Catherine Parr (Katherine, Kateryn, Katheryne or Kathrine); 1512 – 5 September 1548) was Queen consort of England and Ireland and the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. She married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543. She was the fourth commoner Henry had taken as his consort, and outlived him. She was also the most-married English queen, as she had a total of four husbands.
Catherine Parr - detail of headdress and jewels. Catherine Parr was the only queen to rule as regent from July - September 1544 while Henry was on a military campaign in France and in case he lost his life, she was to rule as Regent until Edward came of age. Catherine was able to rule as she saw fit and It is thought that Elizabeth I was greatly influenced by Catherine's actions as Regent, her strength of character and noted dignity.
Most unaware that Catherine Parr was a descendant of royalty.Her father's paternal lineage linked her back to William "the Lion" of Scotland and other Scottish nobility.Through her paternal grandmother,Lady Elizabeth FitzHugh, Catherine Parr was a direct descendant of King Edward III of England (House of Plantagenet) and Philippa of Hainault,Queen consort of England through their son Prince John of Gaunt,Duke of Lancaster/Plantagenet and his mistress, later wife, Katherine Swynford née Roët.
Profile of Catherine Parr, Sixth Wife of Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England noticed the widowed Catherine Parr. He had just had his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, executed for deceiving him. He divorced his fourth queen, Anne of Cleves, because he was not attracted to her.Knowing that history, and apparently already engaged to Jane Seymour's brother, Thomas Seymour, Catherine Parr was reluctant to marry Henry, and aware that refusing could have serious consequences for herself and her family.So Catherine Parr married Henry VIII of England.