Anne of Cleves
God Send Me Well To Keep
“Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived”
Born: 22 September 1515 in Düsseldorf
Father: John III, Duke of Cleves
Mother: Mary, Duchess of Julich-Berg
Spouse: Married Henry VIII on January 6, 1540 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich.
Coronation: No formal coronation.
Marriage to Henry VIII annulled: On 9 July 1540, Henry and Anne’s marriage was declared null and void on the grounds of Henry’s lack of consent to the marriage, its non-consummation and Anne’s probable precontract with Francis of Lorraine.
Reign: 6 January 1540 – 9 July 1540
Issue: No issue
Died: 16 July 1557 at Chelsea Manor, England.
Buried: Anne of Cleves was buried on 3 August in Westminster Abbey with great ceremony. Mary I ordered her burial in the Abbey and the funeral was conducted according to Catholic rites, as Anne had requested.
Information about Anne’s final resting place from Westminster Abbey’s website:
‘She lies on the south side of the High Altar and her monument is a low stone structure of three sections with carvings showing her initials AC with a crown, lions’ heads and skulls and crossed bones (symbols of mortality). It was probably made by Theodore Haveus of Cleves but was never finished. The back part of the tomb has been mostly obscured by later monuments. The inscription on the back, visible from the south transept, reads “Anne of Cleves Queen of England. Born 1515. Died 1557” but this was not added until the 1970s.’
Half a century after her death, the chronicler Raphael Holinshed remembered her as ‘a lady of right commendable regard, courteous, gentle, a good housekeeper, and very bountiful to her servants’. He wrote that there had never been, ‘any quarrels, tale bearings or mischievous intrigues in her court, and she was tenderly loved by her domestics.’
Alison Weir believes this ‘an apt and well-deserved tribute.’
Norton, E. Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Discarded Bride
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