Jane Seymour has gone down in history as Henry VIII’s dream wife – the simpering spouse who couldn’t put a foot wrong. But the reality was much more interesting. In episode three of our new series on the dramatic marital history of England’s most notorious monarch, Dr Nicola Tallis and Dr Tracy Borman join Ellie Cawthorne to delve into the real story of Jane’s short-lived queenship.


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On the podcast | Explore the full Six Wives series

The story of King Henry VIII’s six wives is a tale of political crisis and personal tragedy, sacrifice and survival, sex and death, scandal, love and betrayal. But, after centuries of myth have built up around this story, has it clouded our view of the real women involved? We’ll be peeling back the layers of mythmaking to take another look at these fascinating women, who shaped the course of Henry’s reign – and the history of England.

In video | Discover the secrets of the Tudor queens

In our accompanying six-part video series, leading Tudor historians delve into the fascinating lives of each of Henry VIII’s iconic queens. Could Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard have avoided the executioner’s block? Why can Anne of Cleves be seen as the true survivor? And who was the queen whom Henry loved most?

Find out in this video series exclusively available to HistoryExtra subscribers. All episodes are available to watch now:


Want to learn more about the queens?

  • Explore the full podcast and video series plus a range of companion content from across HistoryExtra on our Six Wives hub


Ellie CawthornePodcast editor, HistoryExtra

Ellie Cawthorne is HistoryExtra’s podcast editor. She also contributes to BBC History Magazine, runs the podcast newsletter and hosts several live and virtual BBC History Magazine events.