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King Henry VIII Siblings

Though King Henry is usually the major focus of any research into the Tudor family, he was not an only child. Many people don’t know that he was one of four children born to King Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth of York. Neither was Henry Tudor the eldest son, destined to take the English throne upon the death of his father either, instead he was destined for a more religious, secular life in the church.

King Henry VIII’s 6 Siblings were as below


1. Arthur Prince of Wales

Arthur was Henry’s older brother. As the firstborn son of the king, he inherited the title of Prince of Wales, and was tutored in the art of kingship in preparation of him succeeding to the throne. He was given a host of royal responsibilities to prepare him for the day that he was to become king, Henry on the other hand was not.

King Henry VIII Siblings

Arthur was born in 1486 and was five years older than Henry. At the age of just sixteen Arthur was married to Catherine of Aragon. That year a strange illness was sweeping the county, today the cause of the illness is still unknown.

It was called at the time ‘sweating sickness’. It struck very quickly and was incredibly deadly. Just six months after his wedding Arthur contracted this strange illness and died in April 1502. Suddenly Henry was heir to the throne.

King Henry VIII Siblings

2. Margaret Tudor

Margaret Tudor was Henry’s older sister. She was born on November 29th 1489 at the Palace of Westminster. Negotiations for her marriage started when she was only six years old and took several years to complete. She was finally married to King James IV of Scotland in Edinburgh on August 8th 1503, at only fourteen years of age.

Margaret Tudor was crowned Queen of Scotland in March 1504. Between 1507 and 1510 Margaret bore three children, two boys and a girl, all of which died in infancy. Her son James, who was to become James V of Scotland was born in 1512. A further son, Alexander was born in 1514 but died within his first year.

King Henry VIII Siblings

3. Mary Tudor

Mary Tudor was the younger sister of Henry VIII, she was born on March 18th 1496. She was originally betrothed to Charles, who would later become Holy Roman Emperor; the marriage was set to take place when Charles turned fourteen.

The marriage plans were cancelled by her brother Henry VIII, at which Mary was thought to be pleased as she would have been marrying a boy four years younger than herself. Instead, she was married to a man a full thirty four years older than herself, King Louis XII of France.

King Henry VIII Siblings

He was already in failing health but the marriage of Mary to the French king would signal a truce between France and England. Mary tried to refuse the marriage, wanting instead to marry the choice of her heart; Charles Brandon the Duke of Suffolk. Louis XII died within three months of their wedding.

Mary then did something very brave; she married the man that she wanted, without the approval of the king. She married Charles Brandon in a small French chapel. Henry although furious at his sister and his old friend forgave them. They went on to have three children together.

4. Elizabeth Tudor

On the second of July 1492, Elizabeth Tudor was born. She was the second daughter and fourth child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She isn’t to be confused with Elizabeth I’s daughter, Elizabeth.

She was born at Sheen Palace in Surrey, which was later rebuilt and renamed as Richmond Palace. However, her life was short-lived. She died just three years of age at Eltham Palace in Kent.

Elizabeth is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Her death is notable as it would have been the first time that the future Henry VIII would have experienced a death in his family and inner circle.

5. Edmund Tudor

Edmund Tudor was the younger brother of Henry VIII. He was born on February 21, 1499, at Greenwich Palace in Kent. Edmund’s name was derived from his paternal grandparent, Edmund Tudor.

Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham and Richard Foxe were Edward’s godparents. Lady Margaret Beaufort was his grandmother, and her husband, the Duke of Buckingham.

When Erasmus and Thomas Moore visited the royal nursery in September 1499, Edmund was there with his older sisters and Prince Henry. The infant was only seven months old at the time, and he can be seen cradled by his nurse in the famous painting.

He died on June 19, 1500, in the old palace of Hatfield in Hertfordshire, aged just 15 months. The reason for his death is unknown. It is well known, however, that the plague was widespread throughout eastern England at the time. He lies beside his sister Elizabeth in Westminster Abbey.

6. Catherine Tudor

Catherine Tudor was born on February 2, 1503, in the Tower of London. The Tower has always been a prison, but it also served as a Royal Palace before acquiring its reputation as such. She died on her 37th birthday…. her child survived just a few days. Elizabeth of York had complications during childbirth and died on February 11

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