Not Just the Tudors

Six Wives: Anne of Cleves

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Episode notes

Six wives - six lives that we think we know everything about. But beyond their mostly doomed marriages to Henry VIII and, in most cases, tragic ends, here were six women who shaped history in their own unique ways.

In a special six part series, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb brings together the most illuminating interviews about the six wives from the Not Just the Tudors archive. She also explores some of the latest research and speaks to Dr. Charlotte Bolland - curator of the National Portrait Gallery’s new exhibition Six Lives: The Stories of Henry VIII’s Queens - to paint an even fuller portrait of each of the six wives.


In this fourth episode, Suzannah is joined by Heather Darsie, Dr. Valerie Schutte and Dr Charlotte Bolland to recount the life of Anne of Cleves. Famed since the 17th century as the 'Flanders Mare', whom Henry allegedly rejected on the basis of her ugliness, the real story behind Anne's marriage and its dissolution turns out to be quite different to the fable we've been told.

This episode was edited by Ella Blaxill and produced by Rob Weinberg.

From 20 June to 8 September 2024, the National Portrait Gallery in London is hosting an exhibition titled Six Lives: The Stories of Henry VIII’s Queens, displaying the images that have shaped our perception of the six wives . Find out more, here >

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Not Just the Tudors is a History Hit podcast