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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day, and though it was not celebrated in the time of Elizabeth, I think it is befitting to explore who her father was: Henry VIII. Interestingly, Henry was not suppose to be King. He had an older brother, Arthur (older by 5 years), but who was a sickly child and a few months after being married to a certain Spanish Princess, died unexpectedly. This meant that Henry became Heir Presumptive and given the title Prince of Wales, as well bear all the burdens that came with it. Their father Henry VII was still eager to have an alliance with Spain and proposed that the newly widowed Princess, marry Henry. The marriage was allowed but only after consent from the Pope, as to marry his brother's wife would be considered incest. After 7 years of marriage, Catherine gave birth to their only surviving child. A daughter, they named her Mary (who would later become Mary I a.k.a Bloody Mary). Henry became increasingly agitated by the fact that no male heir had been born and survived during his marriage to Catherine. With the idea that God was punishing him for having committed an incestuous act, as well as been enchanted by one of Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting, Anne Boleyn, Henry tried to obtain an annulment from the Pope. Contrary to popular belief, Henry after becoming the "Supreme Head of the English Church" granted an annulment to his marriage with Catherine, not a divorce, as Catherine would never have consented since she was a staunch Catholic. Anne Boleyn had refused to become Henry's mistress, like her sister Mary, but only his wife and Queen. When this was accomplished she consented, and nine months after their marriage, she gave birth to a daughter whom they named Elizabeth.

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