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Queen Catherine Howard's Death

Queen Catherine Howard

The life and death of Queen Catherine Howard:

You'd think she'd have known better. Her cousin Anne was married to the guy she later married and it ended very badly for Anne. And the same exact thing happened to her. However, the results in this human tragedy are really amped up, because the guy in question was King Henry VIII of England.

King Henry VIII of England

Cousin Anne was Queen Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn

…who was beheaded because of suspected infidelities. (Anne was the mother of Queen Elizabeth the first)

And the principal in this story was Queen Catherine Howard; Henry's other wife who also lost her head over extra-marital affairs.

After Ann's execution, Henry married Anne of Cleves…

Anne of Cleves

…but was dissatisfied with her and eventually had the marriage annulled.

Enter Catherine, one of Anne of Cleves' ladies in waiting, who was younger and added a needed sexual spark for Henry. Things progressed to the point where Catherine became his Queen.

But Catherine secretly started an affair with one of the king's close assistants, Thomas Culpepper.

Thomas Culpepper

And their hookups were brought to light after another man with whom Katherine had an affair before she met Henry, Francis Dereham…

Francis Dereham

…who got a job as one of her assistants and started addressing Queen Catherine in a very intemperate and impertinent manner.

Under torture, Dereham revealed Catherine's ongoing liaison with Culpepper.

An investigation was launched and a letter Catherine scripted to Culpepper surfaced.

It had a very nasty conclusion. Culpepper was decapitated. Dereham was hanged, drawn and quartered.

Here's how their executions were portrayed in the Showtime series, "The Tudors"

19 year old Catherine Howard was also beheaded; as portrayed here in the film "Henry VIII and His Six Wives"…

One of Catherine's ladies in waiting, who helped arranged her rendezvous with Culpepper, was also beheaded. Popular folklore says Catherine said: "I die a Queen, but I would rather have died the wife of Culpeper", although others say it never really happened.

Henry VIII went on to marry Catherine Parr…

Henry VIII anf Catherine Parr

…who remained married to him until he died at age 55.