Description of Figure/Doll

Handcrafted figure of Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII of England. She is made with stuffed cloth and felt that is decorated with gold trim. Katherine Howard became Queen of England when she was still a teenager. King Henry called her his “rose without a thorn.” She is wearing a silver/white French gown, with a French hood, and decorative sleeves. She has pearls on her necklace, and silver trim on her headdress and dress. Her facial features are created with pen on her face of felt. Katherine is wearing garments customary for the British culture at that time. To learn more, read her story.

Link to higher resolution images at ClipPix

England: United Kingdom

Location: Europe

Capital: London

Main language: English

Currency: British Pound


Construction: felt, appliques

Height in Centimeters: 16

Height in Inches: 6

Katherine Howard: 5th Wife of King Henry VIII (his "Rose without a Thorn")

Reading Level: 5.20

My name is Katherine Howard and I was King Henry’s fifth wife. I wish that I could tell you that my life was happy, but it was not. Even though I became Queen of England when I was still a teenager, I was beheaded a few months later.

It’s true that I was a wild young woman. I loved to flirt with men. My dream was to marry King Henry and become the Queen of England. I realized that King Henry was not a very attractive person. He was much older than me and had to use a cane to walk. He divorced his first wife, had the second wife beheaded, and divorced the third wife. But that didn’t discourage me from wanting to marry him.

When I was still a teenager, I managed to get a position at the King’s court as a Lady In Waiting. It just so happened that I was a cousin of Anne Boleyn , who had been Henry’s second wife. It was at this time that Henry and his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, were having their marital problems. I knew he wasn’t happy with her, and I flirted with Henry all the time.

Henry was enchanted with me because I was young and beautiful. Each time I met King Henry, I would shyly smile and bow to show that I was interested in his advances. I was slowly drawing Henry into my web. It wasn’t too long after he divorced Anne of Cleves that he called me into his chambers. He gave me a beautiful necklace, and called me his “the rose without a thorn.” I could tell that he was in love with me. As he placed the necklace around my neck, I realized that I could be his fifth Queen of England.

I was very excited about being a Queen. It meant I would have everything I wanted, and I would be married to the most powerful man in England. Our wedding took place a few days after Henry divorced Anne of Cleves.

Even though King Henry loved me, I was not in love with him. Henry was 49 years old and fat, so I started flirting with the young men at court. When Henry was busy, I would sneak away to meet with a young lover. One day, about 18 months after our wedding, someone told Henry that I was cheating on him. He told Henry that I was not the faithful wife he thought I was.

Henry became furious and sentenced me to be beheaded for treason. Not only was I sentenced to death, but my lovers were killed as well. So in 1542, after only a few months of being Queen of England, I was beheaded with an axe. Not exactly a happy ending for me

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