Anne Boleyn Experience Day 3

Posted By on May 19, 2010

Today we commemorated the anniversary of the execution of Anne Boleyn and celebrated her life. I did not want to be gloomy today and I think we did a pretty good job of focusing on her life, rather than her death.

We spent the whole day at the Tower of London and managed to see the Roman Wall, the scaffold site on Tower Hill, the Wharf area and Traitors Gate, the Bloody Tower, the White Tower, Tower Green, the site of Anne’s execution, the Beauchamp Tower, the Crown Jewels and much more. However, the highlight for us was our special private tour of the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula with our guide and the Chief Yeoman Warder.

Anne Boleyn’s Resting Place

As we were by ourselves, the Chief Yeoman Warder let us through the barrier to see Anne Boleyn’s memorial tile on the floor by the altar table and we were also able to lift up the altar cloth to see the memorial tiles of Catherine Howard and Jane Rochford. It was a wonderful experience to see Anne’s tile close up and to put our flowers directly on her tile. I laid a posy of red roses and a few of the others had collected a few wild flowers from around Hever, Anne’s home, which was a lovely thing to do. On the card with the flowers, I wrote “In Memory of Queen Anne Boleyn, executed on the 19th May 1536. “Remember me when you do pray” – We remember. From all at The Anne Boleyn Files”.

We were all moved by seeing Anne’s resting place but I was not upset, I felt peaceful and I think we all felt the same.

Another special treat was being taken to the crypt where the bodies of George Boleyn and the other men are likely to be. There was also a memorial to Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher there. It was brilliant to pay our respects to these people who had their lives cut short so cruelly and unjustly.

Anne's falcon badge (without a crown) carved into the wall of the Beauchamp Tower.

The story of the basket of roses is interesting. Each year a basket of red roses is delivered to the Tower by courier with instructions to lay it by Anne’s memorial tile. The Chief Yeoman Warder said that it has been happening for longer than 19 years (the time he has been at the Tower) and John (Henry VIII from yesterday’s show) said that it has been happening for at least 40 years. The Tower knows that it happens because of a bequest but that’s as far as anyone can get in solving the mystery of who sends them. As for me, I don’t want to know who is behind it, I love that this is yet another mystery in Anne Boleyn’s story.

Us with Tower Bridge in the background

Another Highlight

The other highlight of my day was meeting some of you guys. On Tower Green I met Beth and her boyfriend and also Wendy – it was wonderful to meet you and I’m just sorry that I couldn’t chat for longer. I hope you had a wonderful day at the Tower too.

Elizabeth Norton

After a tiring but amazing day at the Tower of London, we enjoyed a wonderful talk from author and historian Elizabeth Norton, after raising a toast to Anne Boleyn on this very special day. I was really excited about meeting Elizabeth because I have thoroughly enjoyed her books. Her talk was really interesting because it was about the dynamics of the Boleyn family – who they were, their background, the relationships between the siblings and the stories of Mary and Anne Boleyn. It was followed by a Q&A session, where we questioned her about her research into Henry’s other wives and also who she thought was responsible for Anne’s downfall – ultimately the buck stopped with Henry was Elizabeth’s view and I have to agree – and then Elizabeth kindly signed books for us.

We also celebrated a birthday with some yummy chocolate cake. A wonderful end to a fantastic day.

Our Day 3 photos can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/theanneboleynfiles/sets/72157624097250950/

Photos: First one by Paudie Kennelly, second by Tim Ridgway and third by John Renshaw.

21 thoughts on “Anne Boleyn Experience Day 3”

  1. karla says:

    rest in peace your Majesty Queen Anne Boleyn

  2. lisaannejane says:

    What an amazing day (why do I have to work? Oh, yeah I work so i can eat … must remind myself LOL! I will make a promise that if I get enough cash to go on this trip, I will wear the AB execution dress to the Tower!

  3. Susan says:

    great photos! i was once in the Tower, is really amazing. Must be very special being there in the same day that AB was killed. Was lovely from you to collect flowers from Hever castle to give to Anne…Im sooo jealous from your wonderful days! hehe

    Claire, could you please post some photos of the bedrooms? im very curious about it! Thanks ;*

  4. Michelle says:

    Fascinating pics! Please post all you’ve got – I could look at them over and over….very good!

  5. Sheena says:

    You guys look like you had an amazing time, and so glad the weather was agreeable- it was as if it was meant to be. =)

  6. Bella says:

    Sounds like a very moving time for everyone – love the inscription on the card, made me feel like I got to pay my respects too. The pics are fabulous, looks like you guys are having the most amazing time!

  7. SarahD says:

    I am so jealous! What an amazing experience for you all.

    You say you were taken to the crypt where George Boleyn and the other men are said to be buried. Was George not laid to rest in front of the altar with Anne?

    The flowers you laid are beautiful and I’m sure Anne would feel honoured that so many people still remember her nearly 500 years later and cherish her memory.

    Sarah

  8. Beth says:

    It was great to meet you Claire, however briefly. I hope there will be other opportunities 🙂 We had a great but moving day.

    I love the idea of putting flowers from Hever in the chapel, what a lovely thought. And the inscription you wrote is just perfect.

  9. Jessica says:

    I thank you a lot for sharing this Anne Boleyn 2010 experience Claire. I wish I could have enough money and be free to come with you. But with your photos and articles, I can be part of it in a way 🙂

  10. Eliza says:

    I agree with Bellam what you wrote on the card is absolutely amazing… And the fact that you brought flowers from Anne’s home. Great gestures!

  11. erin says:

    I’m just so grateful that you are keeping us all in the loop! The pictures and descriptions are awesome! Thank you so much for all you do.

  12. Sharon says:

    What a lovely experience you are having. Wonderful pics. Thanks. Someday…..

  13. Charlotte says:

    I just want to say thankyou for taking pics,
    this is the first time I have been able to see the flowers I have sent (pink and white ones)

    xxx

  14. Julia says:

    I wish i could have been there. I did send love and light to her spirit in my meditation group and sensed that she was near me.

  15. lynn says:

    I am glad you had a great time and thank you for sharing the pics!

    RIP Queen Anne Boleyn!

  16. julie b says:

    Great pictures Claire, they mean so much more when you give a caption to explain what the picture is. Especially when you mention, for instance, that Anne would have seen the same thing with her own eyes or had been in the same place where you were standing. I can imagine that over time things are changed, updated, or replaced so it is especially nice to see “original” things.

  17. Ceri C says:

    I too went to the Tower on 19th May a few years ago and laid some sweet-scented dark purple stock on Anne’s tile in the chapel. A Japanese girl was also there to lay a single white rose. I heard the story about the basket of red roses (from Harrods) then. It was a very moving experience.
    It’s good to know she is remembered each year.
    I’ve been wondering ever since whether anyone does the same for poor Catherine Howard in February.

    Glad everyone enjoyed the Anne Boleyn Experience.

  18. Tamise says:

    I took flowers for Lady Jane on the 450th anniversary of her death.

    Did anyone on the trip take a photo of her memorial tile? Does she have one?

  19. Mia says:

    Rest In Peace My Queen Anne Boleyn

  20. Kate says:

    Hi Claire,

    I hope we get to do the same things on the July tour next year

    K 🙂

  21. Eliza M. L. says:

    Tamise, that was the sweetest thing I have heard all day! Poor Lady Jane. It’s nice that you visited her.

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