June 1 – Anne Boleyn is crowned queen at Westminster Abbey

On this day in Tudor history, 1st June 1533, Whitsunday, at Westminster Abbey, Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was crowned queen in ceremony performed by her good friend, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.

It was a long day for Anne, who was around 6 months pregnant. The day started with a procession from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, then there was the actual coronation, where Anne was crowned with St Edward’s crown, and finally the huge coronation banquet.

Find out more about Anne’s coronation day…

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3 thoughts on “June 1 – Anne Boleyn is crowned queen at Westminster Abbey”
  1. Anne must have pinched herself many times, this was to be her coronation her day of glory, her and the king had battled so hard for this day to come, after all the legal posturing’s of the Pope, the legatine court at Dunstable, Katherines refusal to go quietly, the sullen mood of the London crowds the boos that accompanied her wherever she went, the muttering of Elizabeth Barton, this day had finally come she was married to the king, she was officially by the new law passed in Parliament Queen of England, she was expecting the new prince and now she was to be crowned a singular honour, with the sacred crown of King Edward, but she had a long day to get through and she was seven months months pregnant, she must have suffered from anxiety and felt if only she had waited before sleeping with the king for she had to endure this long exhausting day and the baby inside her must have kicked rather exuberantly, but buoyed up also with excitement and the kings love for her, she knew with her own blend of stamina and endurance she would get through the day, she must have looked a vision in white and silver, under a canopy of silver bells with her glorious hair floating down her back, one observer noted, ‘in its darkness jewels glittered’, there were a few sarcastic comments from the crowd, and Jane Anne’s fool shouted out the crowd must have scurvy heads for they kept their hats on, but the wonderful displays the classical references the music and the Abbey herself, named long ago as Westminster for she stood west of the city looked glorious in trappings of gold, Anne would have walked slowly and her ladies attended her, all the cream of the nobility were there, she rested part of the way however where she and her ladies were given spiced wine and wafer to eat, which were probably like a sweet biscuit, the most uncomfortable part was where she had to prostrate herself on her front so prayers could be said over her body, she arose and walked into the abbey with her step grandmother the Duchess of Norfolk holding her train, the walk itself lasted several hours and as Claire states, the old route can still be walked today, the most poignant part I feel of the day was where she was greeted by Saint Anne and her children who spoke verses and sang music to her, they blessed her and her unborn child and prayed she would have a prince and more sons in the future, Anne herself could have been named after this saint but as Eric Ives notes, Saint Anne only had daughters, Anne sat in St Edwards ancient chair and was crowned, the orb and the sceptre was placed in her hands and a te deum was sung, those present bowed and curtsied before her, then she could rest at last where she enjoyed a huge banquet, Anne it was noted did not put on too much weight during her pregnancy, she was of slight build and such women do not become too fat, today doctors advise no more than a stone to carry during pregnancy so she could not have eaten too much or drunk too much as her pregnancy advanced, and she was used to court banquets where several dishes were on offer, however the coronation banquets must have been huge, the chefs must truly have worked overtime and there must have been many stuffed peacocks and hogs head and swans and all kings of fish and spectacular desserts of marchpane and jellies and sugared confections, Anne’s daughter adored meringue for she had a sweet tooth and it’s a pity there are no illustrations of the banquet, but Anne and her ladies must have been so grateful they could sit down at last for the day must have been along with the pomp, a very big headache, Henry V111 was not present throughout all this day of celebrating but he closely observed his new queen experiencing all the trappings of royalty, and he must have been proud for no criticism was levelled at her, she had carried it of with aplomb, there were a few muttering from Eustace Chapyus however, the imperial ambassador he called it a meagre affair, but he was an enemy of Anne no one else called this day as such, all this was achieved it must be noted, simply by this one young woman saying no to the King of England, Anne’s triumph surely all women must take heed, sometimes it’s all to easy to say yes to a man, but look what happened to Anne Boleyn, she said no and it won her the crown of England ha!

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