Henry VIII's children

Henry VIII's children

Young Princess Elizabeth

Henry VIII's children played an important role in both British history and the history of the royal palaces

Mary I

Mary Tudor was born in 1516 and reigned as Queen from 1553-1558. She was born at Greenwich Palace and was the only child of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon to survive childhood.

As Queen, she attempted to reverse the reformation and return England to the Catholic faith. After her death, Protestant writers called her 'Bloody Mary', owing to the number of Protestant 'heretics' she had ordered to be executed.

Elizabeth I

Elizabeth was born in 1533 and reigned as Queen from 1558-1603. Like her half sister Mary I, Elizabeth was born at Greenwich Palace in London. The only daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth was only 2 and a half years old when her mother was executed.

After Anne Boleyn's execution, Elizabeth was declared illegitimate and deprived of the title of 'princess'. However before his death in 1547, Henry VIII reinstated both his daughters in the line of succession.

Famous for being the 'virgin queen' as she never married, Elizabeth set England back on the Protestant path after Mary I's attempt to return the country to Catholicism.

Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1554 by Mary I.

Edward VI

Edward was born in 1537 and reigned as King from 1547-1553. He was the eagerly awaited son of Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour. King by the tender age of 9, Edward was raised a devout Protestant and in 1549, the English Prayer Book (or Book of Common Prayer) was issued with the Act of Uniformity to enforce it.

In 1553, Edward fell seriously ill. In an attempt to prevent the country from being returned to Catholicism, he named Lady Jane Grey as his successor. Unfortunately for her, the new Queen reigned for only 9 days before she was arrested and later executed and Mary I was proclaimed as the rightful heir to the throne.

Edward VI was born at Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII's illegitimate children

Henry VIII is believed to have fathered at least one illegitimate child; Henry Fitzroy. Henry was born to Elizabeth 'Bessie' Blount in 1519 and given the title of Duke of Richmond. He was the only illegitimate son that Henry VIII recognised and he died at the age of 16 in 1536.

Henry Carey, son of Mary Carey (neé Boleyn) may also have been one of Henry VIII's children although historians differ as to whether they believe this to be true or not. The idea that Henry Carey may indeed be Henry VIII's son is spawned from the fact that Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn, was King Henry's mistress prior to the child's birth in 1526. Henry Carey died in 1596 aged 70.

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