29 May 1533 – Queen Anne Boleyn’s fire-breathing dragon


On this day in Tudor history, 29th May 1533, the citizens of London were treated to a spectacular river procession. It was part of the coronation celebrations for England’s new queen, Anne Boleyn.

Here’s my longer, more detailed video on the procession:

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One thought on “29 May 1533 – Queen Anne Boleyn’s fire-breathing dragon”
  1. What a wonderful spectacular display for the new Queen of England, and how happy Anne must have been, because now she had taken the next step to becoming nearer to the throne, this was the first of the celebrations that was to end in her coronation in June, she was exalted she was the kings beloved, and these celebrations were part of her wondrous triumph, I have said this before, we have a beautiful painting of the field of the cloth of gold, but none of this event which must have been dazzling to behold, but we can picture the scenes, the Thames must have winked blue under the warm May sky and the barges were decked with fluttering pennants, the fire breathing dragon and the music, the crowds eagerly watching the children must have found it exciting and the elders, maybe still grumbled but they to, must have found the spectacle a joy to watch, Anne her special motto, ‘The Most Happy’, was content that day, the barges were filled with important officials and high society, and she herself floated along the Thames in her own beautiful barge with her ladies, one can see the chattering ladies in their sumptuous gowns and jewels and Anne radiant as she knew that all this display was just for her, the king had pledged to marry her seven long years ago, he had sworn his love and devotion to her and that devotion had never wavered, they had overcome hurdles in their quest to be together, he had defied the Pope and had risked the enmity of Spain, he had killed some loyal friends to be with Anne, he had caused much grief to his first queen and daughter, proof indeed of his deep love for her, he had altered the religious structure of England, so if any woman was aware of her mans love for her, it was Anne Boleyn, the journey over she disembarked and was greeted at the Tower of London by the king, he kissed her reverently, laying his hands either side of her waist, maybe because of the precious child she was carrying, Sir William Kingston was there also, she was led with her ladies into the beautiful apartments that had been recently decorated for her, it is said some events are captured in time, maybe there is an elusive memory of such a day that is possible to see, the mist does rise and we can eye a flotilla of barges floating up the Thames, we can see people in the barges and at the banks, we can see perhaps the fire breathing dragon and hear the music faintly, before the calvacade disappears into the distant past, nice to think that the scene of this doomed queens triumph is re enacted for us to share the wonder of it all, hundreds of years later, and we know with the benefit of hindsight that her triumph was fleeting, it is tragic that she was to enter the Tower of London again just three years later, a disgraced prisoner, no fanfare no smiling faces to greet her, never was a queen so feted so adored, and never was a queen to fall so dramatically as Queen Anne Boleyn.

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