Henry VIII & Catherine Howard
Alas, no trophy wife can stay on a pedestal forever. When Henry VIII first noticed Catherine Howard, the Catholic teen was working as a lady-in-waiting for the king’s fourth queen, Anne of Cleaves. The middle-aged Henry became enamored with Catherine—calling her his “rose without a thorn”—and before long, she became queen. “The king's affection was so marvelously set upon that gentlewoman [Catherine], as it was never known that he had the like to any woman,” Thomas Cranmer's secretary, Ralph Morice, wrote in 1540. Eventually, though, Catherine—who was more attracted to men her own age—betrayed the king, and on February 13, 1542, she was beheaded.