect, only ever had two legal wives: Jane Seymour, who died shortly after giving birth to Henry’s only male heir, and Katherine Parr, who outlived him.
Catalina d’Aragón was originally married to Henry’s older brother, which made their marriage incestuous according to Biblical law, and Henry later felt that the Pope who granted them dispensation to marry was overstepping his bounds, and Katherine’s inability to conceive a male heir was proof of God’s displeasure.
His marriage to Anne Boleyn was annulled for similar reasons - Henry had been carrying on with her older sister years earlier, which placed them within the forbidden degrees of relationship.
Henry’s marriage to Anne of Cleves was annulled on the grounds of pre-contract, as she had been previously engaged to the Duke of Lorraine. She made no fuss at all about ending her marriage to Henry and received a pretty generous settlement and the friendship of the royal family in return.
Katherine Howard was a bit of a twit, but ultimately the one I feel most sorry for. Her marriage was annulled by reason of pre-contract to Francis Dereham, and while she may have been otherwise indiscreet with both him and Thomas Culpeper, she maintained that there was no pre-contract and that Dereham had actually raped her. But her death was convenient for Archbishop Cranmer and the Reformation, so regardless of Henry’s attachment to her the annullment and subsequent execution for treason were pushed through.
I’M SORRY, I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELS FOR TUDOR HISTORY.