Day 5 of The Executed Queens Tour

May19,2011 #Anne Boleyn Day #Eric Ives

Today was a strange mixture of sadness, happiness, poignancy and excitement – conflicting emotions. After a wonderful cooked English breakfast (yum!), we headed off to the Tower of London to explore the Tower and its amazing history, and also to pay our respects at the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula on the 475th anniversary of the execution of our heroine, Queen Anne Boleyn.

On the way to the Tower our guide, Marc, pointed out places of interest, such as Greenwich, the location of the 1536 May Day joust and the site of the Palace of Placentia, birthplace of Elizabeth I.

I took some old maps of the Tower with me so that we could identify the site of the Queen’s lodgings of the Royal Palace, which is no longer standing, and I also pointed out the actual scaffold site, rather than the glass memorial. Marc was great – so knowledgeable – and he guided us around the main sites, including the Tower Hill scaffold site where I laid a rose in memory of the 5 innocent men who were executed there, along with the many other people who lost their lives there. I also took a bouquet of deep pink roses to lay on Anne Boleyn’s memorial tile, which we couldn’t lay ourselves as the annual basket of roses had not yet been delivered, however, as we came out of the chapel the basket arrived and the yeoman warder took our bouquet to lay by the side of it. I wrote on the card:-

” ‘Remember me when you do pray’, we remember you, Anne. In Memory of Queen Anne Boleyn 1501-19th May 1536, from all at The Anne Boleyn Files.”

A couple of our group were able to pick roses at Hever to take, so that was very special to take flowers from Anne Boleyn’s own home.

The basket of roses which are sent to Anne's tile every year.

The treat of the day was Eric Ives’s visit. After toasting Anne Boleyn’s life with bubbly, we had dinner at Hever, joined by Eric. He received quite a grilling from us from dinner and then he spoke about our favourite subject, Anne Boleyn, and shared some slides with us of portraits and contemporary sources. I will be sharing more from Eric’s talk when I get back, but suffice to say that we all thoroughly enjoyed it and we all had the chance to get our questions answered and our books signed.

Claire and Eric Ives

As I look back on a day spent discussing Anne Boleyn with people who care about her I think it was a fitting memorial to her life and death. RIP Queen Anne Boleyn.

Enjoy the photos from our day at

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23 thoughts on “Day 5 of The Executed Queens Tour”
  1. OMG I am so Jelous you met the man, the legend that is Eric Ives, after Starkey he is the guy I would most like to meet! I imagine this is how normal people feel about celebrities! I was on one of the first tours and the roses hadnt arrived by that point. I asked the warder about it and he said oh yes we’ll be expecting them around the 23rd. I replied that today is her execution day and I was told that no that was Catherine Howard in February and AB was the 23rd….GRRR!!!! Gah I wish I’d tagged on to a later one now but there’s a chance the Tower would have had a new prisoner cause I may have hit one of the Yeoman lol! Amazing day! Will deffo do it again on her anniversary, and hopefully see the roses this time =]. Glad you all had a fab day…I did look out for you Claire to say hi but no such luck. There was alot of school trips today.

  2. Thanks Claire for the update and the wonderful photos you posted for those who couldnt make it this year.
    What a beautiful thing to do for the beautiful Anne.


  3. Thank you, Claire, for sharing! I can’t wait for your new pics. I am planning on doing one of the tours next year and can’t wait! Toast to Queen Anne!!

  4. I really wish i could’ve been there. Especially to meet Eric Ives. Hopefully one day i’ll be able to visit Hever Castle and the Tower of London. And i’m all the way from Ohio! R.I.P Anne Boleyn, we love you.

  5. I’m jealous! I want Eric Ives to sign my copy of his book. That was so nice, putting flowers from Hever on Anne’s memorial.

  6. Thank you for taking her a bouquet of roses on behalf of everyone at The Anne Boleyn Files website. I think her life was indeed celebrated today!!!

  7. Oh Claire the text of the card is beautiful! Thank you so much for taking us all on your voyage into the past!

  8. Lovely photos, Claire!
    I wore my B necklace today too! I was a bit taken aback when several people asked me if I was wearing “Ugly Betty’s” necklace– the producers just copied Anne’s for the show!

  9. Even reading what you did brought me to tears. I’m so glad you went and were able to place flowers not only for me but for everyone else here. Thanks Claire your the best. GOD BLESS ANNE BOLEYN ON THIS 19TH DAY OF MAY!!!!!!!! and you too Claire 😛

  10. Thank you for the lovely card and the roses you took to Anne’s resting place.. We do remember her every day..

  11. I so wish I could be there! Thank you for sharing your story and the pictures. Seems like a great day! And the roses and the card are just lovely, thank you for sending them on our behalf.

  12. Thank you for leaving flowers on our behalf. I so wish I could have been there personally.
    At the memorial on Tower Hill, is George Boleyn’s name engraved cos the dates seemed to jump across 1536? It would be nice for his and the other four men’s names to be recorded.

    Hope you all had a lovely time on the tour, it looked fantastic 🙂

    SarahD xx

  13. I have to stop reading the updates from the tour…it is getting me more & more jealous….spent the 19th watching the execution scene from the Tudors (only one I had available to me, I hate that they didn’t stick to her actual speech…but I guess it was pretty close). It put me in tears…I just can’t believe that I cry everytime!
    I wish I could have met Eric Ives….seeing him sign copies of the book I’m reading….

  14. Nice account – and the sun was shining!

    I wonder, Claire – do you regard Anne Boleyn as a saint? Any distinction drawn between veneration and commemoration?

    1. Just a quickie reply as I’m travelling back from the tour, but I don’t think Anne was a saint or martyr and certainly should not be “venerated”. I commemorate her death because I am fascinated by her and her fall was so tragic, and a real miscarriage of justice, but I also commemorate the deaths of the five men who also died that May and I laid a rose at the Tower Hill scaffold site for them too.

  15. Those are such lovely roses. I would love to meet and speak with Eric Ives–you lucky woman! I keep telling myself, next year, next year! thanks again for putting flowers for us at the ABF. I hope the rest of your trip is just wonderful!

  16. The best part was when the “official flowers” arrived at the same time that ours were given to the yeoman warder- our flowers and the official flowers were placed on Anne’s final resting place at the same time! It was almost as if it was pre determined in the cosmos! =)

  17. hi claire as a newcommer im so glad there are people out there that have such great love and respect for anne i was fortunate to meet david starkey a few years ago at a conference about henry and anne as you can imagine it was fasinating ive been obsessed with anne for years and have visited all the places that are related to her hever is my favorite

  18. I was also at the Tower of London on May 19th! As this was also my birthday, I asked the guard (after everyone had left the chapel) if I could go take a look at Anne’s grave. As I was looking at the marker, he explained where her neck was located and what direction her body was laying. It was pretty amazing.

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