period makeups: Catherine Parr

The Tudors
Henry VIII and His Six Wives
The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Period makeups: Catherine Parr

Henry VIII (1491–1547) was king of England and lord of Ireland, later king of Ireland, from 1509 until his death. He is famous for having been married six times, and almost by accident founding the Church of England. He wielded perhaps the most unfettered power of any English monarch, and brought about the dissolution of the Monasteries and the union of England and Wales.

Catherine Parr (1512–1548) was the last of the six wives of Henry VIII of England. During her third marriage, she was queen consort of England and Ireland. She was the most-married English queen, as she had four husbands.

At the age of seventeen in 1529, she married Edward Borough who may have been in poor health as he died in the spring of 1533. In 1534 she married John Neville, 3rd Baron Latymer. In 1536, during the Pilgrimage of Grace, Catherine was held hostage by the northern rebels, along with her two stepchildren. John Neville died in 1543. Then a rich widow she began a relationship with Sir Thomas Seymour, the brother of the late Jane Seymour, but the King took a liking to her and she was obliged to accept his proposal instead, marrying him on 12 July 1543 at Hampton Court Palace. In 1547, within six months of Henry’s death, she married Thomas Seymour, by then Lord Seymour of Sudeley. She gave birth to her only child in 1548 but died six days later. Thomas Seymour was executed for treason the following year.

That Catherine was his last wife and already twice widowed seems to blind filmmakers to the fact that she was only thirty one when she married Henry – and only thirty six when she died. Clare Holman and Joely Richardson were both over forty when they played Catherine and Rosalie Crutchley was fifty.