Mismatched Monarchs and Other Royal Disasters

By Carter, Alice T | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 21, 2011 | Go to article overview

Mismatched Monarchs and Other Royal Disasters


Carter, Alice T, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella may well have lived happily ever after with their princes.

But throughout history, many of the marriages of other royals have been miserable for both spouses.

As you can see by these examples, wedded bliss can be as elusive for monarchs and their consorts as it is for commoners:

Commitment issues

English King Henry VIII (1491-1547) holds something of a record for his serial commissions of marital misery. His matrimonial woes began in earnest in 1526 when Henry was unsuccessful at obtaining an annulment from Catherine of Aragon, his wife of 17 years. Henry circumvented the pope's power by declaring himself head of a new English church, which would grant him his freedom. Banished from court, Catherine, a devout Catholic, never recognized the divorce and died a decade later, some say from a broken heart.

Henry's second marriage, to Anne Boleyn, lasted less than three years. Convicted -- possibly unfairly -- of witchcraft, incest and adultery, she was beheaded in 1536. Less than two weeks after Anne's death, Henry married Jane Seymour, with whom he had a son. Their marriage was happy but short-lived. Jane died in 1537, soon after Edward's birth.

Diplomacy, not love, was the impetus for Henry's marriage to Anne of Cleves in 1540. Henry loathed her at first sight and quickly moved to end the arrangement. This Anne fared better than her predecessor. The marriage was legally annulled. Anne got a good financial settlement and lived happily in England.

Catherine Howard came next. In 17 short months of marriage, she went from being Henry's beloved "rose without a thorn" to a woman beheaded in 1540 for infidelities.

His final wife, Catherine Parr, wed Henry in 1543 even though she was in love with another man, Thomas Seymour. She at least got some satisfaction in the end. After Henry's death in 1547, she quickly married Seymour.

Love me, love me not

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) and Josephine de Beauharnais had a relationship that was tempestuous and plagued from the beginning. Napoleon was head-over-heels in love and lust for this ambitious widow. Josephine was savvy enough to know that a woman with a past needed someone with a future to support her and her two children from her first marriage. The marriage suffered from Napoleon's long and frequent forays on the battlefield and soon succumbed to charges of adultery -- real and imagined on both sides.

In January 1810, after 13 years of marriage, Napoleon -- set on getting a male child that would follow him as Emperor of France -- divorced Josephine. Three months later, he married Marie Louise of Austria, who gave him that son within a year of their wedding.

It's not you, it's me

Much has been written about what went wrong between British Prince Charles Windsor and Lady Diana Spencer. A decade older and emotionally attached to Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles was not exactly prime marriage material to begin with. But pressured by family and the press, and feeling a genuine affection for Diana, Charles proposed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mismatched Monarchs and Other Royal Disasters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.