Divorced, beheaded, matched? Discover Henry VIII’s ideal wife
It’s always going to be difficult to find a meaningful relationship if you go round having your ex-wives executed.
But this didn’t stop Tudor King of England and all-round scoundrel Henry VIII taking six different brides up the aisle during his reign.
Poor Henry (and his even poorer wives) could have saved a lot of time, misery and head-chopping if they had had eHarmony in the 16th Century, as, to celebrate his 523rd birthday this Saturday, we can officially reveal which of his six wives he was best matched to.
With the help of Tudor specialist historian Elizabeth Norton, our eHarmony match-makers scored Henry and his wives on the key personality dimensions needed for a successful relationship, including emotional temperament, social style and relationship skills. We then ran them through our complex matching algorithm to find who he was most suited to sharing the throne with, and we can reveal top of the list was…
A woman Henry VIII wanted to marry so much that he ignored the pope and started a reformation of the Church of England in order to divorce from his previous marriage.
This relationship came out top due to the royal pair’s well-matched sexual appetite, openness with one another and high levels of energy and drive.
However, as you may guess from the fact that Anne Boleyn was only Henry’s second wife, this story does not end happily. Having failed to give Henry the male heir he so desperately sought, Anne was accused of treasonous adultery, incest and witchcraft and the king had her publicly beheaded at the Tower of London.
This may be because our findings show that Henry VIII wasn’t actually particularly compatible with any of his wives, due to his aggressive personality (did we mention the whole axe thing?), high levels of neuroticism and lack of compassion.
Just for fun, we’ve mocked up our own version of how Henry and his wives’ profiles may have looked on Ye Olde eHarmony. Here’s the full list of the rest of Henry VIII’s wives in our order of compatability:
Perhaps surprisingly, the second most compatible wife was Anne of Cleves, whose marriage with Henry ended in under a year. The couple shared a similar level of intelligence and conscientiousness and in reality remained (comparatively) amicable despite their split.
Further behind in third was Catherine of Aragon. The profiling indicates that her relative lack of interest in appearance and athleticism may have caused friction with the sporty king. Despite this, their marriage lasted for 23 years before Henry split with the Roman Catholic Church in order to divorce her.
In the bottom three for compatibility were Jane Seymour, who was not bold and outgoing enough and Catherine Howard, whose mismatched libido and attitudes to sex were ‘cause for concern’ for the relationship analysts at eHarmony.
Henry was least well matched with last wife Catherine Parr,who may have been too intellectual for the king’s tastes. However, Catherine had the last laugh; surviving Henry and even going on to marry again.
If this has given you a taste for exploring something historical, then why not check out our Great Date Guide article on Hampton Court Palace, which was renovated by Henry VIII and is open to the public today.
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