Friday 4 March 2011

Defending Katherine Parr

Above: British actress Joely Richardson as Katherine Parr in Series 4 of The Tudors.

Concluding her excellent series on the reputations of Henry VIII's six wives, Claire Ridgway mounts a rousing defence of his final queen, Katherine Parr (1512 - 1548.)

"In the final part of our Six Wives’ Stereotypes series we look at a wife who I would say has been more ignored and misrepresented than maligned. When I did a project on Henry VIII and his six wives when I was 11, I thought that Catherine Parr was nothing but a glorified nursemaid, a nurse with a crown and jewels as a perk. I imagined her tending the obese, bad-tempered and ill King, mopping his brow and whispering soothing words of comfort to him. A woman who made his last years more comfortable and who humoured him. How wrong I was. Just last weekend I was watching “The Tudors” and there was Queen Catherine Parr applying a poultice to Henry’s leg ulcer, although I am pleased to say that they have also made Henry’s sixth wife glamorous and intelligent so I might let them off!"

For Katherine Parr's position as the first English Queen of Ireland, click here.

For an account of her death, click here.


  1. I'm really enjoying Claire's posts. Thanks for pointing the way, Gareth.

  2. Sometime ago i realized that are few articles of Tudors and Anne Boleyn in portuguese, so i created an blog where i am translating various articles, in the most time of english. I was very glad to find your site, and and i want very much translate your articles. The credits will go to your site, of course.

    Sorry to send the bad english.


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