Full Title: Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII: From Deep Love to True Hate
‘My mistress and friend: I and my heart put ourselves in your hands, begging you to have them suitors for your good favour, and that your affection for them should not grow less through absence’
This words are written by famous King Henry VIII of England to his beloved Anne Boleyn in the time when he was courting her. Would this man in love ever think that after few years his feelings for Anne grow from love to hate? Probably – not.
What is so special in this love story that makes it different from other love stories? And why after almost 400 years people are still inspired by the affair of a lady and the King?
Anne Boleyn always was and always will fascinate people all over the world. She is one of the most powerful Queens that England has ever had. It is no wonder that King Henry VIII fell in love with this well educated, beautiful and inteligent young lady. But we all know how did this love story ended, and we all are asking ourselves – how it is possible that from such powerful passion and love Henry moved to hate Anne Boleyn?
What could attract Henry to Anne? Was it her beauty? From the contemporary accounts we know, that Anne Boleyn was not considered as beautiful for her times, but still she had ‘something’ that draw the attention. Was it beauty from inside? Maybe her sharp intelligence and political acumen? Surerly Anne was not afraid to speak out her opinions about many things, and this makes her different than other woman who simply listened what man had to say. Anne Boleyn was a woman before her time – she dared to reach for something that other woman would only dream about. Henry VIII knew that Anne is extraordinary woman and that she is a perfect match for him, because they were similar in many ways. The King married Anne – it was not an easy thing to do, and had certain expectations about her.
Before marriage Anne promised Henry something he desired above all – a son, male heir to the English throne and a living image of his father, Henry had no reason to doubt that Anne will indeed give him a son – she was young and able to have a healthy child. What was Henry’s dissapointment when their first child was not a boy, but a girl. However the couple was still happy togeather and Princess Elizabeth was beloved daughter to the King.
Unfortunatly, it was not Anne’s destiny to provide a male heir. It is believed that Anne miscarried three times in a row – first in July 1534, then in June 1535 she probably gave birth to stillborn, the boy was named Henry. Last miscarriage took place in January 1536, and it was also a boy. It is hard to describe how King Henry VIII could feel. He sacrificed so much to marry Anne – first he divorced his wife Catherine of Aragon, separated from the Catholic Church and executed his friend Thomas More. He expected that soon his beloved wife will give him a son, but instead she gave him a daughter and two dead sons. Henry expected also that Anne would obey him in everything. But as I mentioned before – she was not afraid to speak out her opinions, and probably she was expressing her mind in front of Henry. Henry was a man who did not like when somebody is telling him what to do.He was the King of England and it was him to give orders. Many times Anne was also many times jelous of woman near her husband – perhaps she loved Henry and it caused her pain to see him with others, but perhaps she was scared that one of her ladies in waiting will take her place, just as she took place of former Queen.
The 16th century was the times when people used to believe in wiches, and dark powers. Perhaps Henry started to wonder if Anne is not cursed ( she was condemn to die for witchcraft among other charges) and he had right to think this way – she was not able to have a healthy son. Perhaps Henry could not stand that Anne is controlling him and trying to put pressure on him. Also Anne’s jelousy made Henry mad on her, because he expected that she would ‘shut her eyes and endure’ as his previous wife. did.
In my opinion, if Henry knew that Anne will not give him a son, he would probably never married her. But what is very ironic n this story is the fact, that Henry and Anne’s daughter – Elizabeth I Tudor – not the son Henry was so desperate for – was a great ruler, one of the best that England has ever had.
Many times I wonder, did Henry VIII ever regret what he did to Anne Boleyn? He never officially said nothing about this, but we never know what was he thinking about when he was alone. The fact is that this love story will always inspire people, and Anne Boleyn will always remain a mysterious figure in history.
By Sylwia Sobczak Zupanec