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Prince Henry's Family

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Prince Henry and His Family

Shakespeare for Kids

The boy who would become Henry VIII was born in 1491 at Greenwich Palace, one of the royal palaces just outside of London. He had an older brother, Arthur, and an older sister, Margaret. Henry also had a younger sister, Mary, who might have been his favorite sibling.  


England had been at war for many years before Henry was born. Two different families—the houses of York and Lancaster—each said that the English throne belonged to them.  When Henry's parents married, they united the two families and England was at peace. His father, also named Henry, came from the house of Lancaster and his mother, Elizabeth, was part of the house of York.


As the oldest boy, Henry's brother Arthur was expected to become king. However, Arthur died at the age of 15. That meant that Henry would be the next king of England!

Photograph of Laughing child, possibly Henry VIII. Terracotta bust, ca. 1498, attributed to Guido Mazzoni.

William Warner. Albions England. Book 1-6. London, 1589

Did you know?

Henry's two sisters both became queens. Margaret became queen of Scotland, and Mary was queen of France.

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