On Thursday 29 May 1533, two days after the marriage of King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn had been proclaimed valid by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the celebrations for Anne’s coronation began in earnest.
The four days of celebrations kicked off with a river procession, or pageant, down the River Thames from Billingsgate to Greenwich Palace, where the Queen was picked up, and then on to the Tower of London where Anne would stay until the eve of her coronation, which was scheduled to take place at Westminster Abbey on 1st June.
The river procession comprised “some 120 large craft and 200 small ones” and included a wherry bearing a great dragon which was was “continually moving and casting wildfire” and another wherry bearing Anne Boleyn’s falcon badge. What a spectacular sight it must have been.
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