The House of Tudor was a royal house of largely Welsh and English origin that held the English throne from 1485 to 1603. They descended from the Tudors of Penmynydd and Catherine of France[^1^]. Tudor monarchs ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including their ancestral Wales and the Lordship of Ireland (later the Kingdom of Ireland) for 118 years with five monarchs: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I[^1^].
During their reign, the Tudors had a complex and often turbulent relationship with France, their powerful neighbor across the Channel. They were involved in wars, alliances, marriages and intrigues with various French kings and queens. Here are some of the highlights of their interactions:
Henry VII (1485-1509) was the founder of the Tudor dynasty and the first English king of Welsh descent. He claimed the throne by defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, ending the Wars of the Roses. He married Elizabeth of York, uniting the houses of Lancaster and York. He also secured his position by signing the Treaty of Etaples with France in 1492, which required France to pay an annual pension to England and to expel the pretender Perkin Warbeck[^1^]. Henry VII also arranged the marriage of his eldest son Arthur to Catherine of Aragon, the daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, who were allies of France against England in the Italian Wars[^1^].
Henry VIII (1509-1547) was the second Tudor king and one of the most famous monarchs in history. He is known for his six marriages, his break with Rome and his establishment of the Church of England. He also had a tumultuous relationship with France throughout his reign. He initially allied himself with France against Spain in the War of the League of Cambrai in 1511-1514, but later switched sides and fought against France in the War of the Holy League in 1517-1525[^1^]. He also invaded France in 1544-1546, capturing Boulogne but failing to take Paris[^1^]. Henry VIII also had several marriages with French connections. His first wife Catherine of Aragon was previously married to Arthur Tudor, who died shortly after their wedding. His second wife Anne Boleyn was educated in France and had a French mother[^2^]. His third wife Jane Seymour was a descendant of Charles VI of France through her grandmother Elizabeth Tilney[^2^]. His fourth wife Anne of Cleves was a German princess whose sister Sybille was married to John III, Duke of Cleves, a French ally[^2^]. His fifth wife Catherine Howard was a cousin of Anne Boleyn and also had a French grandmother[^2^]. His sixth and last wife Catherine Parr was a widow of Lord Latimer, who had been taken prisoner by the French during their invasion of England in 1545[^2^].
Edward VI (1547-1553) was the third Tudor king and the only son of Henry VIII. He became king at the age of nine and died at the age of fifteen. He was a devout Protestant and continued his father's religious reforms. He also continued his father's war with France, which ended with the Treaty of Boulogne in 1550. The treaty required England to return Boulogne to France and to renounce its claim to the French throne[^1^]. Edward VI also had a French connection through his mother Jane Seymour, who was a descendant of Charles VI of France[^2^].
Mary I (1553-1558) was the fourth Tudor monarch and the first queen regnant of England. She was the eldest daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. She became queen after overthrowing her cousin Lady Jane Grey, who had been proclaimed queen by Edward VI's council. She restored Catholicism in England and reversed her father's religious reforms. She also married Philip II of Spain, who was also king of Naples, Sicily and Jerusalem, and co-monarch of England during her reign. She also went to war with France in 1557- ec8f644aee