A shocking new book claims that Henry VIII very nearly got married for a seventh time in his life, to a woman called Katherine Willoughby.
Henry VIII’s Last Love, written by David Baldwin, suggests that the King had planned to divorce his wife at the time, Catherine Parr, but was put off by the thought of marrying a powerful strong-willed wife.
Katherine had already previously given birth to two sons, which appealed to Henry as he was desperate for male heirs to the throne.
However, the Tudor Lady was was known as domineering with a “sharp tongue” according to the book, and this put Henry off.
Despite his attraction to Willoughby, King Henry decided to remain with his sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr.
The author, David Baldwin explained: “It was apparent that Henry was very fond of Katherine. Henry was obviously keen on her, and what Henry wanted, he usually got.”
“He liked her feistiness as one of his subjects, but as a wife – that might have been a different matter. She could’ve become his seventh wife but he may have just been getting a bit tired of the whole business. It wouldn’t be surprising if he was jaded by the experience of his six wives.”
Katherine was a lady-in-waiting for two of Henry’s wives: Anne of Cleves, whom Henry later divorced and Catherine Howard.
Henry had already been married to Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, who died after giving birth to Henry’s only son, the future King Edward VI.
The book also claims that they both exchanged gifts which left Henry “in much better humour than ever; making musicians play on their instruments all day along”
“Rumours are sometimes without foundation, but there are strong indications that King Henry found Katherine attractive” Baldwin said.
“They had been exchanging New Year gifts since 1534, and he had been ‘masking and visiting’ with her in March 1538, only months after Jane Seymour’s death”
“It is possible he saw this younger, perhaps more attractive woman who was now a widow and the mother of two healthy boys as the solution to his problem.”
“He would not have been the first man to think that a new, more exciting, relationship would somehow restore his lost youth.”
In what some would call a lucky escape, the couple never got married and Katherine was later exiled away from England when Catholic Queen Mary came to the throne.
‘Henry VIII’s Last Love’ will be published on March 28 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.