Unhappy Marriage of Mary I of England and Philip II of Spain

On the 25th of July 1554, Queen Mary I of England married Philip II of Spain at Winchester Cathedral.  Catherine of Aragon’s dream came true: at the age of 37, Mary Tudor became the first queen regnant in England and turned her attention to finding a husband.  The match was...

Day of mourning: executions of George Boleyn and the other men unjustly condemned

Today is a day of mourning for historians and Tudor enthusiasts.  On the early morning of the 17th of May 1536, several men, among them the queen’s own brother, were escorted out of the western entrance of the Tower under heavy guard.  They were George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, as well...

The 2nd of May 1536: Anne Boleyn is apprehended

The second of May in the year 1536 began for Queen Anne Boleyn as any routine day.  Accompanied by her inner circle, Anne watched a game of tennis at Greenwich Palace.  Then the king’s messenger approached and apprised her of her husband’s order to present herself before the Privy Council....

Young Henry FitzRoy’s death: tinged in selfish and painful hues for King Henry VIII

On the 22nd or 23rd of July 1536, Henry FitzRoy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset, died at St James’s Palace in London.  Although Henry VIII took enough mistresses in his date, he had only one acknowledged illegitimate son – Henry FitzRoy, whose mother was his mistress, Lady Elizabeth Blount.   As...

Poems of Anne Boleyn’s feelings before and after her coronation

During the coronation procession as Anne sees the people’s gloomy faces What shall this day bring to me, June?  A brilliance with every summer hue:  The cloud-white dream of happiness, Shot with the primrose sunshine through… Or shall my coronation bring me pain, People do not want me, their stillness...

Coronation of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn emerged from the Tower of London at 5pm on Saturday the 31st of May 1533.  She had spent the previous several days in the queen’s chambers in the Tower.  According to contemporary sources, the last day of spring was sunny, bright, and warm, and the sky was an unbroken...

Catherine Parr’s unwanted wedding to Henry VIII

On this day in history, the 12th of July 1543, Henry VIII married Catherine Parr, widow of Sir Edward Burgh and Sir John Neville, Baron Latimer of Snape.  The wedding took place in the queen’s closet at Hampton Court Palace.  Sometime in the spring of 1543, the aging ruler proposed...

A fatal love triangle: King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour (part 5)

the links to part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 of the series “A fatal love triangle: King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour On the 15th of May 1536, a fatal love triangle was finally untangled. To end Anne Boleyn’s marriage to King Henry quickly, only a legal solution would suffice.  Henry...

A fatal love triangle: King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour (part 3)

the link to part 2 of the series “A fatal love triangle: King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour” is here The drama continued on the traditional May Day joust at Greenwich Palace.  Queen Anne was aware that something had gone wrong: King Henry attended extended council meetings, their trip...

A fatal love triangle: King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour (part 2)

the link to part 1 of the series “A fatal love triangle: King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour” is here  The fatal love triangle of Henry VIII, Anne, and Jane Seymour was at the centre of the grisly murder of Queen Anne Boleyn.  In April 1536, stormy clouds were...

Anne Boleyn: an official debut – the Château Vert pageant

On the 4th of March 1522, the English court enjoyed a masked ball and pageant in honour of the Imperial ambassadors. This event is traditionally considered the day of Anne Boleyn’s official debut at the court. Anne had grown up in the Low Countries and France for many years before she...

Did Mary Queen of Scots have her “last laugh” despite being executed by Elizabeth I?

One of my readers asked me a question what I think about Mary Queen of Scots "getting the last laugh” over Queen Elizabeth I because Mary's son James became the king, even though Elizabeth ordered Mary’s death. Therefore, I feel obliged to write this post, as I absolutely disagree with this...

Birth of Princess Mary Tudor, the future Queen Mary I of England

Princess Mary Tudor, the only surviving daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, was born in the early hours of 18th February 1516, at Greenwich Palace. Mary was Catherine’s fifth pregnancy, after four previous unsuccessful pregnancies which had resulted in the birth of a stillborn daughter and three short-lived or...

The mystery of the poem “O Death, Rock Me Asleep”

Like many historians, researches, readers of historical fiction, and Anne Boleyn fans, I like thinking that Anne wrote the poem/song “O Death, Rock Me Asleep” on the eve of her execution on the 19th of May 1536. It is a great and beautiful poem that conveys a tremendous wealth of “dark” emotions – agonizing torment, mental...