Amalia of Cleves

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Amalia of Cleves
An unidentified woman by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg
Portrait by Hans Holbein the younger, 1539.
Noble family La Marck
Father John III, Duke of Cleves
Mother Maria von Jülich
Born (1517-10-17)17 October 1517
Died 1 March 1586(1586-03-01) (aged 68)

Amalia of Cleves (German: Amalia von Kleve-Jülich-Berg; 17 October 1517, Düsseldorf[1] – 1 March 1586, Düsseldorf) was a princess from the House of Von der Mark. She was the youngest child of John III, Duke of Cleves, and his wife Maria von Jülich.

Amalia and her two sisters, Sibylle and Anne, had an old-fashioned education, where singing and reading were not taught, but cooking, weaving or other household chores were emphasized. Furthermore the small German court followed the Italian fashion which was common in noble families at the time.

Hans Holbein the Younger painted Amalia and Anne for the freshly widowed King Henry VIII of England in 1539, because he was considering making one of them his fourth wife. After seeing both paintings, Henry chose Anne and they were married in 1540. In the following years, Amalia's family tried to marry her off with as much profit as possible. There were long negotiations with the Margraviate of Baden concerning a strategic marriage between the two dynasties which came to no conclusion.

Amalia wrote a song book which is currently found in the German national library in Berlin, with copies in the public library of Frankfurt and the university library of Frankfurt.



  • Storybook about the history of the women of Cleves. (Projectgroup Womengroup of the adult education center Cleves), Cleves 2004. (German: Lesebuch zur Geschichte der Klever Frauen. (Projektgruppe Frauengruppe der VHS Kleve))
  • Land in the middle of the forces: The united dukedoms Jülich, Cleves, Berg. Cleves 1985. (German: Land im Mittelpunkt der Mächte: Die vereinigten Herzogtümer Jülich, Kleve, Berg.)


  1. ^ At the time, the area was in the Duchy of Berg.