I always compared the court of King Henry the VIII of England with the harem of a sultan. And I’m sure he was not the only king who had a long number of mistresses. But, for sure, he is one of the most notables. Henry the VIII had 6 wives in that order: Catherine of Aragon; Anne Boleyn; Jane Seymour ; Anne of Cleves; Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr .
From these 6, in my opinion, the most controversy was Anne Boleyn. She was daughter of Thomas Boleyn (1st Earl of Wiltshire) and Elizabeth Howard, and sister of Mary Boleyn and George Boleyn. She was educated not in England but mostly at French court being maid of honor of Claude of France, princess of France and, later, Queen consort of France. When Anne was 26 years old, King Henry the VIII of England became attracted to her after he had previous seduced Anne’s sister, Mary. Anne was educated, stylish, beautiful, full of life, spiritual. It was not hard for such a woman to become an attraction for a man or even for a king. But Anne resisted him heroically and that was a sure strategy to make the king desire her more and more and to obtain from Henry all she ever wanted…a crown. She achieved something that was never achieved before…making a king to renounce at a beloved and accepted queen in favor of his mistress. Henry annulled his marriage with Catherine of Aragon and married Anne. She becomes queen of all England with the promise of giving to Henry a child, male. But was not so. Like Catherine before her, Anne gave birth in 1533 to a girl, Elizabeth (and she will be one of the greatest monarchs in the history of England). From that moment began the fall of Anne. The impossibility of having a male child, her ambition that became exaggerate and the bad reputation between king’s subjects signed the end of her short reign. In the meanwhile, a new apparition took Henry’s heart – Jane Seymour. The intrigue of Henry Tudor’s court, the political ambitions gave birth of rumors of adultery and incest. It was a sure path to remove a Queen. After some confessions (one was of her brother, George Boleyn) of questionable authenticity Anne was arrested in 2 May 1936 and taken to the Tower of London. Short after Anne was official accused of treason and on 19 May she was executed by beheading… And so ended the life of a woman with high ambition, powerful but also a puppet in the hand of others. Some saw her like a vicious person, being ready to do anything to achieve power. I see her like a victim of others’ desires, a woman whom only blame was to dream and to dare too much. By her tragic destiny she remained in the history a notable figure…maybe the most famous of Henry’s wives.
Art, literature, theater and movies’ world remembered her making of Anne Boleyn a fascinate character in the history, a name on everybody’s lips.
Henny Porten as Anne Boleyn
Genevieve Bujold as Anne Boleyn
Merle Oberon as Anne Boleyn
Helena Bonham Carter as Anne Boleyn
Natalie Portman an Anne Boleyn
Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn
…and…the other Boleyn Girl
I was wearing a red velvet vintage dress, a vintage hat (from my grandmother) with a velvet textile piece fixed on, no name jewels.
À bientôt !