Happy Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day to all those in countries celebrating today! I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating.

I always find it sad that Anne Boleyn didn’t have much chance to be a mother, and being queen made it difficult anyway, when the child was whisked off away from court to their own household.

To mark Mothering Sunday, I’m sharing these videos and articles. I do hope you enjoy them.

Here are some articles:

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2 thoughts on “Happy Mothering Sunday!”
  1. Mothers Day was originally dedicated to Our Lady, Mary, Mother of Jesus and all women were honoured. The Church allowed the relaxation of Lenten observance on that day which marks the mid point in the 40 days and a feast was prepared and served by the men of the parish. The modern feast has also become known as Simnel Sunday and Easter Simnel Cake is eaten made from fruit, marzipan and cinnamon or layers of almonds and berries.

    The articles and videos about Anne show that she was a hands on mum, she was concerned about her little daughter and took a personal interest in her welfare and what was provided gor her clothing etc. Anne visited Elizabeth as often as possible and Henry also doted on her. To be fair he had doted on Mary as well, so I am not giving him any prizes on that score. However, he did visit her often and took pride in showing her around as perfect.

    Anne was particularly concerned to make a good match for Elizabeth and played a part in promoting a French alliance with one of the sons of King Francis. Anne hosted various visiting Ambassadors but the news was never good as Francis wanted an alliance with Mary instead. Elizabeth was clearly at Court for several weeks at a time and was definitely at Court in January 1536 when the news of the death of Queen Katherine arrived. Elizabeth was paraded in her best to Mass and around the Court and she was treated as Henry’s legitimate heir and given her own establishment.

    Anne influenced Henry to send Mary to serve her baby half sister and when she refused Anne demanded that her step daughter lose both her status and her privileges. Anne wanted Mary to call her Queen but Mary couldn’t because the only Queen in her life was her own abandoned mother, whom she wasn’t allowed to see. The relationship between Anne and Mary was heated and a very difficult one. At times Anne reached out and Mary remained stubborn but at other times Anne actually wished the girl was dead. There may be psychological problems associated with such outbursts but they were dangerous and show Anne did have a darker side. Her own brother had to warn her over this and she accidentally gave Mary food poisoning with mushrooms. Anne was devastated when she found out but she was always reckless. Mary couldn’t accept her as Queen and that was the crux of the matter. We also know with hindsight that Henry approved of Anne being allowed to handle Mary because he did even worse after Anne died. In response to his daughter’s request for reconciliation Henry sent a delegation who told her to sign articles which demanded her total submission in everything.

    Anne is believed to have had her daughter with her at meetings with Ambassadors and audiences and she was obviously sad to be parted from her. From her household records we see that Anne personally chose her daughters clothing and regularly did so as the child grew. Anne had recently ordered several bonnets and caps and beautiful things for her little Princess shortly before her imprisonment in May 1536, according to the debts she left behind. Elizabeth was growing up very quickly and we also see, although this is debatable, from a letter by Lady Bryan that Elizabeth had outgrown her clothes and new ones had not been ordered. The letter does not show deliberate neglect, when taken in context, however and the situation was soon put right. Lady Bryan was supervising the household of Elizabeth and she had a dispute with the Controller who she criticised for being inefficient. Cromwell was meant to have sent an allowance for the Princess but it hadn’t arrived. The letter was sent in order to get Henry to authorise an immediate issue of the allowance not to emphasise the misunderstanding that Elizabeth was being neglected as that is far from the truth. Yes, the kid had outgrown her clothes, but only just and the administration had been remiss in sending her allowance a bit later than usual. That was, partly due to problems in the household and had nothing to do with direct neglect. The money was paid and Elizabeth given a new wardrobe. I doubt it happened again. Cromwell saw to that. The problem was a breakdown in communication and as Anne had seen to these things herself, when Elizabeth next needed a new wardrobe, there was nobody to take charge and see that she was properly clothed until Lady Bryan sent this letter, which actually distorted the truth.

    Elizabeth grew up with members of the Boleyn family and connections around her. Anne also tried to make some spiritual provision for Elizabeth by asking Matthew Parker to watch over her, if possible and her mother’s memory was kept sacred for Elizabeth by Alexander Alaise and William Latimer and people like Kat Ashley and those they knew. Her tutor, Roger Ascham was associated with this group of reformers and he too must have passed on the love Anne had for her daughter. Elizabeth herself revered both her father and her mother and in the use of her mother’s arms and symbols, like her Falcon, the appointment of those who knew her in her own household as Queen and the beautiful locket ring which held her mother’s portrait with her own, Elizabeth remembered Anne with affection and honour.

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