Magnet pictures English king Henry VIII's 5th wife, Catherine Howard (c1520-1542). Dissatisfied with wife Anne of Cleves, Henry married Catherine in July of 1540, about 2 weeks after the marriage to Anne was annulled. Henry was 49 and Catherine a teenager.
Catherine (aka Katherine and Katheryn) was beheaded for adultery less than two years after marrying the King. In addition to a suspected (but denied) affair with one of her husband's Privy Chamber courtiers, Thomas Culpeper, Catherine admitted to sexual activity prior to marriage. By most accounts, Catherine was too young and unsophisticated to appreciate the dangerous waters of Henry's court. Henry's wives had long been ensnarled in the struggle between the Catholics and Protestants for control over religion in England. It was inevitable that any error or weakness on Catherine's part would be used as fodder in that struggle.