8 January 1536 – Who wore yellow?


Henry-VIII-and-Anne-Boleyn yellowAt this time of year, around the anniversary of Catherine of Aragon’s death in 1536, I tend to receive emails and comments regarding Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn wearing yellow to celebrate Catherine of Aragon’s death and the colour of yellow also being the colour of mourning on Spain. It’s a topic that always comes up and it’s an interesting one.

Last year, I wrote a detailed article about what the primary sources say about who wore what and when, and I also wrote about the myth that yellow is a colour of mourning. Click here to read that article now. I hope you find it useful and interesting.

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6 thoughts on “8 January 1536 – Who wore yellow?”
  1. Thank you Claire for your wishes that I heartily reciprocate, and thank you for your interesting site, research and ebooks.
    Mariella (from Italy)

  2. Reading Chapyus, Henry wore yellow, reading another source Anne did. They probably both wore yellow, although it’s not a very manly colour. I can imagine Anne all in yellow, Henry part in yellow. I hope he didn’t look like he did in the engraving, those short bloomers remind me of our terribly short bright yellow away kit from the 1980s. What is certain, they both seem to have celebrated in an unseemly manner, regardless of what they wore. But, then Anne hated Katherine and was delighted that now she was really Queen so why would she not celebrate. Henry is making more of a political statement. He is both relieved that the might of France and Spain are not likely to knock on his door, but also he parades Elizabeth around proudly, emphasizing the fact that she is his heir. Anne was also pregnant with a son, so again cause for celebration.

    Henry did calm down soon afterwards and order mourning for Katherine and her funeral and masses to be said.

    1. Bandit Queen, I think u perfectly depict K H’s double behaviour.
      On the one hand, aware he was mourning about a genuine princess-born, so he must have been very cautious and tactful indeed.
      On the other, proud as the man was, happy as he certainly felt he could hardly hide the fact.
      Proud with his chosen wife, with his adorable little girl as well.
      As different as possible from his late queen, as well as from his stiff and reluctant elder daughter.
      Ur mention about the way France could have reacted about this “show” is not quite clear to me – might be u think of François I’s second queen (Katherine of Aragon’s niece, Eleanor of Habsburg?) .
      However , K H was probably sure to dominate this lower-ranked queen.
      So he certainly sticked to show by all meansn he was still in connection with his “cousins” (ie other european sovereigns).
      But I’d assume queen Anne was less happy than relieved herself .
      For the first time, she could ACT as a real queen, praying for burying even the past queen’s remembrances
      She was known to be quick-tempered, joyful like children can be, but during this public event, we can dare imagine her behaviour was rather cautious .

  3. Good morning Claire and a Happy New Year to you. What fascinating info you provide for us to think about. Although it is easy to think badly about Henry’s Queens and I’m sure they weren’t exactly guilt free, with the exception of poor Anne Boleyn, we tend to put today’s values on the happenings of history. I have to admit that had I been around in those times I am not sure how I would have behaved or even survived, even as a commoner. There is no doubt that Henry was a tyrant and arrogant yet one wonders how things would have been had he been different. I suppose we could spend a pleasant afternoon debating this….However Anne Boleyn deserved better and we cannot overlook the fact. On this note I hope you have a lovely weekend
    Warm wishes……

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