[pictured: a portrait, in detail of Henry, Jane, and Edward, picturing the family of Henry VIII; c. 1545 by unknown]
A year after the royal marriage of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Jane was pregnant. Bonfires were lit and celebrations were held throughout the kingdom; prayers were made for a safe delivery of a male heir that the entire country yearned for. By early October 1537, Jane was sent to Hampton Court Palace to stay in anticipation for the birth of her child.
After a long and difficult labor, Jane birthed a son on the eve of St. Edward’s Day; he was baptized by that name on 15 October. After 29 years as the king of England and throughout three wives, Henry VIII finally had a legitimate male heir.

[pictured: a portrait, in detail of Henry, Jane, and Edward, picturing the family of Henry VIII; c. 1545 by unknown]

A year after the royal marriage of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Jane was pregnant. Bonfires were lit and celebrations were held throughout the kingdom; prayers were made for a safe delivery of a male heir that the entire country yearned for. By early October 1537, Jane was sent to Hampton Court Palace to stay in anticipation for the birth of her child.

After a long and difficult labor, Jane birthed a son on the eve of St. Edward’s Day; he was baptized by that name on 15 October. After 29 years as the king of England and throughout three wives, Henry VIII finally had a legitimate male heir.

[pictured: a posthumous portrait of Jane Seymour, early in her pregnancy with the Tudor heir Edward; c. 1795-1800 by unknown]
Jane was noted for her child-like face and utmost modesty; she was reported, by the Imperial Ambassador Eustace Chapuys, to be of a “middling stature and very pale”; he also said of her that she was not very much a beauty. John Russell said of the Queen, “[she is] the fairest of Henry’s wives.” Polydore Vergil commented that Jane was a woman of charm in both character and appearance. Jane, from the famous Holbein portrait painted from life, was said to have blue eyes, high cheekbones, faint eyebrows, and thin lips with a modest personality and calming manner.

[pictured: a posthumous portrait of Jane Seymour, early in her pregnancy with the Tudor heir Edward; c. 1795-1800 by unknown]

Jane was noted for her child-like face and utmost modesty; she was reported, by the Imperial Ambassador Eustace Chapuys, to be of a “middling stature and very pale”; he also said of her that she was not very much a beauty. John Russell said of the Queen, “[she is] the fairest of Henry’s wives.” Polydore Vergil commented that Jane was a woman of charm in both character and appearance. Jane, from the famous Holbein portrait painted from life, was said to have blue eyes, high cheekbones, faint eyebrows, and thin lips with a modest personality and calming manner.

[pictured: Jane Seymour during her first year as Queen of England; c. 1536 by unknown, from the Cast Shadow Workshop]
The extravagance of the former Queen’s household was replaced with a   strict etiquette suited to Jane’s liking, her predecessor’s favor of   French hoods were replaced with gabled English hoods as Katherine of   Aragon, her former mistress of whom she served as Lady-in-Waiting, had  worn. Jane was known as strict, formal,  and modest; severely different  than that of her predecessor.
On 4 June 1536, Jane Seymour was publicly declared the Queen of England;  she chose her personal motto to be ‘bound to obey and serve’.

[pictured: Jane Seymour during her first year as Queen of England; c. 1536 by unknown, from the Cast Shadow Workshop]

The extravagance of the former Queen’s household was replaced with a strict etiquette suited to Jane’s liking, her predecessor’s favor of French hoods were replaced with gabled English hoods as Katherine of Aragon, her former mistress of whom she served as Lady-in-Waiting, had worn. Jane was known as strict, formal, and modest; severely different than that of her predecessor.

On 4 June 1536, Jane Seymour was publicly declared the Queen of England; she chose her personal motto to be ‘bound to obey and serve’.

[pictured: an etching of Jane Seymour; c. 1607-77 by Wenzel Hollar] 
On the day of Anne’s execution, Henry became engaged with her Lady-in-Waiting, Jane Seymour; of whom he had become infatuated with and moved into royal quarters during his previous wife’s downfall. The two were married on 30 May 1536, ten days after the beheading of Anne. Through her maternal grandfather, Jane was a descendant of Edward III, thus making the husband and wife fifth cousins three times removed.
Jane was not as educated as Henry’s previous two wives; she was skilled in needlework and household management. Despite the lack of a formal education, the two were very much in love and by the following year (May 1537) Jane was pregnant.
(ETA: I’m officially on the subject of Jane as queen!)

[pictured: an etching of Jane Seymour; c. 1607-77 by Wenzel Hollar] 

On the day of Anne’s execution, Henry became engaged with her Lady-in-Waiting, Jane Seymour; of whom he had become infatuated with and moved into royal quarters during his previous wife’s downfall. The two were married on 30 May 1536, ten days after the beheading of Anne. Through her maternal grandfather, Jane was a descendant of Edward III, thus making the husband and wife fifth cousins three times removed.

Jane was not as educated as Henry’s previous two wives; she was skilled in needlework and household management. Despite the lack of a formal education, the two were very much in love and by the following year (May 1537) Jane was pregnant.

(ETA: I’m officially on the subject of Jane as queen!)

[pictured: engraving depicting Queen Anne Boleyn’s beheading with husband Henry VIII to the left and subsequent third wife Jane Seymour to the right; the latter two did not attend in actuality, however; c. 17th century by J.T. de Bry] 
On 14 May 1536, Henry and Anne’s marriage was declared “dissolved” by Thomas Cranmer, shortly thereafter Anne was sentenced to death for her charges of incest (with her brother, George, whom along with four other men was executed three days later), adultery, and witchcraft. Despite her death sentence and being imprisoned in the Tower of London, it is reported Anne’s previous optimism stayed to her final days. Anthony Kingston, the Constable of the Tower, wrote that Anne, learning that little pain would be involved in her execution, exclaimed, “I heard the execution was very good. And I have only a little neck,” after which she wrapped her hands around it and laughed heartily. 
On 19 May 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded at White Tower. Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England, was dead.

[pictured: engraving depicting Queen Anne Boleyn’s beheading with husband Henry VIII to the left and subsequent third wife Jane Seymour to the right; the latter two did not attend in actuality, however; c. 17th century by J.T. de Bry] 

On 14 May 1536, Henry and Anne’s marriage was declared “dissolved” by Thomas Cranmer, shortly thereafter Anne was sentenced to death for her charges of incest (with her brother, George, whom along with four other men was executed three days later), adultery, and witchcraft. Despite her death sentence and being imprisoned in the Tower of London, it is reported Anne’s previous optimism stayed to her final days. Anthony Kingston, the Constable of the Tower, wrote that Anne, learning that little pain would be involved in her execution, exclaimed, “I heard the execution was very good. And I have only a little neck,” after which she wrapped her hands around it and laughed heartily. 

On 19 May 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded at White Tower. Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England, was dead.

[pictured: Jane Seymour as Queen of England, shortly before the birth of the heir Edward and her subsequent death; c. 1536-37 by Hans Holbein] 
After serving for Katherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour went to become the Lady-in-Waiting to Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. Shortly after the miscarriage of a baby boy, Henry became interested in her; she was known for sighting the tempestuous relationship between Anne and Henry and for her calm and soothing manner. 
Remembering the public outcry as he began a relationship with Anne while still legally wed to Katherine of Aragon, Henry decided to become more discreet with Jane; she was content with being unknown. It was noted that she not stay alone with the King, insisted upon a chaperone, and when given flirts by Henry she reminded him of his marriage to Boleyn.
(ETA: I’m beginning the transition from Boleyn-Seymour!)

[pictured: Jane Seymour as Queen of England, shortly before the birth of the heir Edward and her subsequent death; c. 1536-37 by Hans Holbein] 

After serving for Katherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour went to become the Lady-in-Waiting to Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. Shortly after the miscarriage of a baby boy, Henry became interested in her; she was known for sighting the tempestuous relationship between Anne and Henry and for her calm and soothing manner. 

Remembering the public outcry as he began a relationship with Anne while still legally wed to Katherine of Aragon, Henry decided to become more discreet with Jane; she was content with being unknown. It was noted that she not stay alone with the King, insisted upon a chaperone, and when given flirts by Henry she reminded him of his marriage to Boleyn.

(ETA: I’m beginning the transition from Boleyn-Seymour!)

[pictured: a sympathetic painting of Anne Boleyn in the Tower of London with a crying attendant; c. 1835 by   Edouard Cibot]
After claiming Anne Boleyn, his second wife, had “bewitched” him into seduction; Henry VIII had her arrested on the grounds of adultery, incest (with her brother, George, whom was also arrested), and witchcraft then sent to the Tower of London on 2 May 1536.
Tried with a jury of her peers, Anne was found guilty under law, along with her “lovers”, including her brother George. No member of nobility would help save her life; even her uncle, Thomas Howard, pronounced her death sentence. The Queen was to be executed by burning (the sentence was later commuted to beheading by Henry himself, who sent for a skilled swordsman from France).

[pictured: a sympathetic painting of Anne Boleyn in the Tower of London with a crying attendant; c. 1835 by Edouard Cibot]

After claiming Anne Boleyn, his second wife, had “bewitched” him into seduction; Henry VIII had her arrested on the grounds of adultery, incest (with her brother, George, whom was also arrested), and witchcraft then sent to the Tower of London on 2 May 1536.

Tried with a jury of her peers, Anne was found guilty under law, along with her “lovers”, including her brother George. No member of nobility would help save her life; even her uncle, Thomas Howard, pronounced her death sentence. The Queen was to be executed by burning (the sentence was later commuted to beheading by Henry himself, who sent for a skilled swordsman from France).

Anne Boleyn (detail) by unknown; c. 16th century

Anne Boleyn (detail) by unknown; c. 16th century

[pictured: painting titled Katherine of Aragon, commissioned a year after Elizabeth’s coronation in 1559; c. 1560 by unknown]
The final years of the former Queen of England Katherine of Aragon were lonesome and sad; the Spanish ambassador kept her informed of outside events and smuggled her letters from her daughter, Mary, but she was often ill. The wrongs Henry inflicted upon her gave her more sadness than resentment, her motto ‘Humble and Loyal’ remained her way of life until her final days.
Three weeks before her fiftieth birthday, Katherine of Aragon died from cancer, as evidenced by the blackening of her heart. It was initially suspected she had been poisoned (many believed either Henry or Anne) but modern historians agree she had died of cancer of the heart, a medical condition not understood at the time. In December 1535, she wrote her will and wrote to her nephew, the Emperor Charles V, to protect her daughter Mary. After her last testaments, she penned one final letter to her former husband and the King of England, Henry VIII, stating she wished to see him above all others and signed it as “Katherine the Quene.” It is unknown whether he read the letter or not, but it is speculated he did not visit his dying former wife.

[pictured: painting titled Katherine of Aragon, commissioned a year after Elizabeth’s coronation in 1559; c. 1560 by unknown]

The final years of the former Queen of England Katherine of Aragon were lonesome and sad; the Spanish ambassador kept her informed of outside events and smuggled her letters from her daughter, Mary, but she was often ill. The wrongs Henry inflicted upon her gave her more sadness than resentment, her motto ‘Humble and Loyal’ remained her way of life until her final days.

Three weeks before her fiftieth birthday, Katherine of Aragon died from cancer, as evidenced by the blackening of her heart. It was initially suspected she had been poisoned (many believed either Henry or Anne) but modern historians agree she had died of cancer of the heart, a medical condition not understood at the time. In December 1535, she wrote her will and wrote to her nephew, the Emperor Charles V, to protect her daughter Mary. After her last testaments, she penned one final letter to her former husband and the King of England, Henry VIII, stating she wished to see him above all others and signed it as “Katherine the Quene.” It is unknown whether he read the letter or not, but it is speculated he did not visit his dying former wife.

[pictured: etching simply titled Anne Boleyn; c. 1607-77 by Wenzel Hollar]
At  the time of Katherine of Aragon’s death in January 1536, Anne was again  pregnant (for the fourth and final time) and quite aware of the dangers  if she failed to birth a male heir. After a miscarriage caused by worry  for Henry during an unhorsing at a joust, the end of this royal  marriage was just starting.
Shortly after declaring he had been seduced by Anne by the means of deception, new mistress Jane Seymour was quickly moved into royal quarters.

[pictured: etching simply titled Anne Boleyn; c. 1607-77 by Wenzel Hollar]

At the time of Katherine of Aragon’s death in January 1536, Anne was again pregnant (for the fourth and final time) and quite aware of the dangers if she failed to birth a male heir. After a miscarriage caused by worry for Henry during an unhorsing at a joust, the end of this royal marriage was just starting.

Shortly after declaring he had been seduced by Anne by the means of deception, new mistress Jane Seymour was quickly moved into royal quarters.