Alice’s Restaurant

May 15, 2007

What Katherine Wanted

Filed under: Henry VIII, History with Mr. Al, Research — aliceaudrey @ 1:12 am

As promised, we continue with Mr. Al’s history of the Tudors.

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What Katherine wanted was a clear statement from the Pope that she was Henry’s lawful wife! She wanted it publicly acknowledged that she was the rightful Queen of England! Why was His Holiness being such a weenie about it? If Henry wouldn’t abide by the Pope’s decision, well, there was nothing she could do about that. At least the world would know that Henry’s actions were just plain WRONG!

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What Charles wanted was for his aunt to be a little, teensy-bit more accommodating. Her stubbornness was beginning to get on his nerves. Clement had already promised her that she would be forgiven if she caved to Henry’s demand that she accept, and become part of, this new Church of England plan he had brewing. Henry even threw a sweetener into the deal by promising to restore Mary to the line of succession without demanding that she convert.

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That was all Charles and Clement needed to hear. They had, at that point, pretty much given up on Katherine ever being restored. If the Catholic Church had any future in England, Princess Mary would be the person to bring it about. Katherine said “NO!” to all of it. If the princes of this world were against her, the Prince of Peace was not. All she could do was wait. And pray. And while she waited and prayed, things went from bad to worse.

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In March 1533 Henry sent Anne’s brother, Lord Rochford, on a secret mission to France. He returned the first week of April. Mission Accomplished! Henry summoned the Privy Council and publicly announced that he had married Anne Boleyn two months previously. Oh, and Anne was pregnant with the heir to the throne. That was that. Katherine was out, Anne was in. Katherine was ordered to cease and desist from referring to herself as Queen of England. Henceforth, she would be known as the Princess Dowager of Wales.

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What Lord Rochford had been sent to France for was to secure, in writing, what had previously been King Francis’s verbal commitment to support Henry’s marriage plans. With the written agreement in hand, Henry had done an end-run around Charles, preventing him from pulling France into an alliance against England.

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 It worked. With King Francis on his side, Henry didn’t have to worry about France being used as a springboard for an invasion from the Empire. And Pope Clement? As far as Henry was concerned, that girlie-boy could sit on his crosier and spin on it. Henry had big, BIG plans for the church and Clement couldn’t do a thing to stop him.

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In March of 1534, Clement finally gave his judgment. He declared the marriage of Katherine and Henry valid and legally binding. Henry was ordered to put aside Anne and resume co-habitating with Katherine, toot-sweet. Talk about closing the barn door after the cows have escaped. For seven years, people great and small had waited for the Pope to make that judgment. For Katherine, those years were emotional, and increasingly, physical misery as Henry moved her from one dilapidated castle to another.

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 Needless to say, the Pope’s judgment changed nothing. Anne was Queen, She had given birth to a healthy baby girl and the royal couple had hopes that a boy was right around the corner. Many considered it God’s judgment upon Henry that Anne would never have another child that survived birth.  

Unfortunately for Anne, Henry started seeing it that way too.

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And you all know who that baby girl was, don’t you.

Alice

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