Today is an interesting day and in ways kind of morbid too. Why? Because it is the anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s death. The second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I.
Since I am so into history, especially British royals I feel like Anne and Henry’s love story is probably the most interesting! I have over 7 different groups and like pages just on Tudor royals, whether they’re a bunch of authors and historians or actors who make their own Tudor dresses and parade around at fairs, it’s an exciting escape from the boredom I tend to find on my Facebook! I think for fans who love celebrities they either find the person from the end or in the middle of their careers. I have certain “obsessions” like that too, but Anne and Henry’s relationship is something totally different. I know how it got started, when they were finally married, when she was banished from court to finally her execution.
I feel conflicted when I play with the question if I were alive at the time of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII’s reign, how much would I support the marriage and future Queen of England. I also think that if I was transported there I would either be studied by the want-to-be-physicians or left for dead by my family because you know I’d be born with my disability! I just feel like I wouldn’t probably feel as I do about Anne, which sucks because I would believe all of the rumors than the woman that is our Queen. However, since I’m not, I get to show my support to this woman of power in her right.
She was one of the most influential women of that time period; some people would consider the amount of control she had over the king as witchcraft, but I think it was a partnership, between these two power houses. First you have, King Henry VIII being controlled by the Catholic church and the Pope, while Anne is part of the Reformation and is Anglican. As much as he found Anne attractive, she was of different religion and one that was unfavorable to the people of England. The fact that she broke him away from the Catholic way and his most trusted Cardinal Wolsey (he did that all on his own when he failed to get an annulment from Katherine) is amazing!
The second is that she never fully gave herself to him in the beginning and this is probably the most fascinating part of the whole thing considering while being married to Katherine of Aragon, he had multiple mistresses, not just Anne. She was the only bold one to tell him “no” whenever he offered more. We know that because he had a relationship with Lady Elizabeth Blount, while she was one of Katherine’s ladies in waiting, but she also gave him a living son. Despite the fact that she was already married and the child was considered a bastard, he was loved by his father, the King.
I think Anne Boleyn deserves an award for keeping her chastity during the relationship! For a man, who obviously didn’t have any control on his sexual appetite, I find this long wait to be almost frightening – I’m imagining this King who knows he can get anything he wants and can get bored easily with the ones he has relations with, as we see later in his life. I wonder how much confidence she truly had within herself to keep this relationship going. That’s something we’ll never really know, because I mean we know they “loved” each other, but he had six wives and two of those wives were beheaded!
She made a mistake shortly after giving birth, she gave birth to a girl: Princess Elizabeth, not a strong male heir like Henry had wanted from the get-go. This was another reasons why he wanted an divorce from his first wife Katherine of Aragon, mother to his other daughter Princess Mary. Katherine was previous married to his older brother Prince Arthur, but he died and Henry had married her but later feared that the first marriage was consummated, which he used against her to fight the Pope. Once Elizabeth was born, Anne would have miscarriages. She still wasn’t fulfilling the dream for the both of them. Shortly after that, he started seeking the affection from one of her own ladies-in-waiting, Jane Seymour. The theories are that the accusations of Anne convicting of adultery, incest and plotting to kill the king were enough to see a future with Jane, while Anne and the other unfortunate souls were arrested and sent to the Tower of London and they were all eventually beheaded in 1536,
As far as my opinions of her downfall, I think she was tricked. She wasn’t supported among the king’s people for the obvious reasons, so I think they were out to get her from the start of everything and once she wasn’t having any sons, people sort of put their plans in motion. However, as influential as she was with her husband, I have to keep an open mind of her making a mistake, I feel she might’ve gotten cocky in her role and panicked after when he became interested in Jane Seymour. I think she was desperate to give him a son an heir plus if she did this, she could be able to stay at court with her husband and children.
I often wonder if the Queens knew their husbands were sleeping with their ladies in waiting, why didn’t they just sent them away? If Katherine of Aragon had dome this to Anne, would she have been queen and given birth to Elizabeth? Again, another theory I’ve always had!
If I could get myself to sit down and write out a whole post or possibly multiple blog posts on the amount of history I have learned since I was a kid, I would do it in a heartbeat. After being able to share my knowledge about the vegan world, I would like to explore that side of myself with you, take you into what’s really stored inside my brain. You should feel thankful that I’m even considering this idea at all, but it is still early and you could not even like this post and then I wouldn’t have to say anything. I guess we’ll just have to find out what sort of information you would like to see more!
Would you like to read more historical posts on here? I would share how I got started on each one. I’ll also try to include some references as well! Let me know!
- Tudor History – Anne Boleyn biography
- History Extra – Why Did Anne Boleyn Have To Die?
- The Tudor Enthusiast – The Birth Of The King’s Son, Henry FitzRoy