The story of King Henry VIII and his six wives has been told over and over throughout history. First there was Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s deceased older brother’s wife. Then there was the infamous Anne Boleyn, who was rumoured of being a witch. However, Henry’s third wife Jane Seymour was unequivocally remembered as the love of his life.
If you followed the HBO drama The Tudors, it’s important to note that although some of the details were altered slightly (for dramatic purposes, of course), Henry’s devotion and adoration for Jane is historically accurate.
Henry met Jane the way he met most of his wives: she was a lady-in-waiting for the current Queen, who at this time was Anne Boleyn. Unlike some of Henry’s other wives, Jane was not interested in the power that came with being Queen. She knew, as did most of the people living at court, that Henry had taken an interest in her. But Jane did not want to be romantically linked to the King while he was still married.
That being said, only 24 hours after Anne Boleyn was executed, Henry and Jane were engaged. They were married on May 30, 1536. Shortly after, Jane invited Henry daughters, Princesses Mary and Elizabeth to come back to live at court. This invitation re-established the girls in the succession to the throne and solidified Henry, Jane, Mary and Elizabeth as a family unit.
The next year, Jane gave birth to Henry’s first legitimate son and proper heir to the throne: Prince Edward VI. Although pregnancy was no easy task in the 16th century, Jane’s every craving and concern was attended to swiftly and completely. Jane survived the childbirth, attended Edward’s christening, but tragically she died when Edward was only two weeks old.
At the time of her death, Henry had almost completed the construction of his own tomb at St. George Chapel in Windsor Castle. Jane Seymour was the only wife of Henry VIII who was buried with the King. Henry did marry three more times, but he never fell out of love with Jane. She was the first wife that Henry neither divorced nor beheaded. It’s hard to argue against the fact that if Jane had not died unexpectedly, the story of Henry VIII’s six wives may never have existed!
Source: Tudor History