This is the second part of my review of A-England Tudoresque collection where I admire polishes and plunge into history. You can find the first part by clicking here.
I added each person’s motto next to the name of the polish (in brackets) just for some extra information. Let’s dive into some history and pictures now!
Anne of Cleves («God send me well to keep»)
Anne was the fourth wife of Henry VIII. Their marriage lasted 6 months.
Anne of Cleves was Henry VIII’s fourth wife, though not his choice made by love. His ambassadors searched out all the eligible heiresses and found out their beloved king had an awful marital reputation. In the end, the choice fell on Anne of Cleves as a most fitting partner for the king.The marriage to Anne of Cleves was more a matter of religion. This marriage was a diplomatic endeavor.
Anne was well-educated in domestic skills but she was neither educated nor very flirtatious, and by know we have learned that those were the qualities our dear king admired. She had no musical skills as well and no interest in books (quite shameful here, I have to point out). The King wasn’t ever enamoured by Anne but at first he managed to conceal his dislike. Although right after their wedding night the word spread of his physical distaste. When asked the next morning ‘How liked you the Queen?’, Henry replied, ‘I liked her before not well, but now I like her much worse.’ The king started thinking of a way out of this marriage.
Anne was probably smart enough to know that she would only be making trouble for herself if she raised any obstacles to Henry’s attempts to annul the marriage. She agreed to the annulement and that was probably her blessing!
After the marriage had been annulled, Anne accepted the honorary title as the ‘King’s Sister’. She was given property, including Hever Castle, formerly belonging to Anne Boleyn.
Anne was considered gentle, virtuous and docile and that was translated into a soft and delicate colour which is described as «Delicate blush pink scatter holo with gold shimmer». I couldn’t understand the sudden warmth that the colour sometimes possessed but after reading the description everything fell into place.
Catherine Howard («Non autre volonte que la sienne» — ‘No other wish but his’)
Catherine was the fifth wife of Henry. They were married for less than two years.
Catherine Howard was a cousin of the ill-fated second queen, Anne Boleyn. Henry noticed her the same way he noticed Anne and Jane Seymour — Catherine was a lady-in-waiting of Henry’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
Raised in the far too permissive household of her grandmother, she was a flirtatious and emotional girl who rarely understood the consequences of her actions. She made the mistake of continuing her girlish indiscretions as queen. Henry was madly in love with her, calling her his ‘Rose without a Thorn’ and showering her with gifts and public affection. Catherine was understandably more attracted to men her own age and, after just seventeen months of marriage to the king, she was arrested for adultery. The distraught king at first refused to believe the evidence but it was persuasive. Unlike Anne Boleyn, Catherine had betrayed the king.
The first year of marriage was an Indian summer in the king’s life all the way until he was ignorant of his wife’s affairs. Catherine’s fall from grace was rapid. When she was informed that she would be executed, her only request was that the block be brought to her for she wished to ‘know how to place herself.’
Catherine was a merry and vivacious girl, graceful and charming. She had all the vitality of youth and this bright teal from the collection possesses every quality mentioned. It is described as a «vivid teal scatter holo with glints of gold«. I see that gold shimmer maybe 5% of all the time of wearing the polish but when it decides to make itself visible, you surely won’t miss it.
Katherine Parr («To be useful in all I do»)
Katherine Parr was the sixth and last wife of King Henry VIII, they had been married a little more than 3 years before the king died.
She was already twice-widowed and had no children when she and the king wed in 1543; She was an admirable wife to Henry and a loving stepmother to his two youngest children, Elizabeth and Edward. She was also the most intellectual of Henry’s wives, caught up in the turbulent religious climate of the times. (A saint of a woman!)
She was tall, vivacious and witty, with a kindly and sensible nature. Her education was good, but not comprehensive. Later in life, she would undertake the difficult task of learning Greek and Latin; this was indicative of her genuine love and respect for scholarship, particularly with regard to women. It was Katherine Parr who encouraged Elizabeth I’s education, thus creating the most learned monarch in English history.
After her second husband passed away Katherine fell in love with the charming Thomas Seymour, brother of the late Queen Jane and uncle to Henry VIII’s only male heir. Katherine looked to Seymour as her future husband, to a life of passionate fulfillment rather than one of duty. Seymour, meanwhile, took note of the king’s interest and wisely stepped back. She and Seymour parted with some promises for the future (after all, the king was ill and failing) and their feelings undiminished. Some time after Henry’s death Katherine married Thomas. The great tragedy of her life was that, when finally able to marry for love, her happiness was all too brief — after giving birth to a girl Katherine fell victim to childbed fever and died some days later.
As Katherine developed a passion for learning which would continue throughout her life her polish had to be «intelligent-looking». This shade of blue is exactly the case. Described by A-England as «Lapis lazuli blue scatter holo with a hint of lavender and a subtle pink blush» you can not fail to notice how carefully the type of blue had been selected — it’s not too bright, neither it lacks in saturation. It is perfectly well-balanced and also pays the tribute to the Blue Stockings Society.
Sir Loyal Heart (Henry VIII)
Finally, we came to the last part of our Tudoresque collection history. Last but certainly not least since Sir Loyal King is no other than the king himself! Here is our man in question — we have to thank him. I know it may sound weird considering how many unpleasant things we have learned about him. But here’s the silver lining: all his bad deeds gave us a whole collection of beautiful new shades. Breathtakingly beautiful, I must say!
King Henry VIII had chosen the nickname «Sir Loyal Heart» for himself when he participated in tournaments and jousts. He invented this name for himself during his marriage to Katherine of Aragon — their relationship was stronger than ever back then because Katherine succeeded in providing an heir (the little boy suddenly died several weeks later of unknown reasons though).
Henry VIII is described as «one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne». Henry was an intellectual. The first English king with a modern humanist education, he read and wrote English, French and Latin, and was thoroughly at home in his well-stocked library. He excelled at sports, especially jousting and hunting. Too bad he is often characterised a lustful, egotistical, harsh, and insecure king in his later life (not without reason as we can notice)
It is well fit for a king to receive a shade our man Henry got in this collection. His personal polish tribute is described as a «rich brown scatter holo with a dark burgundy reflection and golden shimmer«. After having read quite a lot of information about Henry, his wives and his life in general, I have to say that this colour seems a wonderful choice to me.
English History website — link (there’s a link to a separate page for each of Henry’s wives)
Wikipedia — link (this page also has a link to each wife’s own page with lots of information)
A-England website — link