Thursday, February 3, 2011

Henry the 8th; The Fat Elvis of the Monarchy

When I was about 11 years old, I went to the Wisconsin state fair with my aunt and uncle. I really wanted to see Robert Palmer who was performing there, but his show started at 9pm which would've been way past my bedtime. Instead, we ended up seeing Herman's Hermits, with Henny Youngman opening up for them. Herman's Hermits ended up being my first concert ever. (please note, I have claimed in the past that Debbie Gibson was my first concert, but that technically was my first unaccompanied by an adult concert). TRUE STORY. Anyway, for those of you who don't know, Herman's Hermits was a British invasion band from the sixties who were famous for their song "Henry the 8th." Probably would have been cool to see them in 1965; seeing them in 1988? Not so much.
Wow, it took me a long time to get to the point of this blog...

Henry the 8th was married 6 times. His wives were: Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katherine Parr. His modis-operandi with his wives: Marry. Accuse of infidelity. Apply for annulment and/or execution.  Repeat.
My advice to women of the 1500's: don't be named Katherine/Catherine, Anne, or Jane because apparently, old Hank will have eyes for you. And if you do end up marrying him, don't have attractive women as your ladies-in-waiting, because he will cruise them, marry them, and you will be headed (or beheaded, get it?) to the Tower of London.
Henry actually started out as a svelte, well-educated, attractive man. Because it was assumed that his older brother Albert would inherit the throne, Henry was being groomed for a life in the church (which is ironic since he would end up feuding with the church). However, Albert died at the age of 15, so the throne was left to Henry. It was liked he then flipped a switch from piety to rockstardom. As a king, he lived lavishly and amassed huge debt. He grew morbidly obese, had gout and was covered in pus-filled boils. Hot. While it was rumored that he had syphilis, it's more likely that he had type II diabetes. I guess marrying, divorcing, executing, and re-marrying will take it's toll on a person.
Well, here's a necklace fit for a rockstar king:

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