The grounds for divorce

Henry's desire for escape

Anne Boleyn

At about the time Henry was despairing of Katharine producing a male heir, he was strongly attracted to one of her ladies-in waiting, Anne Boleyn.

In 1527, Henry asked Cardinal Wolsey to ensure that Pope Clement VII granted him a divorce.

More on Cardinal Wolsey: After the Pope, the highest-ranking Catholic priests are Cardinals, and in England under Henry VIII, one of his most important statesmen was a cardinal – Cardinal Wolsey.

However, even had the Pope wished to do so, he was not a free agent:

  • The current King of Spain, also known as the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, had invaded Italy and was in control of Rome.
  • Charles was the nephew of Katharine of Aragon and not prepared to have her insulted.
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