Catherine Parr was the last of the six wives of Henry VIII of England. During her third marriage, she was queen consort of England and Ireland. She was the most-married English queen, as she had four husbands.
Catherine married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543 at Hampton Court Palace. She was the first Queen of England also to be Queen of Ireland following Henry's adoption of the title King of Ireland. As Queen, Catherine was partially responsible for reconciling Henry with his daughters from his first two marriages, who would later become Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I. She also developed a good relationship with Henry's son Edward, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VI. When she became Queen, her uncle Lord Parr of Horton became her Lord Chamberlain.
For three months, from July to September 1544, Catherine was appointed regent by Henry as he went on his last, unsuccessful, campaign in France. Thanks to her uncle having been appointed as member of her regency council, and to the sympathies of fellow appointed councilors Thomas Cranmer (the Archbishop of Canterbury) and Lord Hertford, Catherine obtained effective control and was able to rule as she saw fit. She handled provision, finances and musters for Henry's French campaign, signed five Royal proclamations, and maintained constant contact with her lieutenant in the northern Marches, Lord Shrewsbury, over the complex and unstable situation with Scotland. It is thought that her actions as regent, together with her strength of character and noted dignity, and later religious convictions, greatly influenced her stepdaughter Lady Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth I).
Catherine's good sense, moral rectitude, compassion, firm religious commitment, and strong sense of loyalty and devotion have earned her many admirers among historians. These include David Starkey, feminist activist Karen Lindsey, Lady Antonia Fraser, Alison Weir, Carolly Erickson, Alison Plowden and Susan James and Linda Porter. Biographers have described her as strong-willed and outspoken, physically desirable, susceptible (like Queen Elizabeth) to roguish charm, and even willing to resort to quite obscene language if the occasion suited.