7 September 1533 – Birth of Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

Sep7,2011 #Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I
On this day in history, 7th September 1533, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and less than 2 weeks after having gone into confinement at Greenwich Palace, Queen Anne Boleyn gave birth to a little girl who, although a disappointment at her birth, would become one of the greatest monarchs in English history: Elizabeth I the Virgin Queen, Gloriana, Good Queen Bess.

Astrologers had predicted that Anne Boleyn’s baby would be a boy and the couple were so confident that God would bless their marriage in this way that Anne had had a letter written in advance of the birth, giving thanks to God for sending her “good speed, in the deliverance and bringing forth of a prince”. An ‘s’ was added to this letter and a celebratory joust was cancelled, for the “prince” was actually a lowly girl and Henry had one of those already!

David Starkey writes of how the royal couple “put a brave face on the matter” but:-

“Nobody was deceived. It was not for this, for a daughter, that Henry VIII had risked his kingdom by divorcing his first wife and imperilled his immortal soul by breaking with Rome. It was for a son.”

Nobody knows exactly how Anne and Henry felt on that day. I suspect that after the initial disappointment they were both relieved that Anne and the baby had survived and were hopeful for the future, after all, Anne had experienced no problems getting pregnant and had carried this baby full-term. Although this is a happy day, a day to celebrate the birth of an incredible woman and monarch, it is tinged with sadness for me. I am sad that there was disappointment at her birth, that Henry VIII had no inkling of who this little red-haired girl would become (and how could he?), that she lost her mother so young and that her birth could not keep her mother safe. If only a boy had followed…

But, saying that, should we be sad? That little girl, that amazing Queen, Gloriana, who ruled England for over 44 years was not just the daughter of Henry VIII, she was the daughter of Anne Boleyn. What a legacy! Elizabeth may have referred to herself as the “lion’s cub”, but in many, many ways she was also her mother’s daughter. The long face, the high cheekbones, the wit, the charm, the magnetism, the intelligence… they were from her mother, don’t you think?

You can read more about Elizabeth I’s birth in my article “The Birth of Elizabeth I” and I have written many articles about her life and reign over at “The Elizabeth Files”.

Last year, I left you with a video by xHistoryGirl23x, a moving tribute to both women, and I really can’t find a better one, so here you go…

Notes and Sources

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10 thoughts on “7 September 1533 – Birth of Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn”
  1. Happy Birthday to one of the best monarchs England has ever had. Queen Elizabeth has been an inspiration throughout my life and today is indeed a day to celebrate. 🙂

  2. There is no doubt in my mind – she WAS the greatest monarch England ever had. I wonder how much guilt she might have carried being born a female instead of a male. I’m sure she knew, if she had been born male, her mother would have lived. Incredible women – both of them.


  3. Claire,

    This tribute to Gloriana brought tears to my eyes. Although I come from the States, in my humble opinion, she is the greatest monarch England has ever had (no offence to the present Elizabeth!). She may have been the Lion’s cub, but she is her mother’s daughter down to the marrow of her bones.

    Happy Birthday, Gloriana! You will never be forgotten. Be proud to be your mother’s daughter. You did indeed build a better England than your father did.

  4. Happy Birthday Elizabeth I ! What an amazing woman and inspiration she grew up to be. She lost her mother at a really young age and was declared illegitimate but didn’t let that stop her. She took everything that was thrown at her and used it to become a really strong person. A very wise monarch. Anne would have been so proud of her.

  5. Although I am not a monarchist I admire Elizabeth for her intellegence, strength, confidence, bravery, style and wit. She was also loyal to her friends and did not take pleasure when she had to punish those who rebelled against her. She is still a wonderful role model.

    Happy Birthday Queen Bess.

  6. Happy Birthday Elizabeth! The greatest!
    I saw a book the other day titled something like Queen Elizabeth Vampire Slayer. Crazy when you think of it, because the real thing was so much more mysterious than anything like that. The more you learn about her, the more amazing she becomes.

  7. I suppose after the build up to the birth of this child, the long haul to reach this point and ‘wise men and women’ predicting it would be a son, it must have felt a little like an anti-climax when the baby was a girl, and I feel that would have soon passed for Anne when that maternal instinct kicked in, any dissapointment she had after that would more than likely been on the behalf of Henry, knowing how he could sulk big time when things didn’t go his way.
    Although they both were meant to have adored Elizabeth, Henry’s adoration only lasted for as long as his love for Anne. Anne’s never waivered, her love for Elizabeth was unconditional, as a mother’s love is Queen or commoner, when you think Anne even wanted to breast feed her herself… I presume thats true. The short time that she had with Elizabeth she always made sure she had the best of everthing and as much love as she could give her, which can not be said of her father after Anne’s downfall.
    So a very happy birthday Elizabeth, you live on in our hearts, along with your mother.

  8. Fabulous tribute…teared up a little on that one…happy Birthday to Queen Bess…We love u and that wonderful mother of yours…

  9. I always wondered who broke the news to Henry that he had another girl. I would have loved to have seen the look on his face.

  10. Independent, sassy women of the world unite! We are strong. We are powerful! These two brilliant role models pioneered the way for us! The video was a poignant reminder of what was and what could have been.

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