Henry VIII had six wives, remembered in sequence as follows:
Divorced, Beheaded, Died. Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.
This is Anne of Cleves, Henry's fourth wife.
Anne of Cleves came from a modest noble family in West Germany. Henry had never met her, but decided to marry her on the basis of a portrait which Holbein painted of her. Stories report that when she arrived in England for the wedding, Henry found her so unattractive in real life that he was unable to consummate tthe marriage. (X ray analysis of portraits of her reveal that her features were substantially altered by the artists - kind of a 16th C version of photoshopping and airbrushing?)
Henry divorced Anne after only 6 months of marriage so that he could marry Katherine Howard. Anne was more than willing to be free of her terrifying husband, and so cooperated fully in the divorce proceedings. She was rewarded with a large income and two fine estates, and she lived out the rest of her life as a private person. She died in 1557, at the age of forty-two, after what appears to have been a very contented life.
So perhaps she is the most fortunate of Henry's Unfortunate Wives, and there are benefits to being unattractive?
Artists Trading Card, one in a series of six Unfortunate Wives.
Italian paper, gesso portrait, acrylics, gel and gold pens, glitter glue, aquarelles.