Henry VIII 'emotionally dependent on women'

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Henry VIII was emotionally dependent on women, according to the historian David Starkey, who has identified striking similarities between the monarch's and his mother's handwriting.

Unlike most early modern princes the Tudor monarch was brought up in a feminine household and was almost certainly taught to write by his mother, analysis shows.

This upbringing shaped Henry's "emotionally incontinent" personality, leading him to fall and love with – and marry – so many women, Starkey claims.

The consequences for British history were immense; the 16th Century king's desire to secure a divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon so he could marry the attractive young Anne Boleyn helped bring about the country's break from Rome, and eventual acceptance of Protestantism.

Starkey, a Tudor specialist who has presented several television series about English monarchs, has curated a new exhibition at the British Library where examples of the king's handwriting will go on show.

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Catherine I Boring - 3/16/2009

Henry VIII's mother, Elizabeth of York, died 11 February 1503 when the
future Henry VIII was 11 years, 7 months, 14 days old. His Father, Henry VII, died 6 years later on 21 April 1509. Henry VIII was born on 28 June 1491, which made Henry VIII 17 years, 9 months, 24 days old when his fatherdied, long after his mother's death. Henry's grandmother, Margaret Beaufort was regent for him until his 18th birthday a few months later.

Henry's paternal Grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, ran the royal household for her son. This included the care, and education, of all of the children of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York except Arthur, Prince of Wales, whose education was overseen by his father, Henry VII. When Prince Arthur died on April 2, 1502 (When Prince Henry was 10 years, 9 months, 5 days old), Henry
VII took over the new Prince of Wales education and care. For example,
Prince Henry's bedroom was only accessable by walking through his father's

Yes, Henry adored his mother. And he identified with the Yorkist side of
the family-which is not surprising considering how much he resembled his
grandfather Edward IV in looks and personality. But she did not raise him and his siblings single-handedly. And she died long before Henry VII. In childbirth, trying to produce another son to replace their dead son Arthur. She had a daughter, and they both died shortly thereafter.