The Tudor dynasty reigned for an impressive two hundred and seventy-five years. Where once history might have seen the turmoil of British monarchs rise and fall and go through various houses after Henry VIII's reign, that all changed with the birth of Henry, Duke of York on May 30, 1542. The Tudor dynasty was secured with his birth, as well as the births of his three brothers and a single sister afterward.
Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII lived happily and fruitfully until his death in January of 1547. His youngest children, the twins, Charles and Jane, were barely two months old when their father died. Anne was amongst those who served as regent for nine-year-old Edward when he became the next King of England. It was obvious that he was still a sickly child, even though he had gained strength throughout the years after his stepmother had encouraged her husband to not coddle the boy as much as he did, not when he had other sons should anything happen. Many believe that the complications of his birth that resulted in his mother's own death are what made Edward so weak as a child.
Much to the chagrin of many who frowned upon both Mary and Elizabeth, Mary was another of Edward's regents, along with her husband. Elizabeth served in the households of her other younger brothers and sister, while an advantageous marriage was found for her. She soon declared she had no wish to enter into a marriage of any sort, wishing only to serve her country and family where she was needed. After seeing how her father treated her stepmother when they first married and knowing of the history of her mother and cousin, she had no desire to place herself in such a position. She also never wished to be put into a position where she could lose her life giving birth to a child as had happened to Edward's mother.
Edward's reign was fruitful, though short. There was no question of who his successor would be when he died at the age of 15 on July 6, 1553. His brother became Henry IX at the age of 11, only two years older than his brother had been when he came to the throne after their father. He was betrothed to Lady Jane Grey shortly before his reign began. His mother insisted that they wait to be wed until he was eighteen years of age, especially since the two had a five year age difference between them.
Just five years after losing his brother, Henry lost his mother when Anne of Cleves died on July 16, 1557. While Henry was laid to rest beside Jane, it became apparent that Anne deserved to be interred with him as well. The entire Tudor family, including Mary, Queen of Scots, were in attendance to the former Queen regent's funeral.
Henry reigned for almost 70 years, until his death in 1623 when his son, Charles, took the throne as Charles I. The Tudor dynasty ended with the death of Joseph I in 1760. The House of Hanover's reign began when George William Frederick, the great-grandson of Henry IX took the throne as George I.
Before the Tudor dynasty, the longest reigning dynasty in England was that of the Plantagenet dynasty, which ruled for two hundred and forty-five years before the Lancaster and York factions split with the War of the Roses. After Richard III was killed on Bosworth Field by Henry VII, the two families were once again rejoined under the Tudor banner when Henry married Elizabeth of York. What started as a roiling time in British history for those that believed a pretender sat on the throne after killing Richard turned into one of the strongest and longest reigning dynasties in history. Under the Tudor dynasty, England became known as one of the strongest naval nations in the world, one of the richest and most powerful nations, and was sought after as one of the best allies for the rest of Europe.
While Anne of Cleves was once considered to be the least of Henry VIII's wives, she soon became the Queen that saved England when she was restored to her position at his side and gave him three more sons to be proud of, all of whom became the founding bloodlines for the ruling houses across Europe today.