Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hen'ery the Eighth I am I am...

July 9, 2008 - Divorced, executed, died, divorced, executed, Henry died. Not including the many mistresses, Henry VIII had a way of saying goodbye to the ladies. But what can you expect from an indulged young fellow who became King at the age of 17. He stayed married to his first wife for 20 years, but alas, as Catherine of Aragon's hair a gone, along came Anne Boleyn - and the need to open a new church to get rid of wife #1. Divorced, Henry married Anne. Eventually, Anne started to have tantrums. She would lose her head, and thus, lost her head.

Next... Jane Seymour. Finally delivering the King a son - the idea of living with two Tudors was too much, and she died a few days later. Along came wife number four - Anne of Cleves... whom he had disliked from the beginning. They hit it off like a lead balloon, and when Henry couldn't wriggle out of it, was married anyway. Shortly after, the marriage was annulled and she made off with a great alimony package. Wife number five - Katherine Howard was a lovely young thing - who, as it turned out, was much like Henry. Opposites attract. Not the case here. She was arrested for infidelity, and found herself without a head.

Wife six was the last of them. Katherine Parr was working it like a pro. She was married twice before - both times to much much much older men who inevitably died. If you are not born with title, start a collection. She collected titles like collecting Smurfs. In a few years, the weak and frail Henry also died... finally. Katherine was able to marry her true love - and lived happily ever after (however short that was).

It was today in 1540 that Anne of Cleves had the foresight, and the good fortune, to annul her marriage to the King of England - but not without making a financial deal that essentially was the first alimony. Alas, today is Alimony Day. More importantly, we should celebrate Anne of Cleves who knew there was only one way out... negotiate.

July 9th is also Rock and Roll Day. Dick Clark's American Bandstand had it's debut on this day in 1956. There was dancing, and music, and live performances. I doubt Herman and the Hermits where the first guests singing "Henry the Eighth I am I am "... Is that stuck in your head now too? Happy Rock and Roll Day.

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