Today in 1533, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn married… of course, they had already married on November 14 1532. So why the second marriage?

See, Henry VIII and Anne had married earlier, but it was a secret ceremony. Shortly thereafter, Anne Boleyn became pregnant and they needed to get officially married.

Problem? Yeah, see Henry was still married to Catherine of Aragon. He would be for several months more before he would finally have the divorce he so sought. Until May 23, 1533, Henry was still technically married to Catherine of Aragon, so he literally couldn’t marry Anne Boleyn.

So both the wedding in secret in 1532 and the wedding “in public” (actually it was a private ceremony) in 1533 were null and void because Henry was committing a kind of bigamy.

At least, that was what those who would later accuse Elizabeth I of being a bastard would say. Anne Boleyn was never the Queen, but merely the “king’s whore.” Not very nice, I know.

Lesson to be learned here? Don’t have an affair with a man in the middle of a mid-life crisis? Nahhh… I think the real lesson here is to not tie the future of your polity to the romantic whims of a man in the throes of a mid-life crisis. Seriously, how does that seem like a good idea?

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