On 9th October 1514, the feast day of St Denis, the eighteen year-old Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, married the fifty-two year-old King Louis XII of France in the great hall of the Hôtel de la Gruthuse, the King’s residence in Abbeville.
The bride wore a French-style gown of gold brocade trimmed with ermine and the groom also wore gold and ermine. Mary was given away by the Duke of Norfolk and the Marquis of Dorset in the name of her brother, Henry VIII, and the ceremony was performed by the Bishop of Bayeux. David Loades writes that Mary “was overloaded with jewels”, not only because it was the French style but also to emphasise her brother’s wealth. If that wasn’t enough, Louis presented her with a diamond and ruby necklace during the wedding ceremony!1
You can read more about the wedding, including some primary source accounts, in my article “Mary Tudor Marries Louis XII of France”.
Is Anne Boleyn one of the ladies depicted in the tapestry you see here? Well, we don’t know. We know that Anne was appointed to serve Mary Tudor in France, but we don’t know when Anne arrived in France. She had been serving Margaret of Austria at Mechelen and we don’t know when she left there and whether she left in time to accompany Mary on her voyage from England to France or whether she went directly to France for Mechelen. You can read more about this in my article The Early Life of Anne Boleyn Part Three – Anne Boleyn Goes to France.
Notes and Sources
- Loades, David (2012) Mary Rose, p82-3