16 Her-storical Facts That Didn't Make it into Six The Musical


Six the Musical isn't only full of absolute boppage, but also a fair few facts about the Queens we know and love. However, the 75 minute musical can't cover everything so here are sixteen herstorical facts you may not know...

1. Twenty one years Henry’s junior, Catherine Parr was actually named after Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to whom Catherine’s mother had been a lady-in-waiting.

2. Before marrying Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon was married to his elder brother, Arthur. Arthur died of a mysterious “sweating sickness” shortly after their marriage, leaving Catherine a widow at just 16 years old.

3. Between Arthur’s death and her marriage to Henry, Catherine served Henry’s father (Henry VII) as the royal ambassador to Spain, making her the first female diplomat in European history.

4. The day after Anne Boleyn’s beheading, Henry got engaged to Jane Seymour, Anne Boleyn’s lady in waiting. While she was publicly proclaimed queen, her coronation never went ahead due to an outbreak of plague.

5. Catherine Parr was a dedicated patron of the arts, and she encouraged the spread of Renaissance humanism. When Spanish scholar Juan Luis Vives wrote a book arguing that women had the right to an education, he dedicated it to Catherine.

6. As a young woman, Jane Seymour almost married William Dormer, the son of Sir Robert and Lady Dormer. However, William’s mother canceled their engagement because she thought Jane wasn’t noble enough.

7. Two months before her execution, Anne Boleyn helped pass the poor law which said that “local officials should find work for the unemployed”

8. Contemporaries held Holbein’s pictures to be accurate depictions of the girls—not flattering misrepresentations, as the legend came to describe them. However, both Anne of Cleves and her sister Amalia wore veils covering their faces most of the time, so it is believed that it was a struggle to get them to reveal themselves for portraits.

9. Jane Seymour divided opinions, with one courtier saying she was “not of much beauty,” whilst another named her “the fairest of all the king’s wives.”

10. Henry’s treatment of Catherine of Aragon after their divorce caused a major rift between Henry and his daughter, Mary. To help curb Mary’s resentment, Henry forbid the mother and daughter from communicating, but sympathetic servants secretly carried letters back and forth between them.

11. According to one legend, Henry wrote the famous, anonymous “Greensleeves” to seduce the woman who would become his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

12. Catherine of Aragon remained married to Henry VIII for 24 years. Their marriage lasted longer than all of Henry’s other marriages combined.

13. Catherine Howard was at least two, if not seven, years younger than Henry's daughter Mary, so she found it very hard to be a motherly figure

14. Catherine of Aragon spent her final days as the image of Catholic piety. Though she had access to all of Kimbleton Castle, she remained in a single room, fasting and praying. 

15. During his courtship with Anne of Cleves, Henry also considered her sister, Amalia! After Holbein returned and Henry saw both portraits of the women, he went with Anne over Amalia. Many historians agree that the choice probably had less to do with looks, and more because as the younger daughter, Amalia had less hereditary rights than her sister. 

16. Whilst still married to Anne, Henry began a flirtation with Jane Seymour, even giving her a locket with his own portrait inside!

So there you have it, sixteen facts about the Queens of the castle! Hopefully it won't be long until we can rock out like royalty at the theatre, but in the meantime, stay safe and channel your inner queen!

No comments