20th June 1540 – Anne of Cleves Complains About Henry VIII and Katherine Howard

On the 20th June 1540, Anne of Cleves complained to the Cleves agent in London, Karl Harst. Even though she probably understood little of the political storm which raged around her, of which she was the all-too-passive cause, she did notice the King’s attentions to one of her ladies. The lady was Katherine Howard, the Duke of Norfolk’s niece, and would later go on to be Henry VIII’s fifth wife. Two days later, Anne of Cleves was in better spirits, as Henry had spoken to her kindly. It was, however, the last time she saw him as her husband.

Anne was ordered to leave court on the 24th and move to Richmond Palace. She was told that it enjoyed better climate, but Anne was not deceived. Katherine of Aragon had been sent away from court before her divorce as well, and so Anne worried that she might share a similar fate. Harst tried to comfort her, but to no avail.


Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII by David Starkey, p639


Picture of Anne of Cleves.

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