Francis I and Anne Boleyn the TudorsHenry VIII and Francis I, King of France, had arrived at Calais, which was English territory at the time, on 25th October 1532 to continue the talks they’d had in Boulogne and to meet with Anne Boleyn, Marquis of Pembroke, Henry’s queen-in-waiting.

After his arrival in Calais, Francis I sent Anne Boleyn a diamond via the Provost of Paris, but Anne was nowhere to be seen, she had plans for a dramatic entrance on 27th October.

Read more…

Related Post

16 thoughts on “27 October 1532 – Anne Boleyn makes an entrance”
  1. I bet she did, from what we know of Anne she loved being the centre of attention and with her wit elegance and feminine allure she was used to it, I can just see her walking into the crowded room dressed in the most stylish costume and decked in the most costliest jewels and everyone turning to gaze at her, she must have been feeling very triumphant that her long awaited dream was at last beginning to happen, here was the French King ready to acknowledge her who was most possibly enjoying the outrage that Spain felt seeing as how they had always been enemies, though from time to time sometimes they were allies, but this was an enjoyable moment for Anne and Henry and their supporters were delighted, is there any pictures of the diamond Francis gave to Anne as I’d love to see it?.

  2. What an entrance. The games of courtly ritual and international sexual politics were the same then as now. Anne Boleyn makes fabulously sexy entrance, in disguise, but the lady who chooses the King is clearly Anne and Francis plays the role of surprise well. Hidden in the dancing, beautiful pageantry, are codes with a message. Decode the message, unwrap the package, win the Lady and the game. Anne needs the support of Francis who has indicated that he can support a marriage with Anne Boleyn and Henry as Anne Boleyn is a friend to France. Whether or not Henry Viii and Francis I hate each other or are merely annoying jealous rivals, Francis needed an ally as did Henry, so Anne could promote French interests at home. This elaborate floor show was a way to communicate this and play the game to the highest stakes. From ancient times brother monarchs recognized each other as such, ( pick up any Ancient letter between King’s and the language is always cordial, even if they were often at war.), they exchanged gifts and homage, plus the odd wife and alliances were formed most of the time. This was the situation between Francis and Henry, most of the time they were at peace, cordial and looking out for their own interests. War came three times in their 30 plus years relationship, one before Francis gained the throne, because their relationship broke down and when Henry ran out of patience and decided to push his claim to the French crown. Francis I had enough of a problem with Charles V, he did not need to be fighting Henry Viii as well. He was only too willing to help Henry especially if it could mean support back against the Emperor. Anne was a friend, she was making help with her own problem seem as attractive as possible by wrapping it up with gold, jewels, glitter, laughter, sex and grace. Francis was being seduced.

      1. Hi Claire, yes I loved this scene in the Tudors, really beautiful. As visual beings, even with our minds, we tend to respond to btight colours and gold, so these glittering costumes remain in the memory and you visualise them vividly over and over. The Tudors captured the dance and wonderful costumes brilliantly.

  3. Quick Q: Can you think of any other Henrician queen who would have danced in such a way before the French King?

    1. Catherine Howard she was a saucy minx, and yes Bandit Queen the guy who played Francis in The Tudors I thought he was gorgeous to, mind you they did make all the characters more attractive than they must have been in reality, they had Jane Seymour played by a very attractive blonde, and Sarah Bolger who is a stunning looking brunette they had cast as Princess Mary who although she was described as being quite attractive was nonetheless a short very thin pale redhead, still it was just entertainment.

  4. Next Q: Was it appropriate in a future queen to dance like that before a foreign king? Do you think that Katharine would have? Was this perfectly normal, acceptable behaviour at the time, or was it done to to win over the Frenchman to her side? I really don’t know and wonder what you think?

    1. I think a bit of both. Entertainment and masque and flirting were all part of the inter weaving of political life, court life, favours, patronage, international relations, impression, competition. At the time of the Clothe of Gold Henry and Francis danced with each other’s wives, spent time with them, entertained them, but I am not sure about Katherine as an unmarried or married woman doing this, even though she did love entertainment and masquerade. Anne Boleyn took part in many such macaques, but this one does seem to be aimed at getting Francis favours. Francis enjoyed it and I assume that Henry sanctioned it. Appropriate? Well, that may depend on the view from the outside.

  5. But did she really dance like that or was that just how The Tudors portrayed it, I don’t think in reality she did it would have enraged Henry for a start and there was really no need for it, Anne had always been a friend of France she had always very happy memories of her time there, it was at the French court that she acquired the polish she possessed and what set her apart from other women, wether to dance provocatively was acceptable for an English queen I doubt would have bothered her very much as we have to remember she was not your average Tudor woman, therefore she was not your average Tudor queen either, which unfortunately led in a way to her downfall as she would or could not conform herself to the conventional behaviour of a 16th c queen.

  6. Actually on pondering further I think it would have been considered acceptable, after all it would have been deemed just part of the courtly love ritual that took place at court and indeed which had been there since Eleanor Of Aqcutaine had introduced it in the 12th century.

  7. Actually, watching STRICTLY last night, I was yet again struck by the elegance and gracefulness of ex-ballerina, Darcy Bussell, how she effortlessly stood out amongst all those other professional dancers. And I wondered if Anne chose to dance her way into the room because she wasn’t the most beautiful of women but her movement, her elegance and grace, made her exceptional and mesmerising? And when the mask came off, it would seem natural that it was she and only she who was the queen in waiting, for who else was her equal? Bit of theatre, stage management?
    Anyway, thanks BQ and C for your nuanced comments which I really do appreciate.

    1. Your welcome Globerose, yes Darcey Bussell has the grace that comes with her rigorous ballet training but some people are just born with grace of movement and Anne was one of them, Jane Seymour had also spent time at the French court as had Mary Boleyn but it appears none of its elegance had rubbed of on them, I think Anne was just one of those women who know instinctively how to dress with style, she knew what suited her and made the most of it, yes she wasn’t as pretty as most of the women at court were, but she stood out for her continental ease of manner, her elegant way of walking and stylish dress sense and I should imagine with her flowing dark hair and huge eyes she appeared more stunning than her contemporaries.

      1. You are welcome, Globerose. I can completely imagine Anne being a graceful wonderful dancer, show Queen, the centre piece, plus I think that she loved the masquerade and theatrical entrance. I also believe that she devised her own macaques. It was said that Henry and Anne were merry together more than his other wives. I quite believe it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *