Author Topic: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attributes  (Read 54628 times)

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Offline Lorelei_Lee

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attribut
« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2006, 06:49:37 PM »
When Henry was considering Christina of Denmark as a bride, one of his diplomats (I forget which) commented in a letter that Christina looked very much like Madge Shelton.   So, assuming the Holbein portrait of Christina is an accurate likeness, it would seem that Madge was very pretty.  Certainly she seems to have been popular with the men!

Offline ilyala

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attribut
« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2006, 01:51:03 AM »
can anyone please post the portrait? i would be looking for christina of denmark on google but i think there's more than one...  :-/
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attribut
« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2006, 10:05:45 AM »
This is the famous one, I think.

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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attribut
« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2006, 10:35:40 AM »
It could be that his physical type as it were wasn't overt. It might have been in the little things that he found his type, things we can't tell from old portraits, but that would have been apparent then. I agree that it might not have hair colour, eye colour, and other physical chracteristics easily seen. It could have been other things, perhaps even personality a bit, which would have been rather advanced. ;)

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attribut
« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2006, 03:12:33 PM »
What a babe ;D Wasn't she the one who said that if she had two heads she would gladly let Henry have one?
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attribut
« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2006, 03:28:56 PM »
That was her, one of Charles V's many nieces. She was the daughter of his sister Isabella and Christian II (I think) of Denmark, and had been married and widowed as a young woman to the Duke of Milan. I think she later married a Duke of Lorraine.
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Offline Lorelei_Lee

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attribut
« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2006, 05:38:35 PM »
Right you are, Prince Lieven.  She was only sixteen, I believe, when that portrait was painted.  She was in mourning for her first husband the Duke of Milan; hence the sober attire.  I think Christina was widowed for the second time when she was only 23.  Perhaps it's just as well for Henry's sake that he didn't marry her, as her husbands seem not to have had a long life expectancy!

Interestingly, there is at least a suggestion in the historical record that Henry may have been considering a marriage with either his old flame Madge or one of her sisters in the same time frame as he was courting Christina of Denmark, Anne of Cleves, and Marie of Guise.  There's a cryptic reference in a courtier's letter to Henry making "an election" for his "comfort" between "Mistress Shelton" and "Mistress Skipworth."   Possibly he meant merely to take a mistress, but since he was a widower at the time and wasn't exactly averse to marrying his subjects he may have been considering marriage to one or the other of these ladies.  


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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attribut
« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2006, 05:57:34 PM »
--and, of course, Marie of Guise is the lady who, when told that, since she was a tall women for the time, she was perfect for Henry, replied "ah, but my neck is small."  She then went on to marry James V of Scotland and became the mother of Mary Queen of Scots--

Offline Selencia

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attributes
« Reply #68 on: October 06, 2013, 06:44:24 PM »
This is the famous one, I think.



Bumping the thread.
I feel Christina is rather unattractive in that one portrait of her. Maybe she needs hair to distract from her face.
As for Henry's wives
Katharine- rather plain IMO but one of the better looking wives
Anne Boleyn-so many portraits of her and while they do have similarities, they change the facial features frequently and she ranges from average to quite pretty. Elizabeth does resemble her
Jane Seymour- the most unattractive of them all. Good gawd Henry must have been blind to choose this one. A double chin that sticks out a huge nose beady eyes and mouth that is too small for such a big face.
Anne of Cleves- based on Holbein's painting she was the most beautiful.
Catherine Howard- based on one portrait, that has been posted in here, she is quite pretty, based on another one where she is wearing a long black velvet dress trimmed with gold, she resembles a man.
Katherine Parr- one of the better looking wives, nothing to write home about, like Mary Boleyn or Elizabeth Woodville, but she is very pretty and with nice pale skin.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attributes
« Reply #69 on: October 12, 2013, 08:07:44 AM »
she had hair :-) modesty demanded that it be covered for the most part.
Your assessment of the various wives and their beauty (or not) had me giggling Selencia. Jane's ( who, it is on record, is not my favourite!!) portrait is probably the most unappealing I agree. But standards of beauty were very diferent then. The ideal was fair (white to the point of transparency) complexion with preferably blue eyes and blonde hair, oh and not forgetting the rosebud mouth. The height of fashion was a high forehead ( with the hair regularly plucked away to accentuate this) and extremely plucked eyebrows almost to the point of invisibility. Somewhat different to the "scouse brow" that is so of the moment amongst some ( here in the UK ).
By the by, Katherine Parr had very pretty darkish blonde hair, there is a lock of it in Sudeley Castle......along with a tooth!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 08:09:53 AM by Kimberly »
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Henry VIII's wives and their physical attributes
« Reply #70 on: October 12, 2013, 01:43:11 PM »
Off topic I know but further to above, Glenda Jackson had her head shaved for the role of Elizabeth R.
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