Anne of Cleves

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Anne of Cleves (German: Anna von Jülich-Kleve-Berg) (22 September 1515[1] – 16 July 1557) was a German noblewoman and the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England and as such she was Queen of England from 6 January 1540 to 9 July 1540. The marriage was never consummated, and she was not crowned queen consort. Following the annulment of their marriage, Anne was given a generous settlement by the King, and thereafter referred to as the King's Beloved Sister.

Anne was the subject of two portraits by Hans Holbein the younger who painted her in 1539.


Early life

Anne was born in 1515 in Düsseldorf,[2] the second daughter of John III, Duke of Jülich jure uxoris, Cleves, Berg jure uxoris, Count of Mark and Ravensberg jure uxoris (often referred to as Duke of Cleves) who died in 1538, and his wife Maria, Duchess of Julich-Berg (1491–1543). She grew up living in Schloss Burg on the edge of Solingen. Anne's father was influenced by Erasmus and followed a moderate path within the Reformation. He sided with the Schmalkaldic League and opposed Emperor Charles V. After John's death, Anne's brother William became Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, bearing the promising epithet "The Rich." In 1526, her elder sister Sybille was married to John Frederick, Elector of Saxony, head of the Protestant Confederation of Germany and considered the "Champion of the Reformation."

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