25 January 1533 – The wedding of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

Posted By on January 25, 2018

On this day in history, the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, King Henry VIII finally married the woman whom he had been courting for the last six years, Anne Boleyn.

The marriage took place early in the morning of 25th January 1533 at Whitehall Palace, formerly York Place and the property that the couple had refurbished following the fall of Cardinal Wolsey, its previous owner. The ceremony was performed by Rowland Lee and was a low-key wedding with the king and queen being attended by Henry Norris and Thomas Heneage of the king’s privy chamber, and Anne Savage, Lady Berkeley.

The wedding was kept secret and Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, didn’t hear about it until about a month after it took place. Of course, Henry VIII’s first marriage had not been officially annulled yet.

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3 thoughts on “25 January 1533 – The wedding of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn”

  1. Michael Wright says:

    I know that he truly believe that his marriage to Catherine was not valid but it’s really hard when someone changes the rules for their own benefit in the middle of the game. Especially when it’s a king that you dare not argue with.

  2. Banditqueen says:

    Most of Henry’s weddings were modest affairs, even his official ones. A secret one would have to be small, big enough for people to give witness and testimony if need be as to a marriage taking place, but small enough to keep it under wraps for now. Henry may not have seen this marriage as bigamy but he was politically astute to know everyone else would and to he would need to formally end one marriage before publicly having Anne presented as his new Queen. She is presented thus afterwards in April when Thomas Cranmer declared her marriage valid. Henry was still sensitive to public opinion and he had a habit of making certain things were done right. Henry, if he did come up with the dispensation being on the way, was quick thinking and again making certain everything was seen to be in good order.

    I can almost imagine him trying to remain calm as Rowland Lee asks for confirmation that both parties are free to marry, a feature of the marriage service now still and something you have to prove before hand, in a Catholic marriage anyway. I can imagine Henry turning red inside but not wanting to look like a twit or cheat he told the priest this story and to carry on. Of control Lee was going to carry on. He certainly wasn’t going to call the King a liar or his new Queen, Anne Boleyn, so on he went and probably hoped for the best. Henry may not see the need to get an annulment proper, because he believed by now that he was a bachelor, never married in the first place, but in law he had to. His public and courtly image was everything and he still cared enough to appease it by going through the motions, a wedding, a court to examine his first marriage and validation of his new and only one, a legislative program to put all this into law via Parliament and acceptance by his leading ministers, officials, civil servants and clergy and other citizens via oaths, with penalties for those who refused. There would be no question on this marriage, or so he hoped. He hoped without Thomas More, John Fisher, Katherine, Mary and the Friars.

  3. Christine says:

    So was Henry a bigamist, he certainly did not think so, he had never been married before and so the Lady Anne was his first wife, dressed all in their wedding finery and toasting their happiness with their close friends and family, the claret flowing freely they were both giddy with happiness, there was a moment of disquiet when the priest asked Henry for the licence, proof that his holiness had annulled his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, on the grounds it was invalid, and Henry must have looked a bit shamefaced and blustered it was in a safe place somewhere, what a liar! In Anne Of The Thousand Days Henry is seen telling the priest to ‘get on with it man’, Henry being played by the marvellous late Richard Burton, it was a lie not worthy of a King and really debased the sanctity of marriage, but Anne was pregnant and her child maybe a prince, and had to be born in wedlock, no more delays and thus they arranged a secret and rather furtive wedding, so secret was it that even that old gossip Chapyuis failed to hear of it, after six long years of planning and scheming, of setbacks and disappointments Anne was at last wed to her King, the only woman in the history of the world to hop from mistress to wife and thus queen consort, Henry had kept his word and married her but many at home and abroad did not recognise it as legal, Katherine when she heard of it said I guess with a certain amount of scorn she was still his legally married wife and would continue to be so, for now Anne had taken her place at Henrys side at bed and board so the saying goes, but there were grumblings throughout Spain and Rome….

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