The Six Wives of Henry VIII

BBC Two (ended 1970)


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Episode Guide


  • Season 1
    • Catherine Parr
      Episode 6
      Corpulent and old, Henry makes a final trip to the altar, with the puritan Lady Latimer, Catherine Parr. The new queen brings Henry’s estranged daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, back into the family fold, but irritates the king by debating religion with him and his advisors. The Catholic Bishop of Winchester sets out to prove Catherine to be a heretic, but is thwarted by Henry’s affection for his last queen. Finally, Henry VIII dies, leaving his kingdom fractured by religious differences, and divided over the legitimacy of his daughters. At his own request, he is buried next to the wife who provided him with a son, Jane Seymour.moreless
    • Catherine Howard
      Episode 5
      The powerful Duke of Norfolk, the leading Catholic aristocrat in England, dangles his smokin' hot teenaged niece Catherine Howard before the aging but still horny King Henry, who foolishly marries her. It is only a matter of time before Catherine's indiscretions with men her own age are revealed, and she meets the same fate as predecessor Anne Boleyn.moreless
    • Anne of Cleves
      Episode 4
      Religious strife between Catholics and Protestants continues to swell in Europe. To try to balance the Catholic threat of France and Spain, Thomas Cromwell persuades King Henry into a political marriage with the sister of the Protestant German Duke of Cleves. Sadly, the artist Hans Holbein, assigned the task of painting the prospective bride, takes artistic liberties, and Henry is unpleasantly surprised when his bride arrives and is not the beauty portrayed in her portrait. Though alone in a foreign land, Anne is shrewd enough to negotiate a divorce from Henry, and remains in England, well cared for, as “the King’s sister.” Her success is not shared by Cromwell, however, who is executed for his role in arranging the disastrous marriage. Though not mentioned in the series, Anne of Cleves outlived all the other wives of Henry VIII..moreless
    • Jane Seymour
      Episode 3
      The third episode of the series is told in flashback, as Queen Jane Seymour lies on her deathbed, after giving birth to Henry's sole male heir, Prince Edward. Anxious to rid himself of the shrewish Anne Boleyn, and desperate for a son, Henry is charmed by the naive and pious Jane, the daughter of a wealthy country aristocrat. Political and religious turmoil threaten their happy marriage, as Catholic and Protestant factions clash but Jane is able to provide King Henry with his long-awaited male heir. Tragically, it is at the cost of her own life as she dies six days after her son's birth.moreless
    • Anne Boleyn
      Episode 2
      This second episode of the series overlaps with the first, and thus begins when Queen Anne and King Henry are already estranged. After several pregnancies, Anne has provided her husband with only one surviving child, Princess Elizabeth. Extremely unpopular with both the public and the aristocracy, Anne has few friends to protect her when Henry's eye lights upon the virginal Jane Seymour. New prime minister Thomas Cromwell manufactures adultery charges against the queen, including a charge of incest with her own brother which are confirmed by her vengeful sister-in-law, Lady Rochford. Put on trial for treason, the result is a foregone conclusion and Anne Boleyn bravely faces the executioner's axe.moreless
    • 1/1/70
      Catalina of Aragon, a Spanish princess, is set to wed Arthur Tudor, eldest son on King Henry VII. Shortly after they wed, Arthur is taken by illness. Catalina then catches the eye of Arthur's brother, Henry. When Henry VII dies, he tells his son Henry that he must marry Catalina. Henry becomes the King of England and marries Catalina. Being loved by her new subjects, Catalina changes her name to the English version, Catherine. After many years, she is still loved by her subjects, but it's a different story with her husband.moreless