Following on from Henry VIII’s announcement to his council that Anne Boleyn should be recognised as his Queen, Anne attended mass on the 12th April 1533, Easter Saturday, “with all the pomp of a Queen, clad in cloth of gold, and loaded (carga) with the richest jewels”. It was her first public appearance as Queen and it was time to make a statement that she was Henry VIII’s rightful wife and Queen.

The imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, reported this event to Emperor Charles V, and his description shows how big a statement Anne was making:-

“On Saturday, Easter Eve, dame Anne went to mass in Royal state, loaded with jewels, clothed in a robe of cloth of gold friese. The daughter of the duke of Norfolk, who is affianced to the duke of Richmond, carried her train; and she had in her suite 60 young ladies, and was brought to church, and brought back with the solemnities, or even more, which were used to the Queen. She has changed her name from Marchioness to Queen, and the preachers offered prayers for her by name. All the world is astonished at it for it looks like a dream, and even those who take her part know not whether to laugh or to cry. The King is very watchful of the countenance of the people, and begs the lords to go and visit and make their court to the new Queen, whom he intends to have solemnly crowned after Easter, when he will have feastings and tournaments ; and some think that Clarencieux went four days ago to France to invite gentlemen at arms to the tourney, after the example of Francis, who did so at his nuptials. I know not whether this will be before or after, but the King has secretly appointed with the archbishop of Canterbury that of his office, without any other pressure, he shall cite the King as having two wives; and upon this, without summoning the Queen, he will declare that he was at liberty to marry as he has done without waiting for a dispensation or sentence of any kind.”

Convocation had ruled that the dispensation of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon should never have been issued, Archbishop Cranmer was organising a special hearing of the annulment, Catherine had been demoted to Dowager Princess of Wales, Anne was pregnant, she had a royal household and her coronation was being organised – it was a triumph for the King and Anne and they wanted the world to know it. What a spectacle this procession to mass must have been and you can imagine everyone’s jaws dropping!

Also on this day in history…

  • 1533 – Thomas Cromwell appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer

Notes and Sources

  • Calendar of State Papers, Venice iv. 870
  • Letters & Papers vi. 531

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23 thoughts on “12 April 1533 – All the Pomp of a Queen”
  1. This is a day of mixed feelings for me – while I am glad that Anne is FINALLY being acknowledged as Queen, it is also a sorrowful time for poor Katharine of Aragon, to be demoted to Dowager Princess, and her marriage declared unlawful and incestuous etc.

    There WAS no win-win scenario for both women, sadly, especially since Henry had one of his little mood swings three years later, and Anne lost her head.

    1. Miladyblue,I feel much the same poor Queen Katherine as her health started to fail her aswell. Queen Anne was most likely the happier of the 2 Queen’s, I still look at all of Henry V111s wifes as Queens in very much there own right.Allthough it would had been nice if Henry was the, King he claimed he wanted to be ,KIND ,GENEROUS,and JUST, sad he was none of these. Just my thoughts and feelings. Kind Regards Baroness Von Reis

      1. “Kind, generous and just” he just forgot to add the very American-seeming “NOT!” at the end of that statement. Another addition could have been, “Psyche!!” which is another way to make an otherwise noble statement a mockery of itself.

        Katharine of Aragon is a woman to whom life was very unkind. First she loses Arthur, then is treated disgracefully by Henry VII AND her own father, who left her in virtual poverty while Henry VII and Ferdinand wrangled over her status.

        Of course, that was a walk in the park compared to how her eventual husband, Henry VIII treated her.

        1. miladyblue,Good reply and as always to funny!!I do agree the women were not treated very well Queen or not,I am sure poor Queen Anne did’nt see what was in store for her,nor did anyone else if this King did’nt like or if at one time he did.I myself can’t believe he murderd his own friends,Norris Weaston Moore,would make one think about having Henry as a friend.Of coarse Anne really had no idea he rid her,thanks nice chatting with you. Baroness

  2. I am quite suprized at Chapuy calling Anne by her name ‘dame Anne’ in the letter, he usually used more ‘colourful’ words when refering to her, a slip of the quill perhaps!!

      1. Lol…maybe so. Hope you had a good Easter, typical one here in the UK, cold, wet, kids hyper on chocolate eggs… 🙂

        1. I did, thank you. We managed to get the kids some Easter eggs from an English shop and Tim did his usual Easter trail for them – they had to follow the clues to their eggs – so they were happy. Sorry about the horrible weather 🙁

      2. Claire,Very good read,did anything of great inportant happen on April 17th ??? Hope you all had aGreat Easter. Baroness

  3. Anne promoted as queen and Catherine demoted to princess dowager talk about a rough day day for Catherine and a great day for Anne

  4. What a day. I feel sorry for them both. Even at the height of her power poor anne was doomed. And cwatherine too. Gale I live now I wouldn’t have lasted then

  5. To be honest I get annoyed with people who use this day as evidence of Anne’s supposed ‘haughty’ behaviour. ‘Oh she was acting like a Queen’. Excuse me but by English law she was Queen, she totally believed herself Queen and more importantly the King believed she was Queen. I understand that there are some people who have reason to doubt her claim to the title but even they must admit that in the circumstances Anne was totally justified in behaving as she did. A bit off topic but I felt I needed to get that off my chest.

    1. Emma ,I so agree with your reply she was firmly a Queen by English law,as for her behavior she was a no nonsense Queen and was not going to take any guff from anyone,even Henry.If any women deserved to be a Queen it was Anne,look at all that poor women went throuh and then,have her head hacked off .I wonder what she was thinking at those last few moments of her life??? Kind Regards Baroness

      1. What exactly did she go through, she betrayed her queen who had trusted her as a lady in waiting, she had an open affair with that queen’s husbanc, she stood by as her mistress was sidelined, she appeared in the robes and jewels which were the prerogative of Katherine, Henry’s true wife, and then went through a sham wedding which was against Canon Law of the time, law which Henry himself defended in his book the “Defence of the Seven Sacraments”. Oh yes she did go through a lot didn’t she.

        1. The secret wedding they had was a shambecause henry had not got papal dispensation at the time and did not have any papers or letters at time of wedding so in actual fact he was still lawfully and legally married to catherine of aragon .

  6. “With all the pomp of a Queen, clad in cloth of gold, and loaded (carga) with the richest jewels”. On Saturday, Easter Eve, dame Anne went to mass in Royal state, loaded with jewels, clothed in a robe of cloth of gold friese”. Thus Dame Anne, Marchioness of Pembroke, attended Mass on Easter Saturday. Interesting use of words by Chapuys and the other quote; with all the pomp of a queen. Who was this mistress of the King trying to convince. Herself, the court and people or maybe Henry himself? By outward display she tried to legitimise her illicit marriage to a man and a King of England. A marriage by which she took to herself the place, rights, honours and tile of Queen while Katherine, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII still lived, although banished from court by her spouse.
    Henry, in order to marry his probably pregnat mistress used a quote from Deuteronomy about uncovering the nakedness of your brother’s wife as grounds for the invalidity of his mariage to Katherine, a marriage allowed by a dispensation from the pope, accepted by the Bishops and clergy of the Realm, rejoiced in by the nobles and people of England and of course by Henry himself. When a male heir failed to appear Henry, probably influenced by the especially the Duke of Norfolk and the Howard family to which Anne belonged, and facilitated by Thomas Cromwell, a very astute political and court “jack of all trades”. That a divorce was the way out of the marriage to Katherine. The result of this was Anne appearing with all the pomp of a queen in borrowed state which truly belonged to another; a mistress in royal regalia nothing more or less!

    1. Although I am a great supported of Anne, and think she has been treated roughly by historians in the past, I think your comment on who were the King and Anne trying to convince is quite a valid point, they both desparately want all, from the lowest to the highest, in this country and abroad to recognise Anne as Queen, as much as could be done legally was in place, and a grand coronation on the books, but the support of his subjects was very important.
      But we have to remember that much of what happened up until now was wanted by the King more than anyone, without his say so none of this would have happened, of course I am sure Anne at this some stage of the game would have had a say in events, and I am sure no one on this site would think she was silent and not encouraging at times, after all she had become pregnant by him, and this seemed to have spurred the beginning of the end.
      Though to lay all the blame on Anne is wrong, there was a lot of imput from many people with their own agendas at this time, and in the end I honestly think Anne had become as much a pawn in this policital, legal and religious nightmare that this chain of events brought as anyone else involved, and with it would have brought many mental stresses and anxieties, it had become a merry go round that no one could get off.
      No one came out of this unscathed, not even the King to a small degree, any victories were short lived and quickly turned into tragedies.
      Henry wanted a new wife, a young wife that could give him heirs, this was begining to become obvious before Anne was on the scene, if he had not had fixated on her then it would have been some other poor lady, then Anne would have been spared the unjust hatred that has accummulated against her over the centuries.

      1. Hi Dawn 1st ,Thank you for getting this who stabed Katherine in the back,case in point KING Henry Vl l l.Not Anne this king was spinning out of cotroll he didnot care who he took down to get his way. Kind Regards Baroness

        1. First of all, let me thank Dawn and Baroness von Ries! I will try and cut this short as comments such as Michael’s are welcomed as alternate views are acceptable since this a discussion forum for those who are not only defending Anne Bolyen and hopefully bringing more people into the interest especially of the defence of Anne Boleyn to Tudor history itself. She was innocent of all charges against her, did not connive to get the King to marry her over a period of about, well, 1526-1533, seven years, came and went to them falling in love. Anne had never married, so she cannot at all be anywhere near the preachings of Chirst in Mark 10, but Henry’s troubles with hiis marriage to Catherine, began to trouble, not by a verse in Deuteronomy, but from (KJV) Leviticus 20:21, “And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.” We must also remember that the Pope gave a special dispensation before Catherine and Henry married, and that when this marriage occured (look up Catheine’s trial where she appealed to Rome, and went up to Henry in public, and asked him about her virginity, and he gave no answer) Henry and Catherine’s coronation on 24 June 1509, and 1509 was when Henry VIII ascendedd the throne of England, and Henry VII had the dispensation accomplished when Henry married Catherine. So there was a period of 27 years before this matter of the verse began to trouble Henry (I date this from 150-1526). We must also ALWAYS remember that Chapuys was the Ambassador of Spain of which by far the most Roman Catholic country by 1526, and that Catherine’s nephew was Charles V, King of Spain, Holy Roman Emperor, grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella, “The Catholic Kings,” and creators of the Inqisition, and whose uncle was Pope Clement VII who was illegitmate, and Charlles had sacked Rome by this time and had complete control over the Pope and the papists. This is als what gave Catherine de Medici her rise to in Frace (which is a discussion for another forum of another tme, but Mary, Queen of Scots brought Catholic beliefs back to Scotland after being widowed from Medici’s son in France, etc. and John Knox had already made significant progress in turining Scotland into a Protestant and Calvinistic country, etc. – but this is also another line in that it involved Elizabeth I a very great deal, so another reason to bring interest to this wonderul site), and that Henry VIII had declared himself by the “Act of Supremacy” of the Church of England, thus England was no longer a Catholic county when he married Queen Anne. I will defend Queen Anne Boleyn as long as I am around. Queen Anne also gave Elizabeth I the greatest absolute monarch that England EVER had! Thank you, WilesWales!

  7. if henry truly had loved anne her miscarriages would not have turned him away from her ,she pushed for marriage ,he couldnt have cared less,she intoxicated him ,if anne truly loved henry she would have had relations with him at the beginning of their relationship ,i dont believe she wanted to keep her virginity for that lenght of time it dosent make sense and what of henry was he while waiting six long years to bed anne completly faithful and celibate and if he was not able to keep himself faithful to her what did anne think and why not keep faithful to her when she became pregnant ,i just cant make sense of this

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