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Author Topic: Royal Divorce  (Read 25703 times)
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« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2023, 11:46:17 PM »

Divorce and annulment were basically the same thing in those days.  "Although divorce, as known today, was generally allowed in Western Europe after the 10th century, separation of husband and wife and the annulment of marriage were also well-known. What is today referred to as "separate maintenance" (or "legal separation") was termed "divorce a mensa et thoro" ("divorce from bed-and-board"). The husband and wife were physically separated and were forbidden to live or cohabit together, but their marital relationship did not fully terminate. Civil courts had no power over marriage or divorce. "  This is from a good Wiki article.

Anne of Cleves' marriage was dissolved on the grounds of non-consummation and her pre-contract to Francis of Lorraine --two very solid Roman Catholic grounds for annulment.  Pre-contract was invoked a *lot* for troublesome marriages.

Divorce comes from the Latin for "turn away." 

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« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2023, 02:34:06 AM »

The annulment on December 15, 1809, of the civil marriage of Napoleon and Josephine was the first stage in the process (the divorce).

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« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2023, 06:26:04 PM »

Before Henry VIII's time, I think European royals had a very very very hard time getting divorced. But those who found themselves in impossible marriages sometimes could, if they  had what lawyers call ``good facts'' and the right connections, persuade the Catholic Church to grant them an annulment. But I often wonder how often those grounds were really flimsy and were granted for political favors or cold hard cash. Seems to me there have been royal scandals in connection with annulments but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Anne of Cleves got some sort of an annulment, but that was after Henry exited the RC church.  Didn't Henry VIII's sister Margaret get an annulment? And were Josephine and Napoleon divorced or did he manage to get an annulment?
I don't think royals or influencial men ever had troubles getting rid of an unwanted wife. There are scores of women who found themselves in a convent, because they had fallen out of favor.
As to regular folks: in the pre-registered times, I presume, men simply left and took another wife in another hamlet.
Women have always had a much harder time to leave a husband.

Mary's life motto:
"if I had the choice between world peace and a Prada handbag, I'd choose the latter one" Marian Keyes.
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