January 3, 1540- Official meeting of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves

Henry and Anne of Cleves’ disastrous meeting at the Bishop’s Palace two days before had not been planned but Henry anxious to meet his bride rode ahead of schedule, eager to meet her. Unfortunately for him, Anne was not knowledgeable of the King’s love for courtly love and the meeting needless to say, as previously stated in one blog entry of mine, turned disastrous.
Had Henry known, or if Anne had been informed, we can speculate how different things would have gone. We will never know and can only guess.

Janet Wertman

Hans Holbein's Portrait of Anne of Cleves Hans Holbein’s Portrait of Anne of Cleves

Today was the day that Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves were supposed to meet for the first time. Unfortunately, on January 1, Henry allowed his impatience to get the better of him and decided to surprise his prospective bride. He disguised himself as a servant sent to bring her a New Year’s gift and tried to kiss her. Of course she was shocked, of course she resisted…and of course Henry was insulted at her (likely disgusted) reaction  Apparently he didn’t even bother giving her the rich sables that he had picked out for her, and just left them there for a real servant to bring her.

Not much changed at their formal meeting on Blackheath outside the gates of Greenwich Park, where she was received with all the pomp that a foreign alliance demanded and a new queen deserved. The King, dressed…

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