Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII, was born in Dusseldorf to John III, Duke of Cleves, and his wife, Maria. Anne’s upbringing was traditional for the daughter of a nobleman in the Holy Roman Empire. Her education was mostly based on more “feminine” pursuits, such as needlework. She was raised to be virtuous, docile, and gentle. Anne could, however, read and write in German (and, eventually, in English.) Unlike young English noblewomen, however, she was not very skilled in the arts, such as music and dancing. She was raised Protestant, but does not seem to have had any strong religious devotion. In 1527, at the age of eleven, Anne was betrothed to Francis, son of the Duke of Lorraine, though the betrothal was broken in 1535. In 1539, urged by his chief advisor, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII sought a marital alliance with the Duke of Cleves. Anne left for England that same year, and on 6 January 1540 she became Queen of England and Henry’s fourth wife. The marriage was, however, already doomed to failure. Henry and Anne had met before their marriage, on New Year’s Day, and the encounter was a disaster. The king was disappointed in Anne’s appearance - though his aversion likely sprung more from her German clothing and mannerisms than from her looks. Although he went through with the wedding, Henry was determined to rid himself of Anne. On 24 June - six months after their wedding - Anne was commanded to leave court. The marriage was annulled on 9 July on the grounds that Anne was still betrothed to Francis of Lorraine and that her union with Henry remained unconsummated. Anne willingly (and wisely) agreed to the annulment, and she received a generous settlement as a result. She became “the King’s Beloved Sister” and was given both Richmond Palace and Hever Castle. While her successor as queen, Catherine Howard, was executed within two years, Anne continued to live comfortably in England. She survived Henry, and witnessed two of her previous stepchildren - Edward VI and Mary I - ascend to the throne. She even rode with Mary and Princess Elizabeth in the former’s coronation procession. Anne died at Chelsea Manor on 16 July 1557 at the age of forty-one, and she was buried in Westminster Abbey.