I was once a simple second son, destined to don clerical robes and bless the naïve and poor with holy water. I was once a boy, who became a king when my brother died too early. I was once a man who gave in far too easily to my conscience, and more importantly, my heart. Once I believed that my reign would forever be remembered as a golden age in England, only to have that title bestowed to the daughter of the woman I had tried so immensely hard to forget.
Damn you Anne. Boleyn! I thought you were successfully out of my life that Friday morning on the Tower Green. Now the world is on your side, and my reputation is besmirched. Irony is a damned cruel mistress! So, seeing as I have all the time in the world now, I thought I would write this letter to clear up some things about my behavior as king…and especially about my feelings about HER!
First of all, Anne was not the only reason I split the Catholic Church. Conflicts with the church and state had been long brewing since BEFORE I became king, and Anne just happened to be young…. and pretty….. And at court at the perfect time. Dear Kat was a good queen, a lovely queen, but can you blame me for being incredibly bored? And Anne was so….different. A part of me still wants to believe that I was bewitched, but now I realize that the only thing that truly bewitched me was my own stupidity, and my addiction to falling in love. What truly attracted me to Anne was the fact that she wasn’t meek. She wasn’t stunning. She was driven to succeed in life. And by God, I had to make her mine. Anne Boleyn was like an exotic island that begged to be conquered. I also resolved to win her because nobody ever said no to the king of England. You probably have already noticed that everyone who did say no to me did not keep his or her heads about them for very long.
So what was different about Anne? One thing I frequently hear is, “How could he send the woman he moved heaven and earth for to her death only three years later?” Well, Anne was not very good at being at what a woman was expected to be, and frequently forgot what it meant to be an OBEDIENT subject. I was attracted to her at first because of this sadly enough. There were many pretty English flowers about my court, wanting to bloom under the light of my gaze…but Anne! Anne had already bloomed! And this king, who for so long felt incredibly withered, was drawn. Was this the beginning of what some have termed, “my downfall?” My answer is thus: I never had a downfall! Only Anne did.
Marriage did not suit her. She was more free-spirited then any man could ever be, and I couldn’t handle that. I needed a queen yes, but a queen that was to be subservient to me! She wasn’t afraid to tell me I was wrong. However, I was afraid to think that I could be wrong. Kings cannot afford to be wrong. Kings AREN’T wrong. Anne somehow failed to realize that. She also failed to realize that we were not equals in marriage. All of ye look upon me with 21st century eyes and call me a chauvinist woman hating pig. Well, I was. And so was three-quarters of men in Europe.
Finally, I outwardly and utterly admit that I believed it when Cromwell told me that Anne had made me a cuckold with Norris, Brereton, Weston, Smeaton, and Rochford. I also admit that I inwardly jumped for joy slightly at the prospect of being able to marry Jane. Did I think to actually behead Anne at first? NO! But the evidence was so overwhelming, and I could not let her live and fight for her claim to the queenship like Kat did. For while Katharine remained dignified in her respect towards me as king, I knew Anne would fight tooth and nail for herself, and Bessie. Everyone today condemns me for sending Anne to her death on trumped on charges, but you must remember, I had to trust my counselors and their word. I did not have the convenience of modern news, and communications like Tweeter, and Spacebook(is that what they are called?) Also, I could not seen to be merciful to a scheming whore who had embarrassed me and plotted my death! I confess to you now good people, but I was still insecure on my throne, and I did not want people to think I would be lenient to anybody who would challenge my throne, even my wife! My father had fought so hard for the throne! I wasn’t going to let it go, even for the woman I loved more than anything!
Everyone has a time in their life when they act rashly and stupidly. I believe I entered this phase of my life when I fell in love with Anne. How, you ask, could one king, so in love with the power bestowed upon him be willing to give so much of that that one Englishwoman? And how could he seemingly come to hate her so quickly? Well, I have a question for you. Have you ever been in love?
Wishing you all a Happy Anniversary, sincerely from my seat in purgatory,
King Henry Tudor of England
By Katherine Stinson