Anne of Cleeves

(1515 to 1557)



In 1540 Henry married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. She was a German princess. Henry was advised to marry her to make an alliance between England and Germany. This was because Henry’s ministers were worried that Spain was building an army against England and by marrying a German Princess Henry would have an ally in Europe.

Henry had not met Anne of Cleves, so he sent the artist Hans Holbein to paint her portrait. After seeing the portrait and believing her to be beautiful, Henry agreed to marry her.

When Anne of Cleves arrived in England he was disappointed with her. Henry found her ugly and divorced her six months later.