Lead: Of the wives of Henry VIII, the teenaged Katherine Howard was the least prepared for the task. She paid for it with her head.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Most probably Katherine Howard did not come to Henry's bed as a virgin. The king was then nearly fifty, freshly divorced from the disappointing Anne of Cleaves, extremely fat, with ulcerated legs, in short no great catch. But he was the King of England and when in the spring of 1640 he noticed Katherine, one of Anne's former ladies-in-waiting, he was enchanted. She was everything the German Queen was not and he fell head over heels in love. His first two wives had been set aside because they did not give him a male heir. When that was accomplished by Jane Seymour just before her death, Henry's dynastic needs were not as severe He could return to diplomatic concerns in the search for a Queen. He needed an ally in Lutheran Germany as a counterweight to Catholic Spain and France and chose Anne, sister of the Duke of the German Duchy of Cleaves. They never quite got along and six months later Henry was ready to move on and ripe for the romantic and exciting young Katherine Howard.

 

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