Amalia of Cleves, Sister of Anne of Cleves

by Heather R. Darsie Unknown Woman, previously identified as Amalia of Cleves by Hans Holbein, c. 1539 After just over six months of marriage, on 9 July 1540, Anna von Kleve, more commonly known as Anne of Cleves, was divorced from Henry VIII of England. As part of her reward for acquiescing so easily to Henry’s request, she would forever after be known in England … Continue reading Amalia of Cleves, Sister of Anne of Cleves

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Maria of Austria, Duchess of Jülich-Kleve-Berg

On 11 December 1581, Maria of Austria, Duchess of Jülich-Kleve-Berg, passed away at Hambach Castle. Maria began her life on 15 May 1531 in Prague, where she was welcomed as the third daughter and fifth of what would be fifteen children from the marriage of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Anna Jagiello of Bohemia and Hungary. Ferdinand was a younger brother to Charles V, … Continue reading Maria of Austria, Duchess of Jülich-Kleve-Berg

If by Land or by Sea

by Heather R. Darsie Anne of Cleves by Hans Holbein, 1539 Anna von Kleve, known to English speakers as Anne of Cleves, left her homeland in December 1539 to join her new husband, Henry VIII of England. The two had been married by proxy a couple months earlier, in October. After Henry successfully negotiated the marriage alliance with Anna’s younger brother Wilhelm, Duke of Cleves … Continue reading If by Land or by Sea

Philippa of Hainault

by Heather R. Darsie Philippa Avesnes von Hennegau und Holland, or Philippa of Hainault as she is known to English speakers, was Queen Consort of England from 24 January 1328 to 15 August 1369. It is speculated that she was born on 24 June sometime between 1310 and 1315. Her exact date of birth is unknown, though some estimates put her year of birth as … Continue reading Philippa of Hainault

The Increasing Horrors of War in 16th Century Western Europe

by Heather R. Darsie The 16th century saw rapid changes in military capabilities. The medieval knight and a knight’s form of armor and fighting reached peak efficiency by around 1450. After 1450, advances in military science made armor more and more vulnerable. The advent of pike attacks and guns made armor almost ineffective, and the flat walls of many fortifications made excellent targets for canon … Continue reading The Increasing Horrors of War in 16th Century Western Europe

Juana of Castile and Her Madness

by Heather R. Darsie Juana la Loca, or Joanna the Mad, was the elder sister of Catherine of Aragon and sister-in-law to Henry VIII of England. Juana was born on 6 November 1479, a daughter of the formidable Isabella of Castile and Isabella’s husband Ferdinand of Aragon. Juana was known during her lifetime as Juana of Castile.  Juana married Philip von Habsburg, known as the … Continue reading Juana of Castile and Her Madness

Sibylle, the Other Daughter of Cleves

by Heather R. Darsie Sibylle von Kleve, who signed her name as “Sybylla,” was born on 17 July 1512. Sybylla eventually became older sister to Anna von Kleve, more commonly known as Anne of Cleves or Henry VIII’s fourth wife, in 1515. Sybylla, the eldest of Maria von Julich-Berg’s children with Duke Johann von Kleve, was elevated to the station of Electress Consort through her … Continue reading Sibylle, the Other Daughter of Cleves

Happy 500th Birthday, Anna!

by Heather R. Darsie Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum 500ten Geburtstag, Anna! Anna von Kleve, most widely known as Anne of Cleves or Henry VIII’s fourth wife, was born on either 20* or 22 September 1515. Anna was born in Düsseldorf, the second daughter out of four children. She lived at her father’s court until late 1539, when Anna moved to England to become Henry VIII’s fourth … Continue reading Happy 500th Birthday, Anna!

The Habsburg Sisters, Part II: Isabella von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

by Heather R. Darsie Most people interested in Tudor history are familiar with names like Charles V, Francis I, or even Christina of Denmark. Charles’ mother Juana of Castile might sound familiar. But what of Juana’s four daughters, Charles V’s sisters? Who were they? Why were they important? How did they fulfill the goals of Charles and his brother Ferdinand in the early 16th century? This article will provide an … Continue reading The Habsburg Sisters, Part II: Isabella von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

Christina of Denmark, Duchess of Milan and Lorraine, Lady of Tortona

by Heather R. Darsie Christina Oldenburg, born a Princess of Denmark and Norway, entered the world in November of 1521 or 1522. Being the daughter of Isabella of Austria, Christina was the niece to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Her father was King Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Christian II was deposed in January 1523, when the infant Christina was still quite small, … Continue reading Christina of Denmark, Duchess of Milan and Lorraine, Lady of Tortona