Today marks Queen Elizabeth II’s 63rd year as the Queen of England, that nation’s longest reigning monarch. After all these years and despite not much to do, the Brits sure seem to love her. I thought it might be fun to look back at a few of England’s prior rulers who history does not treat so kindly:
Queen Mary I – they called her “Bloody Mary”. You figure it out.
Edward VIII – fell in love with an American, abdicated the throne, turned Nazi and moved to France. No good.
And, of course Henry, VIII. In case you missed all of the PBS specials and cable shows, here is a quick run through his wives:
- Catherine – Too old. Too ugly. Henry sent her away. He later created a new church to grant an annulment when the Catholic Church wouldn’t. Why? Because he was smitten with…
- Anne Boleyn – She was neither old nor ugly. Got her head chopped off.
- Jane Seymour – Henry seemed to love her. In what might have been a bit of luck, she died soon after giving birth.
- Anne of Cleves – Henry was convinced to marry her when he saw her portrait. Much like those a match.com and tinder photos, the portrait was, well, not accurate. The painter was beheaded, Henry’s marriage to Anne annulled.
- Catherine Howard –First cousin of Anne Boleyn. Suffered the same unfortunate fate. Chop, chop.
- Catherine Parr – the last of the six. She outlived Henry by a year. Lucky girl.