Was Henry VIII’s fourth wife Anne of Cleves very ugly? Watch

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asd71027
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Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of Queen of Henry VIII, but their marriage marriage only lasted three months. It is said that Henry VIII was disappointed in Anne’s appearance. He thought she was very ugly so that he divorced her.
After divorce, he treated her so good and even regarded her as his sister
I am so confused it, was Anne of Cleves very ugly? When I searched her painting on the Internet, I think she looks ok, I don’t think she is ugly. Was Henry VIII’s fourth wife Anne of Cleves very ungly?
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username196545
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Yes, she allegedly was.

Henry VIII didn't know what she looked like before she arrived, and the portrait he was provided with was very flattering. He was livid when she turned up and looked nothing like her portrait.

I don't think she was ugly as such, just plain and dumpy. She was German - her grasp of English and French were poor, and she didn't know the way of the English court very well. She was only married so that England could have a Protestant alliance in Europe, and overall wasn't very highly regarded.

Also, she came after Henry had had 3 very good wives already; Catherine of Aragon who's only failing was that she couldn't give him a son, Anne Boleyn who was beautiful, talented, spoke perfect French, was very charming etc.. and then her cousin Jane Seymour, who was also beautiful, and it's said was truly loved by Henry; she died in childbirth giving him a male heir, any replacement to her would be a very tough act to follow, which Anne of Cleeves had no hope of doing.
ArcadiaHouse
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Some portraits were more flattering than others. Bit rich coming from a fat ******* like him.
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It may not have been that she was really hideous, but the painter was told to make her look much better than she actually did, because Henry was anxious to remarry so soon after Jane Seymour's death. So when she arrived in England she would have looked nothing like the painting he was shown when he agreed to the marriage. But due to the contract he could not back out.

He did treat her well after their divorce, because she agreed to an annulment without any fuss. She was invited to court quite a lot.
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StarsAreFixed
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(Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
Anne Boleyn who was beautiful, talented, spoke perfect French, was very charming etc.. and then her cousin Jane Seymour,

Whose cousin? Anne Boleyn's cousin was Catherine Howard, the fifth wife. Neither were related to Jane Seymour. I agree with everything else though!
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Cynthi007
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Anna was German. so she must have ben ugly. :P

they married for economic reasons. he did not even want to marry her first. and keep in mind that painters were paid for what they painted and how. so they painted what the person wants to see on a picture. they had to live on their paintings and could be executed for making an monarch ugly. no matter if it was the reality or not.
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StarsAreFixed
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(Original post by pineapples17)
It may not have been that she was really hideous, but the painter was told to make her look much better than she actually did, because Henry was anxious to remarry so soon after Jane Seymour's death. So when she arrived in England she would have looked nothing like the painting he was shown when he agreed to the marriage. But due to the contract he could not back out.

He did treat her well after their divorce, because she agreed to an annulment without any fuss. She was invited to court quite a lot.
It wasn't soon. Jane died near the end of 1537, he married Anne of Cleves in early 1540. It was more to do with securing a Protestant alliance than procuring an instant marriage.
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Cynthi007
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
It wasn't soon. Jane died near the end of 1537, he married Anne of Cleves in early 1540. It was more to do with securing a Protestant alliance than procuring an instant marriage.
exactly. he needed a male heir to the throne and had to chose a protestant wife. she was not her choice.
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TotalLifeForever
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More fungly than ungly.
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asd71027
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Thank you for giving sooo much information Thank you!!!


(Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
Yes, she allegedly was.

Henry VIII didn't know what she looked like before she arrived, and the portrait he was provided with was very flattering. He was livid when she turned up and looked nothing like her portrait.

I don't think she was ugly as such, just plain and dumpy. She was German - her grasp of English and French were poor, and she didn't know the way of the English court very well. She was only married so that England could have a Protestant alliance in Europe, and overall wasn't very highly regarded.

Also, she came after Henry had had 3 very good wives already; Catherine of Aragon who's only failing was that she couldn't give him a son, Anne Boleyn who was beautiful, talented, spoke perfect French, was very charming etc.. and then her cousin Jane Seymour, who was also beautiful, and it's said was truly loved by Henry; she died in childbirth giving him a male heir, any replacement to her would be a very tough act to follow, which Anne of Cleeves had no hope of doing.
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asd71027
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why? I don't understand what you mean?


(Original post by TotalLifeForever)
More fungly than ungly.
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Alex Supertramp
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Henry VIII is a complete moron and a detestable character, personally I wouldn't trust his opinion on anything. Considering he died hundreds of years ago and I've never met him it is surprising just how much I hate him.
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UpsidedownLandMan
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Henry VIII is a complete moron and a detestable character, personally I wouldn't trust his opinion on anything. Considering he died hundreds of years ago and I've never met him it is surprising just how much I hate him.
Well said. Only a King can invent a new religion to ditch his first wife lol.
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StarsAreFixed
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(Original post by Alex Supertramp)
Henry VIII is a complete moron and a detestable character, personally I wouldn't trust his opinion on anything. Considering he died hundreds of years ago and I've never met him it is surprising just how much I hate him.


Really? I find him and his court fascinating. Tyrant? Yes. Moron? No.
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Hans Holbein was the painter - and apparently painted her very flatteringly (is that even a word?) indeed.
"flanders mare" i think was the nickname.

I find Henry VIII fascinating. Probably the stereotypical *mememe* king. Do try to remember that pre-jousting accident (get your mind out of the gutter), he was supposedly quite the handsome and well-mannered/healthy in both mind and body individual.
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I personally don't reckon she was that ugly.

She probably just looked very different to her portrait. If the king thinks she's ugly, so does everybody else.

But if the king thought an ugly person was beautiful, then so does everybody else.
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(Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
Yes, she allegedly was.

Henry VIII didn't know what she looked like before she arrived, and the portrait he was provided with was very flattering. He was livid when she turned up and looked nothing like her portrait.

I don't think she was ugly as such, just plain and dumpy. She was German - her grasp of English and French were poor, and she didn't know the way of the English court very well. She was only married so that England could have a Protestant alliance in Europe, and overall wasn't very highly regarded.

Also, she came after Henry had had 3 very good wives already; Catherine of Aragon who's only failing was that she couldn't give him a son, Anne Boleyn who was beautiful, talented, spoke perfect French, was very charming etc.. and then her cousin Jane Seymour, who was also beautiful, and it's said was truly loved by Henry; she died in childbirth giving him a male heir, any replacement to her would be a very tough act to follow, which Anne of Cleeves had no hope of doing.
Jane Seymour was supposedy not actually all that beautiful. She's recorded as having been fair haired, but quite plain and rather plump. Henry married her because of her modesty, piety and respectable family. She was modest and pious, or in other words, all that Anne Boleyn wasn't. Furthermore, she wasn't particularly well-educated either, havign just had the same limited education as most other noble women at the time. Anne Boleyn was an extreme exception: Henry liked her degree of education at first, but grew sick of her inquisitive/argumentative side when it came to matters of state etc.
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Historiana
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
Whose cousin? Anne Boleyn's cousin was Catherine Howard, the fifth wife. Neither were related to Jane Seymour. I agree with everything else though!
Au contraire. Most of the larger noble families (such as the Howards and Seymours) were related by marriage at this time, to keep the noble lines intact...


Jane Seymour was half second cousin to Anne Boleyn: they shared the same great-grandmother. She was also fifth cousin, three times removed to Henry VIII via a connection through King Edward III.

Catherine Howard was first cousin to Anne Boleyn. Catherine's father was the brother of Anne's mother.
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I suspect, from my memory of the history of the time, that she wasn't ugly as such, but plain and rather unfeminine in her habits and manners. A bit of a Germanic stereotype really...
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(Original post by asd71027)
Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of Queen of Henry VIII, but their marriage marriage only lasted three months. It is said that Henry VIII was disappointed in Anne’s appearance. He thought she was very ugly so that he divorced her.
After divorce, he treated her so good and even regarded her as his sister
I am so confused it, was Anne of Cleves very ugly? When I searched her painting on the Internet, I think she looks ok, I don’t think she is ugly. Was Henry VIII’s fourth wife Anne of Cleves very ungly?
One theory is that Thomas Cromwell (Secretary of State at the time the marriage was being arranged), encouraged Hans Holbein (the portrait artist) to make the picture as complimentary as possible so that England could gain a strong Protestant alliance with the duchy of Cleves. Cromwell eventually lost his head as result of his role in bringing about the unsuccessful marriage and setting up a contract that was near unbreakable. It was eventually broken because Anne had been betrothed some years previously to another, and Henry suspected she wasn't a virgin. Pre-contract in those days, was the easiest nullity clause in a marriage.

In the end though, Anne of Cleves ended up more popular that all of Henry's other wives (with the exception of Catherine of Aragon). She was highly popular with the people and at court until the time of her death, and got on very well with Henry's children. It's said that after the divorce, he remained on good terms with and regularly had her at Court as his "sister".

I highly doubt she was ugly. It was simply the fact that the portrait was painted to be deliberately flattering, and so gave Henry and unrealistic image of what she looked like.
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