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Henry VIII’s Marriage to Jane Seymour by Alison Weir

Posted on: 16/05/2018 with tags: alison weir, anne boleyn, henry viii, Jane Seymour, Royal Weddings, Six Tudor Queens, six wives, Tudor

Just before dawn on 25 January 1533, a small group of people gathered in the King’s private chapel in Whitehall Palace for Henry VIII’s secret wedding to Anne. ‘It has been reported throughout a great part of the realm that I married her, which was plainly false,’ Cranmer protested, ‘for I myself knew not thereof a fortnight after it was done.’ The officiating priest was either Dr Rowland Lee, one of the royal chaplains, or George Brown, Prior of the Austin Friars in London. It is more likely to…

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Ladies in Waiting – Alison Weir

Posted on: 01/05/2018 with tags: alison weir, anne boleyn, henry viii, Jane Seymour, katherine of aragon, Ladies in Waiting, Six Queens, six wives, Tudor

The wives of Henry VIII were served by a hierarchy of female attendants, mostly of noble and gentle birth. These were the women who resided with her in her private apartments – a chaste female enclave within the King’s ‘house of magnificence’. The Queen’s lodgings normally consisted of a presence chamber (throne room) for audiences and entertaining; and a privy chamber, which, like the King’s, might comprise bedchambers, closets, a privy, a privy wardrobe and sometimes a privy kitchen, where the…

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Is this really Anne Boleyn – Alison Weir

Posted on: 13/02/2018 with tags: alison weir, anne boleyn, henry viii, Holbein, Six TudorQueens, Wenceslaus Hollar, Tudor

This engraving by Wenceslaus Hollar, dated 1649 (above right), is not – as has long been accepted – of the unlabelled British Museum drawing by Holbein (above, left), which is popularly identified as Anne Boleyn, and has been the subject of much academic debate. But, as I was stating on Facebook that the drawing was probably not Anne, I noticed that the engraving is clearly of a different portrait, and Hollar states beneath that Holbein drew it. No such Holbein is known. The discrepancies are ob…

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Anne Boleyn – A Spring Without Roses by Alison Weir

Posted on: 04/01/2018 with tags: alison weir, anne boleyn, henry viii, King Francois I, Six Tudor Queens, Tudor

The background to The Chateau of Briis is the court of the sybaritic and notoriously licentious King François I, who epitomised all the ideals expected of, and admired in, a Renaissance monarch. Anne Boleyn spent her formative years there. François was twenty-one when he succeeded to the throne in 1515, shortly before Anne arrived at his court. He was an impressive six feet in height, and broad-shouldered with an athletic physique and slim legs, although already he was putting on weight. He was…

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