On 12th July 1543 King Henry VIII married his sixth and final wife, Katherine Parr at Hampton Court Palace. The ceremony was a private matter that took place in the Queen’s Closet within the Chapel Royal.
As a private ceremony approximately 20 people attended this included the King’s daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, Margaret Douglas, Henry niece, the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk, Viscountess Lisle, Countess of Hertford as well as Katherine’s sister and her husband, Anne and William Herbert.
The ceremony was presided over by Bishop Stephen Gardiner and following the ceremony was a lavish breakfast where Katherine was proclaimed Queen, the first of Henry’s wives to be proclaimed Queen on her wedding day unlike Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn who had coronations to proclaim their right to be called Queen.
Henry’s principle clerk of a court, Richard Watkins, recorded an official record of the marriage and wrote;
“Notarial instrument witnessing that, on 12 July 1543, 35 Hen. VIII., in an upper oratory called “the Quynes Pruevey closet” within the honour of Hampton Court, Westm. dioc., in presence of the noble and gentle persons named at the foot of this instrument and of me, Ric. Watkins, the King’s prothonotary, the King and lady Katharine Latymer alias Parr being met there for the purpose of solemnising matrimony between them, Stephen bp. Of Winchester proclaimed in English that they were met to join in marriage the said King and Lady Katharine, and if anyone knew any impediment thereto he should declare it. The licence for the marriage without publication of banns, sealed by Thos. abp. Of Canterbury and dated 10 July 1543, being then brought in, and none opposing but all applauding the marriage, the said bp. of Winchester put the questions to which the King, hilari vult, replied “Yea” and the lady Katharine also replied that it was her wish; and then the King taking her right hand, repeated after the Bishop the words, “I, Henry, take thee, Katharine to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us depart, and thereto I plight thee my troth.” Then, releasing and again clasping hands, the lady Katharine likewise said “I, Katharine, take thee Henry to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to be bonayr and buxome in bed and at board, till death us depart, and thereto I plight unto thee my troth.” The putting on of the wedding ring and proffer of gold and silver followed; and the Bishop, after prayer, pronounced a benediction. The King then commanded the prothonotary to make a public instrument of the premises.
Present: John lord Russell, K.G., keeper of the Privy Seal, Sir Ant. Browne, K.G., captain of the King’s pensioners, and Thos. Henage, Edw Seymer, Hen. Knyvet, Ric. Long, Thos. Darcy, Edw. Beynton, and Thos. Speke, knights, and Ant. Denny and Wm. Herbert, esquires, also the ladies Mary and Elizabeth the King’s children, Margaret Douglas his niece, Katharine duchess of Suffolk, Anne countess of Hertford, and Joan lady Dudley and Anne Herbert.”
The week after their wedding the newly married couple set off on their first summer Progress and husband and wife.