29 May 1533 – Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Pageantry Begins

Anne Boleyn's Crowned Falcon Badge

The 29th May 1533 saw the start of the pageantry and celebrations which led up to the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, at Westminster Abbey on the 1st June.

The Milanese ambassador estimated that the celebrations cost the City of London around £46,00o and Henry half that again, but the King was not worried about the cost, he was intent on showing the whole world that Anne Boleyn was his rightful Queen and that the baby she was carrying was the legitimate heir to the throne. The coronation was not just a ceremony to make Anne queen, it was the celebration of new beginnings and hope for the future. It was a moment of triumph for the couple.

I wrote about this day in detail last year so please do read my account of the lavish celebrations of 29th May 1533 in my article “Queen Anne Boleyn”.

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9 thoughts on “29 May 1533 – Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Pageantry Begins”
  1. If you think about she was nearly at the peak of being ‘the most happy’. 3 days until her coronation, 3 months of being cossetted until the birth of her child. Then roughly 3 years to her end. How could she ever have envisaged that after the long journey she had taken to get to this day, that it would be ended by a swordsman from calais.
    She had been made to feel as the most precious thing in the whole of the kingdom, with nothing that would be denied to her, the King was hanging on her every word, and swearing undying love. So when the rot set in after the birth of Elizabeth, it must have been like a bolt out of the blue, seeing the person whom you thought would be yours for ever, start to turn on you. It must have been like suffering a bereavement of a loved one only having the person you are mourning still with you every day, and being unable to do anything about it. I think maybe that is why Annes behaviour became erractic, the poor woman was in complete shock, and terrified.

    As for the flamboyant, no expense spared show put on for Anne’s coronation, that was more about Henry underlining his power, to show England and Europe, that he was a force to be reckoned with, and not to under estimate the lengths that he will go to, to achieve what HE wants. As Anne found out 3 years later to her peril. But what a sight it must have been!!

    1. I think your post summed up the outcome of Anne’s relationship with Henry very nicely.

      Anne probably felt she’d been the victim of the ultimate con artist (and, in fact, she probably was.) When Henry first “came courting,” she easily turned him away and with good reason. She’d witnessed his mistreatment of Katherine of Aragon. She knew how he’d used and cast off her own sister. It didn’t take a fool to know Henry was bad news, and Anne was no fool.

      Somehow, in all those years of chasing and flirtation and intrigue, Henry managed to get under Anne’s skin. He convinced her she really was “the one” for him. Even with all the evidence of Henry’s general faithlessness and lack of devotion to those loyal to him, Anne bought the act.

      More importantly, Anne must have fallen in love with however Henry presented himself to her at that time.

      I’m acquainted with a woman who broke off from a lengthy, dysfunctional relationship with a sociopath. Some of her behavior is a bit similar to Anne. She sometimes came across as emotionally unstable, stressed, and erratic in temper. Those are the “side effects” of dealing with socipathic personalities because sociopaths are such good “salespeople” their victims often buy into them too well. Then, when thing implode (as inevitably they will) the victim will experience a variety of emotions (shock, self-doubt, self-loathing for being “fooled” and fear that they were “fooled” in the first place as well as fear of their tormentor/s.)

      Somewhere in the three years after her “moment in the sun,” Anne recognized what she’d married. And if she was disturbed and afraid, she was an idiot. BUT …. I think it was perfectly in character for Anne to feel resentment and outrage as well. Anne wasn’t the most patient person herself. She probably felt she’d sacrified a lot and put up with a lot of flack to be married to Henry (which he claimed to want more than anything,) only to find herself married to a debauched, thoughtless, faithless man ***he’d always been, but had spent so much time convincing her he wouldn’t be to HER.***

      It was the ultimate con, and Anne paid for it. What Henry spent on all the pomp and ceremony for Anne and Elizabeth is meaningless. Look how quickly he nullified Anne’s queenship once he pasted his hopes on Jane Seymour. Anne and Elizabeth were “nobody” within a month of his decision to quit Anne’s company.


      1. Thank you for your reply.
        Yes in the beginning Anne did keep Henry at a distance, maybe even delighting in his glib attempts at trying to court/bed her. She had seen at close hand the wreckage he left in his wake. But when Henry saw that the usual tactics werent working, and his personality alone was not working he upped his game, the glittering prospect of a crown. As much as I adore Anne, she was only human. And the more power and prestige he heaped on her, the more she became entranced with the idea of being Queen, and I think this chipped at her resolve, she weaken and let him in, fell in love, not just with him but the whole package. You would have to be completely devoid of feeling not to.

        1. With hind-sight nor would I, but in those days who knows, maybe we would have fallen for’ all that glitters’, as the rest of them.!!

      2. Okay, somebody needs to stand up for ol’ Henry, so I suppose it will have to be me! Henry was a KING – our modern conception of government leaders in no way prepares us for what that meant in the 16th century. A king was above the judgement of other persons; only God could judge him. That’s not just what he believed of himself, that’s what others believed as well. While Henry certainly had mistresses, despite what ‘The Tudors’ would have you believe, he wasn’t promiscuous. Ever the romantic, he would choose a woman and pursue her with poetry, gifts – and usually stayed with her for a protracted period of time. Most of his affairs occurred while his wives were pregnant, as sex during pregnancy was considered dangerous back then. Anne knew this very well, and must have known sex with Henry would stop when she became pregnant – he would never risk harming his hoped-for son. NOTHING in Henry’s behavior points to him being a socio-path. He was a man to whom no one ever said no, and he had absolute power – think YOU wouldn’t rid yourself of a few choice enemies under those conditions? There is absolutely no evidence Henry was ever physically abusive to any of his wives, this in a time when men could beat their wives with impunity. There are, in fact, diplomatic reports that Anne struck Henry, but he never attempted to retaliate. Anne certainly wasn’t the evil witch her adversaries made her out to be, but she was spiteful, high strung, argumentative – she was the poster child for high maintenance, and I suspect Henry was already growing weary of her tirades by the time they married. Yes, I think Anne was the love of his life, but again, Anne, who just couldn’t keep her mouth shut, PROMISED Henry she would give him a son. How does a woman make a promise like that, to a man that considers himself God’s representative on earth? When she didn’t deliver on her promise, to Henry that was tantamount to lying to God! As they say, when trust is gone from a relationship, it’s doomed to fail. When Anne broke her promise to give him a son, she broke Henry’s trust. People back then didn’t know how the sex of a baby was determined – you can’t condemn Henry for the way he felt! Judging Henry by 21st century standards is not only unfair, it’s nonsensical, as our perceptions would be as foreign to persons of the Tudor period as their behavior is to us.

        1. I agree with you about Henry and I believe that he’s often misrepresented and accused of being promiscuous etc., but I don’t agree with you regarding Anne’s promise. I haven’t found any evidence of Anne firmly promising him a son. She wrote the message “By daily proof you shall me find To be to you both loving and kind” under the miniature of the Annunciation (the angel telling the Virgin Mary that she would have a son) in a Book of Hours but that is far from a promise. I think that both Henry and Anne believed that God would bless their marriage with a son but that is very different. When God didn’t bless their marriage in that way I think Henry became worried again that there was something wrong with this marriage too.

  2. I think one of the nastiest accusations ever levelled at Anne by her enemies, was that she wore a necklace of tongues to her coronation – tongues she had ordered cut out of people who had spoken against her.

    I wonder, at which point, had that particular accusation been true, that gruesome necklace would have been displayed?

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