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Henry VIII's foreign affairs were as turbulent as his domestic ones. At the beginning of his reign, England was firmly allied with Spain due to Henry's marriage to the Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon, the daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand who funded Christopher Columbus on his search for the New World. At the time of Henry's marriage, England was a Catholic country but after Henry rejected Catherine to marry Anne Boleyn, Henry changed the national religion of England to Protestantism in order to divorce Catherine. Henry's England also had a long history of hostility with France. "Magnificent, liberal, and a great enemy of the French," wrote the Venetian ambassador of Henry on his coronation day. Henry hoped to re-take lands across the English Channel that France had taken from England. He waged two wars against France for this purpose. Although he held many grand meetings with the French King, Francis I, one observer noted, "These sovereigns hate each other very cordially."
Henry VIII's in his divorce from Catherine of Aragon changed the English national religion from Catholicism to Protestantism, as well as creating tension with the former ally Spain. He was also extremely hostile towards France and fought two wars with them over the Channel.