Anne BoleynFull 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

55 thoughts on “From Deep Love to True Hate”

  1. Sarah says:

    Very true. No one really knows what went inside Henry’s head. What he thought and what he felt.. But still one has to wonder if he ever thought of Anne Boleyn and how he thought of her..

    1. Autumn says:

      Historians say that Henry thought of Anne often and regretted executing her. Some historians say that he even had hallucinations of Anne as he aged. I

    2. sussan says:

      i agree but historians would have evidence of people who wrote down about henry’s feeloings….he would of had scribes…thats how wealthy he was! 🙂 thanks

  2. Catie says:

    I think that b/c Henry told Jane “Remember what happened to the other Queen who meddled in my affair’s” tells much of how he felt towards Anne. Basically also saying don’t think that I can’t end your life too if I am displeased in anyway.

  3. Andrea (Croatia) says:

    So very true.
    I always wondered how could he love her so much to do such things like kill his best friend, and change religion, and after that kill her.
    But my conclusion is that love of a man could put you on the throne in one moment, and leave you without head in other. It is still like that. 🙂
    I apologize for my English.
    Regards from Croatia!

  4. jackfruit says:

    Did Herry VIII truly love Anne Boleyn?
    In my oppinion,I think he loved her.I don’t think just because he doesn’t get her for seven years that follow. I think he was pursuing her because he loved her.He did many things for her,beared her character.He loved her because her character but We don’t deny he had great stamina. However,marriage was a another story.He was the king,his arrogance,he was a husband who needed respect. But she still remained her character.Today, the couple, too, if not compromise, very easy to make the controversial. I think that is a main cause of their problem.
    Second,like other kings,he wanted a son.And she hadn’t son.In particular, Henry was obsessed with having children trai.I think they lived as husband and wife in a short time but Anne was pregnant three times, Henry proved very hard to have a baby with Anne.And in the pursuit of Anne he did not go with other girls. He might have a lot of other children during that time.So I think he loved Anne.
    Next, I am not sure but I believed that I do not think he was the man behind the creation of Anne affair because he was an arrogant person. He could find another way to divorced Anne as he did with Catherine of Aragon instead of making himself lose face.Is it choreographed by an opponent of Anne or a misunderstanding?And perhaps he loved her so he was not alert enough to believe her?Henry married Jane immediately whether because he is still angry with Anne?As for he wanted buried with Jane, I think because she born a son for him.And Jane died too soon, the image of Jane in his eyes was still beautiful.
    I do not think he was happy when Anne died anyway because they had been together for many years.
    So,in his life, Did he sometimes remember Anne? I think he still obsessed by Anne because none of his wives that dared to confront him.
    And you? What do you think?

    1. Anon says:

      You have a very good point. I felt puzzled too that he had pursued her for so long without seeing other women at the same time even though he easily could have, he did such enormous things to get her, like breaking with the Catholic Church and putting his good friend to death, and he agreed to marry her and not dishonour her before marriage (except perhaps immediately before the marriage when they were about to marry), and he made her queen. It would be very strange for him to turn on her so easily, unless he did still love her or have strong feelings for her deep down but felt somehow deeply let down by her. He did after all have an enormous ego.

      Also, marriage to someone is often more difficult than the love relationship before marriage. And much more was excepted of both of them after the marriage since they were king and queen of England. She had not been raised or trained to be a queen or royalty, unlike Queen Catherine. She did not know how to deal diplomatically while hiding her feelings, and she did not perhaps realize how much she needed to change after the marriage. He on the other hand, if he loved her, should have been more patient with her. But it is true, if one loves someone very much this way, one may not be able to think clearly and one might easily become confused and deeply hurt by exaggerated things and lies. Henry had many selfish, grasping advisors who had their own agendas and who disliked Anne and her lack of diplomacy would not have helped the situation.

      In addition to Anne not being trained to be a queen, neither had Henry been. He was selfish and egotistical, and although he had been raised close to royalty, he had not been raised to be king. Also, to marry Anne, he broke with the Church, gaining for himself absolute power as head of the Church in England. He was unprepared for this, and seems to have been deeply influenced by it.

      People do rash things when they love someone and have some hurtful clash with them of some kind. If someone is suddenly presented with extreme power and is in the same situation, they have many more possibilities at their disposal when they are not thinking clearly.

      The fact that he married again so quickly also reminds me of people who break up with someone whom they love very much and then immediately become involved with someone else to try to hide from their own terrible feelings. He would also if he still loved her experience extreme guilt and regret which he’d seek to hide from himself. And men often tend to be better than women at hiding difficult emotions from themselves in such and other ways, by simply trying to bury the thing that disturbs them, project blame onto the other person, and refuse to admit their own faults or part in the problem. Which also means perhaps that when he was emotional and had the opportunity to accuse and condemn her, he may also have jumped at this chance, as some immature men might.

      In a way, the situation reminds me of Herod I’s putting to death his favourite queen Mariamne, also when she was accused of conspiracy by jealous relatives and advisors. He was probably more obvious though about his guilt later on.

      I don’t want to make excuses for Henry in the sense that there is no excuse for murdering his wife and for many of the other terrible things that he did. But these things do help to understand better what made him do what he did to Anne.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Yes, I think so too. Remember, when one loves someone truly, and u get hurt by them, it can turn u into someone else. Too love passionately, can turn to resent passionately.

      2. Eva Veverka says:

        Henry 8 was a JERK’s jerk. That’s all there is to it. He wanted what he wanted.

        I think he ‘believed’ she somehow bewitched him; he was a practicing Catholic (not a Papist, but still attending Mass) until the day he died. I agree that More’s death hurt his reputation.

        I think Cromwell was the true villain of the piece; I never got why Lady Rocheford (Anne’s sister-in-law, married to her brother George) said she SAW Anne and George making out. I gather she got a GOOD position in the Court afterwards.

        The ‘heroes’ the Tudor Court were few and far between; most of them dead.

        I saw Elizabeth R and Six Wives of Henry the 8TH; Cramner (Archbishop of Canterbury who was ALSO Anne’s confessor) is portrayed as a ‘nice guy’ but HE signed off on all this ‘after’ he took her last confession and NOBODY ‘really’ believed her incestuous or having affairs.

        The only ‘real’ charge was she suggested one of the King’s friends would marry her IF the King died (as in she knew he had the hots for her) and EVEN SUGGESTING the King’s death was treason. His own DOCTORS could never say, Your Majesty, if you eat 10 chickens a day you will get fat and DIE; or DO NOT GO JOUSTING; you’ve gained a lot of weight (have you ever SEEN his ‘final’ set of ARMOR — HUGE) and you could die. They could never tell him to ‘control’ himself in any of his passions and advise him a possible ill-effect. HIS DOCTORS. (He had over a dozen, for his many many MANY ailments.)

  5. Lara says:

    You have made some very good points; what you have said totally makes sense concerning the psychology of the situation. I mean, the fact that Henry had not apparently gone after other women while pursuing Anne, that her conviction may have been orchestrated by other enemies and court, and the fact that when someone loves someone they might sometimes fear that that some of that person’s behaviour means they do not love them in return, and this cause for confusion could very certainly have been exacerbated by the fact that Henry was no ordinary man but saw things through the veneer of his own view of himself as a divinely ordained monarch with absolute power. We learn that he was also quite sensitive and was unprepared and untrained for the power he suddenly acquired on his brother’s death, and the greater power he acquired when he became head of the Church of England. I am by no means excusing him, I totally despise his behaviour towards both men and women in general, but he was still human and the points you mentioned seems to explain some things. Perhaps his string of wives after Anne’s death was due to his vain attempt to find someone who might really replace her in his mind, and his so quickly replacing her with Jane Seymour was also done perhaps to smokescreen his own feelings from himself with someone totally different. I have seen the same sorts of behaviour patterns, minus of course the beheadings, with men these days when dealing with relationships issues. And naturally due to the age in which he lived as well as his status, Henry’s chauvanism was much greater than that of the average man today.

    That he pursued her for so long before “getting” her need not mean that he merely “thought” he was in love with her. She did not give herself to him until they were about to marry, but he had plenty of opportunity to get to know her and make love with her up until then, and plenty of time to do it. This also goes for many relationships today where the people become very close but agree not to sleep together until they are sure, or until the wedding. The fact that he did not insist she sleep with him before seems to imply some sort of respect that he at least perceived that he had towards her, meaning the relationship was not only based on lust but some sort of friendship and affection.

    Still, he was a fickle and unstable person with both men and women, and viewed people’s lives more lightly due to his high position and view of himself, and this must also have been a factor in the situation. So I believe the situation was very complex, as “The Tudors” attempts to portray and as all human situations are, and is not based on some simple black and white explanation. Henry himself in view of all the factors may not have fully realized how much she meant to him until she was gone, as is also often the case with men these days.

    1. Texaskatwoman says:

      I understand this is primarily in reference to Queen Anne and King Henry, but there is the fact he remained married to Queen Catherine for 24 years. TWENTY FOUR. No other woman, of whom he had many, motivated him to renounce that relationship and bastardize Mary. I think that first transgression of violating an innocent wife was a precedent for what was to follow: what did he have to lose having already committed the same thing? None that I can see. And he was always driven, in every event, to consider and be considered supreme. Field of Gold, anyone? He was a wretched hearted, broken man in health, loss of strength, which any person will feel as they age and experience increasingly awful afflictions. Surely he knew he could be smelled from three rooms away before his arrival. To begin so promisingly and to lose himself bit by bit…it is psychologically reasonable he created his self worth thru the eyes of adoring women, and if rejected in any capacity, real or imagined, would do much to remove the challenge to his self image. Vain, arrogant, and one who considered himself above the “regent of God on Earth” he must have considered himself far more than any mortal could be. I believe this dictated many of his spectacular failures in just about every area of his overblown life…

  6. Power was more important to Henry VIII than anything else…wives, children, friends, religion. He did not care who or what got in his way. He would simply remove it. He may have been a great King, according to some, but I believe his daughter was a much, much better Queen than he ever was a King!!!!

  7. Katie says:

    I hate Henry VIII. I have just watched “The Other Boleyn Girl” and it seems (from watching the film), that he is heartless man. Romantic, perhaps, but a selfish, heartless man.

    1. epiphany says:

      Um, you do realize ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ was a complete work of fiction, and was roundly criticized for it’s historical inaccuracies – right?
      Stop judging Henry by 21st century standards. he wasn’t an elected political figure, he was a KING, believed by everyone – not just himself, but everyone – to be only a small step away from the Divine. He got what he wanted because everyone wanted him to have it – he didn’t take it, it was given. Henry was known in his time as a gentleman – he never would have raped Anne Boleyn, or any other woman. He didn’t have to – he was intelligent, charming, charismatic. Women threw themselves at him. Until his 40’s Henry was slim, athletic – yes, built very much like Eric Bana in the film. but with red hair. His need for a legitimate MALE heir was very real – he had every reason to be in a panic about it. That Elizabeth’s Tudor’s reign was successful was certainly fortunate for England, but Henry had no reason to think that it would be, or even to contemplate a daughter taking the throne. Henry was ahead of his time in that he wanted to be in love with the woman he married, an unthinkable concept for a monarch in those days. Marriage was for political alliances, not for love. His many marriage occurred for 2 reasons: he kept marrying women that didn’t produce a son, and when one finally did, she died, and because he never found his True Love – no not even Anne was The One. She may have been charming and intriguing, but she was also spiteful, shrill, and common – traits that became much more apparent after the marriage. She simply didn’t know how to be royal. No, Henry wasn’t in love with Jane either, He wanted a placid, quiet wife that would fade into the background after giving him an heir. Jane just faded a little further than Henry anticipated.

      1. Luna says:

        Hmm.. Your opinion are very interesting.

        What do You think about Henry’s and Catherine of Aragon relationships ?

        1. epiphany says:

          Henry met Catherine of Aragon when he was a boy of 10; he probably developed a huge crush on her – she was a very pretty teenager – which he never got over as he grew up. After Arthur died, Catherine was in limbo, and stuck in England, living off the meager pension Henry VII grudgingly gave her. Because of his chivalrous nature, young Henry probably felt compelled to “save” her. Certainly, from a political standpoint, Catherine was a great catch; her parents were the most powerful monarchs in Europe. But it was the romantic ideal of Catherine which drew Henry to her. He didn’t leave her for Anne Boleyn; he left Catherine because he knew she would never give him a male heir, which he desperately wanted, and England needed. A number of kings prior to this had successfully divorced their wives for the same reason; Henry was not breaking any ground here. Catherine was also spending more time in her religious endeavors, and Henry was no longer visiting her bed. She was as good as celibate, and would have been permitted to set aside her marriage vows in order to take religious ones. Catherine was obstinate and unreasonable in not giving Henry his divorce. She had been told since the age of 3 that she was going to be Queen of England, and by God, no one was taking that away from her! What kind of woman stays with a man who doesn’t want her? Louis VII of France divorced Eleanor of Aquitaine because she only produced girls, and Eleanor was happy to give it to him.

      2. Erin Alexander says:

        I disagree that Anne was common. She was highly educated, well born, and known as one of the most sophisticated women in England in her time. She was a skillful courtier. Shrill, well most wives are shrill from time to time, and spiteful seems to be a bit of conjecture. Did she retaliate against the woman stealing her husband. Yes. Is that surprising given the passion that apparentlt stood for a decade and was strong enough to change history. I think so. But I would like to read more on the subject, if you have sources I am unaware of. Theres always differing information about people and their character in primary documents, as they are always opinions and biased in themselves. Why I love history!

  8. Kimberley Regan says:

    In my opinion, something that is much ignored and not considered, is the psychological fact that he perhaps grew to hate and blame Anne for the mess in which he made in order for them to be together.

    It was no secret that the king had pressures on himself and that many people didnt support their marriage, and preferred Catherine much more so. I think Henry had so much guilt for the decisions in which he made regarding the church, and the hatred of his choices, as well as the life’s he had to sacrifice regarding people who did not sign the path nor recognise Henry as the head of the church of England, therefore were excuted in return due to this.

    Henry had many pressures upon him and majority of people viewed the way he married anne as somewhat corrupt and dishonest under god- I feel, if anyone were in this situation, he perhaps wanted to refresh his name and start again- thus with a new wife and someone viewed as legitimate and someone whom rumours were not quite alike Anne’s (regarding virtue and being considered as a whore)- he obviously wanted someone with a clean slate- even although Anne had this, others ruined the view of her.

    I don’t doubt one minute that Henry didnt love Anne- but he was infatuated by her purely because he could not have her wholly and fully- which made her more appealing and the effort more deserving- he is a typical man, wanting what only he couldn’t have, and once he indeed had her- the grief he received from the people of England and everyone else, seemed as if the effort he put in was not indeed worth it- as he had her fully now and grew tired of her.

    The love in which he had for her was that strong it indeed backfired, he started to blame her for the ruin in which he created for them to be together- and therefore started joining in on the hate for her and hated her due to what he had done himself- he blamed her for his doing.

    When she was gone; I think the fact he was desperate to remove every trace of her is an undeniable fact that he knew he would be guilty for what he done, as he did indeed love her and any trace in which was left of her, would simply remind him. As the saying goes, the only way to perhaps get over someone, or wipe them from your mind, someone you have indeed loved and adore; is to hate them and despise them. It is the only way to rid of the positivity felt towards them. Which I feel, is exactly what he done, hence why many people are confused on the contrast of change to pure love to hatred; I feel this is the only explanation: and something every man/woman has done in relationships in order to get over their partner or ex, however, in Henry’s case this was taken to the extremes.

    Even although Elizabeth grew up no doubt and surrounded by people whom indeed loathed Anne, such as the court of Mary I or just in Henry’s late reign, Elizabeth still knew something dear about Anne and positive, as she kept a ring of her and I have heard, which of course may be a rumour but makes me happy to believe, that she did not allow whilst in reign any negativity to be spoken of her nor did Elizabeth herself believe the things in which happened- perhaps whilst in reign she earned to know more about her mother and the case made against her, but I wish and hope she spoke to Henry later in his reign regarding the issue, as for some strange occurance, she believed her mother to be vastly intelligent, and somewhat a role model and idol, as she held her dearly every day on her finger. Let me know what you think.

    Something to think about..

    1. epiphany says:

      Excellent point; he turned his country upside down, threw his government into turmoil, drew ridicule and derision from foreign countries, executed his closest friends and advisors just to have her. Had Anne given him a male heir, it all would have been worth it. They were both SO SURE that first baby was a boy…

  9. BanditQueen says:

    Did Henry really love Anne Boleyn or was it lust? There is an old saying that love and hate are just two sides on the same coin.

    I think thaat Henry began by desiring Anne, then he realised two things about her; one that she had a brain and was not willing to just use her body as her sister had done; two that she could match him and Katherine in whit and determination.

    As time went by and the two spent more time together they became genuinely attracted to each other, although I think wih Henry it was something more akin to an obsession than deep growing love. I believe they were passionate together and that Anne offered him something more. She offered him herself as a second wife: as a Queen and that gave a new dynamic to their relationship. It meant they had to be restrained and self disciplined and they also had to learn patience. Henry wanted to divorce Katherine and Anne offered herself as his next Queen. So now they both had to decide what they wanted sexually out of the relationship. That meant they could not have sex willy nilly as to do so risked the production of an illigitimate child or children, something neither of them wanted. Henry needed and wanted a male heir and Anne was saying that she was the woman who could provide him with this heir. He had to show her some honour as the mother of his future heir and that meant sexual restraint: for both of them.

    I also believe that because of the length of their relationship and this restraint that it became possible that their love deepened and they got to know each other on many different levels including a spiritual level. Anne seems to have had some personal influence over Henry and his thinking and he seems to have been pleased to go along with some of her demands during their courtship. Anne was treated on a more equal level during the years 1529-1531 than any mere mistress would have been, which seems to indicate that as a couple they were open with each other. Henry seems to have depended upon her and trusted her. But once they were married that situation changed.

    I also believe that once Anne and Henry were married their relationship completely changed. He was not prepared to be dictated to by a wife. Yes, Katherine may have advised him and shared much of his decision making during their early years, but he became more and more independent in his actions and thinking as the years went by. Now all he wanted from Anne was a son. He lavished attention on her, that was needed and even after the birth of Elizabeth, their are some indications that they were still in love. But as Anne began to fail in her pregnancies the same as Katherine had sadly done: Henry became disallusioned by her.

    Henry began to demand that Anne behave like an obedient wife and accept that he had a right to have mistress from time to time. She just could not accept this as Anne clearly loved Henry in a much more dependent way than he did her. He had lost his passion for her and resented the way she argued with him and contradicted him. Henry had changed the laws of the country to protect Anne and when his councillors: Sir Thomas More in particular did not bend the knee to her and refused to accept her as the true Queen; he blamed Anne for forcing him to execute them. There is some argument that marriage to Anne had changed Henry and his friends certainly believed this. She began to get in the way of his foreign policy and the refusal to recongise her as Queen abroad began to upset Henry. He began to think that he had made a mistake in marrying her. By Summer 1535 the marriage was in trouble.

    Anne was in danger, she was paranoid about her position as Queen, she was not secure in her role as long as she did not have a son, and her enemies were gaining ground and influence. I believe that by now Henry had began to fall out of love with his Queen, and was in search of another wife. He could not do anything as she was with child so she may be able to give him a son. But I do not believe that he hated Anne at this stage. This came suddently with the miscarriage in Janaury 1536 and the realization that Anne wanted to kill Katherine and Mary or at least said so in her rages. Henry could not return to Katherine or leave Anne while they both lived, but he could once Katherine was dead. Anne sealed her own fate when she lost Henry’s son on 29th January 1536. He felt deceived by her; he may have felt betrayed and let down, and he was angry. His love had turned to hate. It was a hate that was to believe that she was guilty of adultery, treason and plotting his death.

    By the end of February 1536 Henry was probably in love with Jane Seymour; we cannot be sure; but one thing is certain: he no longer loved the wife that he had sacrified everything for; but her alleged betrayal with his friend Henry Norris tore him apart. I think Henry went into shock and never forgave Anne for either the loss of their son or this alleged adultery. It is this that changed him and would force him to look at everything blackly from now on. Not even Jane could bring out the happier side of Henry, not for long anyway.

    1. epiphany says:

      Great comments, although I disagree strenuously that Henry ever loved Jane Seymour. I think after two such strong, charismatic women as Catherine and Anne, Henry was exhausted, and wanted a plain looking, not too intelligent woman who wouldn’t attract attention, and wouldn’t challenge him. He chose to put her in the family portrait, and be buried beside her because her son was the future King – politically, it was the only sensible thing to do.

  10. sussan says:

    well sarah historians are more of an expert than you so they would have evidemce about what henry thought of anne! just saying! 🙂

  11. sussan says:

    if i ofended

  12. Nina says:

    The Tudors & The Other Boleyn Girl etc. aren’t reliable sources and if your basing your opinions on information you got there then you aren’t speaking about the historical figure. Your discussion is about the fictional characters and you should realize it.

    1. Claire says:

      Who is your comment addressed, to, Nina, the person who wrote the article or someone commenting?

  13. Chandra says:

    People ask, did Henry really love her, did he love his wives, I say maybe but what I feel he loved more than any of them was himself. His quest for an heir was his one true love and he would have stopped at nothing for it, clearly. He killed countless people, sacrificed countless wives and tore a country out of a religion and created another one all for what? To have a son. Not to marry Anne. To have a son. If he TRUELY loved Anne, he would have never thought she was a witch and beheaded her. Lol! He would have excepted that a son was to never be and been happy with Anne and grew old and happy with her. But sadly because she could never produce a son, believing she was a whore and a witch was a easy cop out for him to get rid of her and start over with some other wife. That is not true love for a wife but for himself and his own agenda.

    1. Geraldine says:

      I agree entirely. Henry, as a product of his time, cared only for male issue. His tyrannical behaviour developed out of his pursuit of a male heir exacerbated by malicious advisors (also products of a male world) and mental health issues brought on by brain injuries. Good example of violence against women at its worst.

  14. louisa Dawes says:

    I’ve always thought later in life he regretted it, after all he was very close to Elizabeth, if Anne had allowed him to annul the marriage he would never had had that relationship with her as he would have disowned her as not his.

    I don’t get much feeling from his other marriages at all. I can only assume as he looked back over the years he realized that she was his soul mate and that he missed her. I hope he did, I hope he felt bloody awful the selfish sod!

    Plus she was the only woman who actually properly stood up to him, I know he lopped her head off but she still took a stand against him! What a fabulous woman, I hope it was her Elizabeth took after 🙂 good for her!

  15. Jason says:

    Agree with everyone except on the religious account. The church was supremely and rankly corrupt and if there was one good thing that came of Boleyn, it was the crack in that pithole.

    1. Mary Caine says:

      Sorry, Jason. I disagree. There was as much corruption after England broke with the Church as before. Cranmer was venal, self serving man. Don’t forget: the winnners, in this case Protestants, get to write the history.
      Martin Luther, the catalyst of the “Reformation”, was a very flawed individual judging by his writings.

      As to whether Henry loved Anne Boleyn, what he felt for her was closer to unhealthy obsession rather than love. I suspect that the nearest he felt to true love for another human being was for his long-wished for son, Edward.

  16. Brenda Du Faur says:

    Re: the Love/Hate reality of Anne Boleyn and wi rld VIII

    I am very confused.
    I love everyone’s comments which show the complexity of human relationships, and that of Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn’s.
    I am learning a lot.
    On, the text of “Anne’s speech before kneeling on the scaffold” is horrifying to me as a person and as a woman person. It sinks me. Stand up to Henry VIII? Yes, I have read that and honor that. She was an incredible and strong and fascinating person.
       But in death she was completely self-denying, and unself-honoring. And if I can be inelegantly and crudely spoken for a minute in my exasperation and complete and utter disappointment, in short she was a not-defending-herself, mealy-mouthed, misguided woman who wasn’t respecting herself enough, a woman victimized by her times.
        On a level, a typical female stereotype that’s real.    Martyrish yes. A sort of martyr nobility on a level.
      But lauding Henry VIII, her heartless murderer/husband as if, in essence to say, oh well, if I had to be killed I guess I had to be killed, the sentiment, the attitude she revealed in her right-before-death speech.
         To put it in a modern way:
    that’s head twistedness. That’s being totally psyched out. That’s being brain-washed. Almost “programmed.” Whatever she did wrong, if she did do wrong things, of course she didnt deserve her horrible end.
    What about everybody else’s wrongs? What about Henry VIII’s?
       But of course you cant separate her thinking from the times such as men were “better” in a certain sense ( i.e., their thoughts and demands took far precedence over a mere female’s,  etc., or that kings were truly “above” and “higher” than regular people, etc.)
       Among the great things that she was, hers was also a profile, on a level,  of the lack of self-regard of the female person, in a societal yet also personal context. We minimalize ourselves.
      And so I guess she transcended the thinking of her times but limitedly (i.e., not having a son a punishable crime or at least a reason for a husband to “discard” her, etc.)
        I was so heart-sunken to read her thoughts right before having her head unceremoniously chopped off, to be crudely stated again.
       There was a sort of nobility to her being and thinking at the time of her execution but also a typical way of women-  “it’s all me.” Everyone else’s ills, not to mention the dispicable layers of Henry VIII’s being, aren’t even on the radar of her thoughts, it seems. By default, everyone and everything else is exonerated.
      She has no anger, no outrage.
      Right before you are about to be killed, I guess one would surrender, but her lamb-to-the-slaughter reality is just so effortlessly accepted, it seems.
         PBS did a masterpiece theatre series on Henry VIII. Of course no people on earth do these historical pieces better than the British. It is astounding how wonderfully produced and how incredibly well-acted these productions are. And historically astute and substantive and richly drawn.
      Wow. There is an actual deep respect for history, for the real, for the actual, for the true… ( As an aside, Oliver Stone please take note.)
       I digress. Henry VIII Masterpiece Theatre was magnificent.
        God forbid the superficial black and white, angels versus devils pap Hollywood would have produced. The European mind and film production, generally-speaking, seem to comprehend complexity far more than we Americans do. Profound versus surfaceal.
       The British actor’s performance of Henry VIII was one of the most vivid and rich pieces of acting I’ve ever seen. And so much of their relationship’s complexity depicted. 
      But Henry VIII was despicable, physically disgusting, savage-like, indulgent, gluttonous. Oftentimes repulsive. Here was an unappealing person.
        I cringed throughout the program but also was gripped nonstop by it.
       Anyway, 16th century or present times,  why are fine, wonderful, appealing women so often devoted to “lesser” men?
        I know there’s a lot of levels and categories to that. Queens versus common people… how “lesser” is defined, etc.
       Having these loyal,  beautiful, dignified, slender, emotionally rich and soft-somewhere-in-their-being women just see past the man’s  physical and personhood repulsiveness or insufferableness is hard to take. The man can be a pig, to be crudely stated again, the women always these beautiful, refined creatures of oftentimes selfless love, that isnt equal on the man’s part.
          Boleyn’s last words “knocked” no one. We all know contempt is a poisen but she so acceptingly went to her ignoble death, the woman taking in all the blame, taking in all the world’s and peoples’ ills onto herself: she’s the problem. Internalizing to the gills.
         Anyway, the probing of history and of these historical figures and human beings  is really  endlessly fascinating… totally edifying….
         For another time the complexity of relationshipal resentment, etc., might make an interesting topic when men or women end up giving up something great to have the one they love, such as the king and wallace simpson… or even the complexities of feelings and consequences when they don’t give up the big thing- is it Princess Margaret who didn’t marry the photographer who was the love of her life… human relationships… confounding and intriguing…beyond what we could ever, ever, ever concoct…

    1. Debs says:

      Oh dear, no offence but you clearly havent grasped or read enough history of anne and tudor pokics. Anne was offered the chance by henry to admit her marriage was invalid and be put aside BUT if she did that then this meant she would be admitting her daughter was illegitimate andctherefore could not ever be in line to throne therefore she refused. Id call that pretty flopping brave not wimpy csn you honestly tell me you’d have had the courage to do that especially bearing in mind she had no guarantee Mary was not going to be restored (as she was to the sucession therefore pushing her daughter down and probably out – which may have happened in her mind or fsct anywaybif she admitted her marriage was illegal). Secondly to call her mealy mouthed etc for not damning Henry for the murdering bastard he was to her on the scaffold – I too used to think Id have said a thing or two and proclaimed my innocence loud and clear one last time and said what a b—d my husband the king was but again she didnt for thecsame reasons a) what would have been the point shes on the scaffold about to die nonone actually cares if shevis innocent or guilty in fact most of the crowd there hated her anyway so why bother proclaiming your obvious innocence when no one cares you seem to not be aware how spirited a defence she had put up alone and unsupported denied legal council etc at her trial and how she had proven there how false the charges were as she was able to show she was in confinenent whikst pregnant on one of the dates she was accused and was in a different pkace with dozens of witnesses on another but none of this mattered she was going to be found guilty before she set foot in the room and by then on the scaffold she knew this so why bother slagging off Henry all it would achieve would be to potentially cause harm to her child again. Everything she did and said was to protect Elizabeth at her own cost. Id call that the actions of a very very brave woman deeply caring of her child and determined shevwouldnt give Henry the chance to call her a bastard and disinherit her easily…….read the speech again and think carefully about the words she said especially the ones about if anyone cares to take up my cause I trust or hope cant remember exact words that they will judge it kindly…..thats her veiled way of saying Im innocent!! For heavens sake learn something about the woman and period plus history you are commenting on before making more silly statements like the ones above.

      1. Bubba says:

        IDK how old this is (can’t see dates) or if you will ever read this, but Anne did sign the paper that annulled her and Henry’s marriage and declared Elizabeth a bastard. I’m seeing a lot lately of people saying Anne was given the choice to sign a paper or die and she died so her daughter would have the chance to be Queen of England, however that is far from the truth. Truth is on May 17th 1536, Anne signed the paper of annulment because she thought she would go to a nunnery instead. Hypothetically speaking even if she went to a nunnery without signing anything the marriage would be invalid and Elizabeth would be declared a bastard.

  17. Avon says:

    Keep in mind the short time frame between her arrest, detention, investigation, trial and finally her execution only lasted four days. I’m beginning to see the pattern of Henry VIII’s quick decision making was out of plain rage. I wonder if he made the same verdict if there was a month or more prior to execution. Anyone who’s had fights with their lover can probably relate to this. I know I’ve been there myself when I felt like I fell out of passion or love for a few days because of strong emotions like anger and jealousy up to a point of not caring for the other at all. But after awhile the real feeling kicks in again. I’m sure he regretted beheding her soon after. This could explain his quick marriage action to Jane and to the others after. Jane was a replacement of Anne, and his love for Jane was only a patch to the love he had for Anne combined with his way of compensating to his past wrong doing of ending his former Queen’s life himself. After all there was nothing he could do within his power to bring her back to life. So it was sensible for him to deny his true feelings and move on with his new marriage life as quickly as possible. But don’t be fooled by the fact that Henry got depressed and quickly crumbled after Jane’s death. It may seem Jane was the reason, as for 3 years he not marry, but the fact he mourned, Jane was only a proxy. His mouning was more for the lost of the original. He mourned primarily that Anne’s replacement (the women who’s supposed to comfort him from all the shit – has been taken away from him against his will. In other words, he did not escape Anne as easily as he wanted to. The main cause of his depression is that he regretted beheading his true love, and there is nothing he could do to bring her back. That explains his later marriages to three more women who can possibly replace Anne.
    If there’s someone who suffered the most later was probably Henry – talk about hiding his true feelings (regret, guilt, grief, longing for a lost
    love, and physical pain). At least those women did not live long to suffer like he did. Yes, I agree, he stayed married with KA for twenty some years for political alliance purpose and also they shared frienship and respect. Definitely and not primarily for love
    and passion. Jane was just a proxy or a patch, and so as the others. I do not believe that he totally lost love for Anne completely that is why he was able to do what he did. He thought he lost it for that short time under rage – anyone could. But he realized it after it was too late. Nevertheless, he maintains his image as the all powerful and determined king of England to the end of his life.

    1. Lorraine says:

      Hi Avon. I absolutely agree with you that Anne Boleyn remained Henry’s one true love and that he had her executed out of sheer rage….which I believe he later regretted. You are correct in what you say…..all of us, in a fit of jealous rage could feel quite murderous towards someone we deeply love….and yet within minutes, hours or a few days, the love returns and we see sense again.

  18. Christine says:

    A person who is capable of feeling such ardent love as Henry did for Anne can also hate with the same passion, I honestly believe had she slept with Henry in the beginning and agreed to be his mistress then he would have soon tired of her, he became obsessed because she didn’t let him have what he wanted, it’s as simple as that really, that’s what made her so different from his other conquests, no wonder he grew to hate her he must have seen her in a different light and thought ‘I rocked the world for a shrewish woman who can’t give me a healthy son, I executed loyal servants and was excommunicated all for this’, and realised she had made a fool of him, no wonder he grew to hate her.

  19. chloe says:

    was this good or bad?

    1. chloe says:

      what impact did this have? (eg. on different groups of people, the pope, other catholic protestant countries etc)

  20. Lorraine says:

    The love Henry had for Anne was that ‘once in a lifetime’ special love that we only experience if we are very lucky. Anne was his obsession……..his dream……..his friend….his lover…. his wife……..and finally, his enemy. I believe that Henry felt absolute humiliation when he knew that Anne had been telling her Brother George that he ( Henry) lacked prowess in the royal bedroom. For a Man of Henry’s pride and vanity, this must have been appalling and embarrassing; his rage would have been vulcanic. To be mocked and ridiculed by the Woman that he had sacrificed so much for…….in return for so little. I believe that Henry later regretted putting Anne to death. A love like this is not easily extinguished….not even by death, and Henry certainly never loved this way again.

  21. Tricia Morris says:

    ‘She is one of the most powerful Queens that England has ever had.’

    That is a moot point, in fact I would dispute it. She was not Queen in her own right; her husband Henry VIII was one of the most powerful Kings England has ever had and huge changes occurred as a result of his pursuit of her.
    She did, of course, give birth to one of the most powerful Queens that England has ever had – Elizabeth I

  22. Katie says:

    I believe that Henry turned so quickly on Anne because of what he felt he had done in order to make her his queen. He had his best frieind killed and he broke away from the Catholic Church all on the promise that she would bear him sons. When she didn’t he felt betrayed and that he done all those things for nothing. Though in my opinion, I do believe that the stress of being queen was one of the leading causes of her miscarriages. You have to remember that one of them occured right after she was told the king may be dead from the accident. It is a sad thing to realize that the daughter of Anne, who he had beheaded for the reason of not bearing his much wanted son, is one of the greatest rulers England has ever known and Edward, his beloved son was not.

  23. Tywanna says:

    I thine eveth of y’all had great opinions about the Tudor history. But yet something troubles me, about the death of Anne Boleyn. If you think about I mean the absolute reason of it…. well for starters her dad and uncle started the whole thing. They were so infatuated With power and fortune,that they would sacrifice their own blood. Things are meant to be done but the way this was done was insane. Henry was young and foolish he slept with any female he could sleep with. When Thomas Boleyn and his brother saw chance and opportunity They grabbed it. Anyway I believe when Henry saw Anne he melted, when she spoke to him he knew right then she was the one. Yeah she played it smart, if I have to do this I will not be like my sister was to everyone a whore. She held out did what father and uncle ask her to do. She becomes queen a mother a respectable ruler. This is where it gets interesting, Thomas Wyatt the poet did confess his love for Anne. I believe when that was done he becomes very jealous. Anyway his love and passion grew like tumbleweed. She went threw a lot in her time. Henry had something wonderful but like I said he was young and dumb. Henry let people tell him anything and he believe it. Wen it became the time of Anne’s death he couldn’t bare anyone else to have his jewel, like Thomas. He gave her a soldier death meaning honorable, respectable and rememberable. That’s why everyone is so infatuated With this story of Anne Henry Tudor.

  24. jennifer says:

    I have wondered this myself. My thinking is (from reading things on henry) there is no doubt he was a very proud and stubborn man. He didnt like being challenged unless he started the challenege. Henry feel in love with Anne but it was definitely different than the other women in his life. Henry, being a man of great pride, did not like being wrong or being made a fool off. He was so despite for a son that he let that rule him. I don’t doubt for a second that anne thought she would give him a son. I don’t think it was simply to get the crown. I think henry had a lot of regrets his biggest being anne. When your pride is hurt and your a passionate person who thinks they have been fooled, it makes sense that he did what he did. How many times someone hurts you really bad and you bad mouth them, but deep down you are doing it because your hurt. Why call her a whore after she is dead? If he did not have feeling for her he wouldn’t feel the need to continue to slander her after death. If he was so angry and hated her so much,why did he make sure she would have a painless death? That’s what doesn’t make sense to me. He did it to make him look good? I don’t think henry really gave a damn what people thought of him or cared if people disagreeded, so again why do that? He didn’t want to hurt her…he will torched people over hear say, but he won’t let a woman who lied and betrayed him (if it were true) in the most fowl way you can betray someone, suffer? It makes no sense to me that he truley hated her.

  25. Don Chase says:

    A not very academic comparison would be Henry and Tony Sporano. He was the head of an organization we know as England bearing the great expectations and responsibilities of his ofhis leadership position. At the same time he was just an ordinary man. Among those responsibilities of the time was pressure to leav a male heir. This required something his wife couldn’t provide so as a matter of business he mentally divorced her and began looking elsewhere. His search led him to Anne who he convinced himself he loved but her most valuable asset was her presumed ability to produce a male. When this became unlikely his primary motive override whatever thin secondary affection for her was. Enter Tony Soprano. The short story, pun intended, was to have her whacked. He connived skillfully with his crew (Cromwell) to get it done in such a way as to give himself cover. Was Henry immoral or amoral? No. He was just a product of his time and position.

  26. Michele Mitchell says:

    I don’t think Henry really loved Anne I think Henry believed he loved Anne. I feel he was in lust, he wanted Anne because she was not willing to give her self to Henry, and that made Henry want her more. Once he got to what he wanted, he didn’t want it. She was good as a mistress but not a wife. In my opinion king Henry was spoiled.

    1. Gena says:

      This page is biased, don’t look to it for any factual points outside of what is generally understood

  27. Mrs. Nola Hayes says:

    Interesting comments, Henry was a Hunter in personality, he pursued her, won her , was hoping for a son, alas not to be. Anne was a woman ahead of her time, her intelligence made men fear her. That was not a woman’s role in that time. But the Kings will was absolute. Being head of the Church, why didn’t Henry divorce her on the grounds of the close affinity with her sister, after all that was used to annul the marriage. No , l think that Henry had to destroy her because his ego and pride could not stand the thought of her being be able to live somewhere happily without him. No he had to win , no matter the cost. The charges and dates of her so called infidelity were ludicrous, no wonder Elizabeth had an aversion to marriage. And that is why Anne and her brother, and the rest of the poor courtiers paid the ultimate price.

  28. Tanja Fladderak says:

    Henry VII became King after defeating and killed Richard III in 1485. He was the first monarch of what would become theTudor dynasty.When he married Elizabeth of York, the Wars of the Roses were finally over. They got two sons, a heir and a spare. Unfortenately the heir Arthur died in 1502, leaving his wife Catherine of Aragon a widow. Marriages between Royalty was mainly for politics and that was the main reason why Henry VIII married Catherine. He may have had a crush on her, but het did not married for love.
    He wanted to secure the Tudor dynasty (for the reign of his father had been contested for a dubious ancestry) by having sons, preferably more than one or even two. Sadly, Catherine bore him no son that lived longer than a few weeks and a girl: Mary. The King knew he was able to have sons, he fathered an illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy by his mistress Bessy Blount.
    Henry became desperate for a legitimate male heir. And here Anne Boleyn enters the story.
    Anne was well educated, sophisticated (spending time at the French court) witty, vivacious and charismatic.Henry became infatuated.He had her sister Mary a a mistress, but nothing came of it. So Annes uncle the Duke of Norfolk and her father Thomas Boleyn put pressure on Anne to pursuit a more secure place at Henry’s side. We can only guess if Anne was in love with the King at the beginning of their relationship. Perhaps Anne was ambitious but her family was for sure.
    We all know that it took 7 years before Anne became Queen. Seven years in wich nearlly no progression was made to divorce Henry and Catherine because the latter didn”t cooperate, (understandibly) and the Pope refused. Ultimately Henry took things in his own hands and broke with Rome, established the Anglican Church and made himself Supreme head.
    Catherine was a beloved Queen and the populace hated Anne for stealing that station. The clergy was also not amused to say the least. On top of all that Anne did not delivered the longed for son, but a girl: Elizabeth.
    To ensure that Anne was considered the rightful Queen (Catherine was still alive) and Elizabeth thus legitimate the Act of Succession was made. People had to swear an oath. Those who did not were punishable by death. Thomas More, long time friend of King Henry refused to do so as was cardinal John Fisher. They were both beheaded.
    Unfortunately Anne had several misscarriages (of boys) and Henry was utterly dissapointed. Furthermore Anne was not wat Henry wanted once she became his Queen. She had to be regal, obidient and supportive of his every action and not meddle in affairs of state. But she frequently argued with him in public and was still the Anne she was before the marriage. After the King of France Francois I refused to betroth his son to Princess Elizabeth for not recognize her as legitimate and in stead offered betrothal of his son to Mary, the bucket spilled over for Henry.
    All he went trough was in vain and he began to blame Anne. He regretted the execution of More and loathed Anne for being the reason why. Henry began to hate her and wanted to get rid of her.
    I think that he didn’t want a divorce so soon after the “Great Matter” and that he sought a other legal means by having Anne accused and condemned to death. Catherine had died and with her succesor death, he would be free to marry and this time there would not be any reason to doubt the validity of the marrige.

  29. Gabriel says:

    What about something that is also often overlooked. From what I understand, Henry VIII suffered a bad horsing accident. I make no claims, but I have seen some historians say this changed him mentally and perhaps made him more agitated and aggressive (than he likely was). It also much limited the sport he could do after this point – hence from a man in form to the large one people picture. This was during one of Anne’s pregnancies and so this one of the dead sons was likely caused by Anne’s stress due to Henry’s accident. I would say the accident also played perhaps a large role. It could also have added to his desperation for a son.

  30. Victoria says:

    I do wonder if a big part of Henry’s obsession with Anne Boleyn was because of Henry Cary, who was most likely his son, by her sister, Mary Boleyn. He may have thought that because one sister gave him a healthy, but illegitimate son, that the other sister, as his wife, would also be able to give him a healthy son, who would be his heir. Just a thought. Anne was probably also alluring and enthralling, which caused his desire for her, but his obsession most likely was driven by his desperate want of a healthy son as his heir.

  31. Kell says:

    I don’t like talking about Henry and Anne as some great love because it truly breaks my heart that Catherine of Aragon was treated as inconvenient collateral damage. I can’t believe people are inspired by two people’s “love” that had to cause so much damage just to happen. I hate to think I live in a world where two people can hurt a person so bad and that their “love” will then be celebrated. I’m glad Anne was never able to give him a son and that the man she loved so much ended up killing her. I hope she suffered just as deeply as Catherine must of suffered. I’m glad their “love story” ended the way it did. They didn’t deserve to live happily ever after. And Catherine deserves so much better than to just be relegated to the woman people talk about in articles like these and others as an “obstacle” to be overcome in the bastardized love of those two people.

    1. Shelby-leigh Feltl says:

      I agree, this to me tells us to reflect from history and see that meddling in a marriage NEVER ends well. To me, I disagree and discard Ann as a queen yet regard her as manipulative, power hungry, cunning and a bit of a Jolene as dolly puts it. What woman in her right mind interferes in a marriage and on of that whom her sister also burdened with a ” unlegitiment/ barstard” child. (Absolute no disrespect just puting in terms of these days) To me she disrespected religion, marriage, an intere country and sister code.

  32. Gena says:

    This page is WAY too bias. Anne was not considered beautiful, it was her personality and charm that brought attention to her. This is not opinion, there are many written accounts about this. He did not love her, he lusted after her and when she couldn’t give him what he wanted most, a child, he fell out of love with her immediately and got married the day she got BEHEADED under his order. He was a very mentally ill man by the time he got with Anne. The only queen he genuinely loved was the one he was married to for over 20 years, Katherine of Aragon. If you’re going to be biased over some sick fascination with her, don’t write it as facts, it’ll confuse people who are actually wanting to get educated on the subject.

  33. Donna says:

    The fact that Henry discarded so many wives with little hesitation indicates that he viewed women as property and not human beings, No man who executes his child’s mother is capable of love. We have romanticized the story of Henry and Anne but the facts speak for themselves. Henry wanted a son and he refused to allow church or woman to keep him from what he wanted. Henry wanted Anne, he wanted Jane… like a kid begs for a toy, but he did not love anyone but himself.

  34. Charley says:

    Henry can only be described as the male chauvinist extrodinaire of his time. And a very powerful one at that. Everything he did was to bolster his image of masculinity, fathering a male aire to the throne being at the top of the list. Anne Boleyn was just in the way, her usefulness over. He had already eliminated Moore so saying he was upset about losing the sanction of the pope etc , and everything he went through to marry her makes no sense. He made himself the head of the church of England..makes perfect sense. If any of his other wives had given him a son he would have been buried along side or between them, such was his loyalty because they gave him a son, rather than anything else. Fact is women then we’re as chattel and breeding stock at all levels of society, as unpopular as that ideology is today. Unfortunate that history is judged by today’s standards rather than those that existed at the time. I think it’s called “revisionist” history…….

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