His marriage to Anne of Cleves had been annulled only days before he took Katherine for his wife at Oatlands Palace - a good distance away from the execution of Thomas Cromwell. Onlookers and members of Henry's court had noted how the King could barely keep his hands off of Katherine, and it seemed that he had finally found the happiness he had been looking for since the death of his third (and "true") wife, Jane Seymour in 1537.
The King showered Katherine with gifts of jewels, dresses, and estates during their courtship and into their marriage, but unfortunately their happy union wouldn't last long. In 1542, Katherine Howard would follow in her cousin Anne Boleyn's footsteps onto the scaffold, after an indiscreet affair with one of the King's men, Thomas Culpeper, and after details of her pre-marital sexual liaisons would come to light. King Henry would once again find himself wifeless and go on to take his sixth (and final) wife, Catherine Parr.
But today, we remember the happy event of the King's fifth marriage, and I can even imagine him crossing his fingers and hoping this one would actually last. Can you imagine how Katherine was feeling? Henry was quite a round, overweight, old, and injured man (remember his ulcerated leg injury? ...ew.) Not exactly the Prince Charming that he had once been, so we can imagine that Katherine had some mixed feelings about the union. But, it seems that the young, naive woman was lured into the dangerous court and bed of Henry VIII via the gifts and pretty words that he showered her with. It would be a short marriage, but it would certainly be interesting.
Happy Anniversary, Henry and Katherine!