On 22nd September 1515, Anne of Cleves was born. Her full name was Anna von Jülich-Kleve-Berg and she was born near Düsseldorf. She was the second daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves, Jülich and Berg, and Maria of Jülich-Berg.
Nowadays, most of us know her as Henry VIII’s fourth wife and, even though she survived him, that doesn’t portray her in a flattering light. She is known as the ‘ugly one’, when there is no real evidence of this. Most historians now believe that it was an excuse that Henry made up as she has insulted them during their first meeting.
Anne of Cleves outlived Henry and the rest of his wives, dying in 1557 at the age of 41. She did well out of the divorce, receiving a generous settlement which included Richmond Palace and Hever Castle. Henry and Anne became good friends after the divorce, referring to her as ‘the King’s Beloved Sister’. She was also given precedence over all women in England, except his wife and daughters.
On This Day in Tudor History, Claire Ridgway
Miniature of Anne of Cleves.