In Defense of Katherine Howard Part 3: What her contemporaries thought of her

Here is what the French Ambassador, Charles de Marillac, had to say regarding Henry VIII’s relationship with his teenage wife:  

The King is so amorous of her that he cannot treat her well enough and caress her more than he did the others.”


Other envoys also reported favorably on Katherine, stating what had attracted her to Henry:
“It was upon a notable appearance of honor, cleanness and maidenly behavior and that High Highness was finally contented to honor that lady with his marriage, thinking in his old days -after sundry troubles of mind which had happened to him by marriage- to have obtained such a perfect jewel of womanhood and very perfect love towards him as should have been not only to his quietness but also to have brought forth the desired fruits of marriage.”

Which brings me to my next point: With all this said countless times, why does she still get to be portrayed as a bubbly head? They are doing a huge disservice to Katherine portraying her like an idiot when she clearly WASN’T. And sex sells and the Tudors were full of sex scandals but half of those scandals come from hundreds of years after they were dead and are mere inventions and shouldn’t be regarded as fact. So let’s do the poor girl justice once more and appreciate her for all her achievements, as insignificant as they might seem to us, she fulfilled her queenly obligations and her motto speaks millions of the role she intended to play, one as I said in my previous post, similar to Jane Seymour’s. Her one flaw was her past, and being young and fallen for a dangerous rogue who unlike the fictitious characters we love to fawn over in the movies, had nothing commendable about him.

So here I leave you with the only portrayal I’m able to stomach of Katherine, because she is not bubbly in this one and they do her more justice than any other series, albeit they still exaggerate in some things (it’s drama after all).

Best portrayal of KH to date!
Best portrayal of KH to date!

Sources:

  • Katherine Howard: A New History by Conor Byrne
  • The Six Wives and the Many Mistresses of Henry VIII by Amy Licence
  • Six Wives of Henry VIII by David Starkey
  • Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser
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