Mary Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth II

Posted By on September 10, 2015

elizabeth_ii_and_mary_boleynI’ve had a few people ask why I, as an owner of an Anne Boleyn website, have been involved in a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on the day she became Britain’s longest reigning monarch.

Well, there are three answers to the question:

  1. I’m British and I have the greatest respect for my royal family, so wanted to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s achievement.
  2. I know that many of my followers are interested in British history and Birtish royalty.
  3. Queen Elizabeth II is descended from Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn.

I thought you might be interested in how Queen Elizabeth II is descended from Mary Boleyn, so here is the line of descent and I hope you find it interesting:

  • Mary Boleyn (d. 1543) m. William Carey
  • Catherine Carey (c.1524-1569) m. Sir Francis Knollys
  • Lettice Knollys (1543-1634) m. Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
  • Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1565-1601) m. Frances Walsingham
  • Frances Devereux (1599-1674) m. William Seymour, Duke of Somerset
  • Jane Seymour (1637-1679) m. Charles Boyle, 3rd Viscount Dungarvan
  • Charles Boyle, 2nd Earl of Burlington (d. 1704) m. Juliana Noel
  • Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington (1695-1753) m. Dorothy Savile
  • Charlotte Elizabeth Boyle (1731-1754) m. William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
  • Dorothy Cavendish (1750-1794) m. William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, Prime Minister
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Charles Bentinck (1780-1826) m. Anne Wellesley (Lady Abdy)
  • Reverend Charles Cavendish-Bentinck (1817-1865) m. Carolina Louis Burnaby
  • Cecilia Nina Cavendish-Bentinck (1862-1938) m. Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
  • Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1900-2002) m. King George VI
  • Queen Elizabeth II (1926- ) m. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, now known as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Trivia: Princes William and Harry are descended from Mary Boleyn not only through Prince Charles, but also through their mother’s Spencer family ancestry.

168 thoughts on “Mary Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth II”

  1. Lucy Crossley says:

    Hi Claire,
    Thank you for the above post I knew the Queen was half English & half German ancestry but didn’t know it went back that far. Truly fascinating! I love this type of thing. I wondered what became of Mary Boleyn’s children by Henry VIII? I would love to know.

    1. Claire says:

      Hello, Lucy, it’s lovely to hear from you. Ancestry is fascinating. I personally don’t believe that Mary’s children were fathered by Henry VIII. We have not details of when their relationship took place, only that they slept together at least once, and the children were born during her marriage to William Carey. We’ll never know though!
      Lots of people today are descended from Mary because her children, Henry and Catherine, each had large families and then their children had large families too. Both were prominent figures in Elizabeth I’s reign and close to Elizabeth I.

      1. Susie king says:

        When I did my geneologyy it led through an Oma Elizabeth Cary/Carey my great great grandmother whose family led to england.on her site it gives a degree from Henry the eighth.on this stuff valid!? Very exciting if so ,as I love anything of all these women….especially Anne boleyne…who I myself honor

        1. Laura Cordingley says:

          Hi there,

          I have a book of the genealogy dating all the way back to the Cary/Carey family. So you and I would also be related.

          What genealogy site did you use?

        2. Jakon Louderback says:

          I have ancestry traced back to Henry Carey as well with Mary Boleyn being his Mother how accurate and reliable can this be through Family is Henry Carey the son of Henry the VIII or William Carey it seems to me there were many children not being able to prove bloodline and anything could be possible but we will never know!

      2. David says:

        Catherine Carey born 1524 , certainly rises serious speculations as to who begot her , in 1524 Mary Boleyn was a young maiden no older than 18 .and King Henry VIII being a hot blooded virile Tudor ,
        properly donated his DNA more times than once with the Boleyn girls

      3. Lady Mary Romero says:

        Not Henry VIII children…….I have been learning about my family…..her second husband was one of my gggrandfathers…..I m learning a lot of my family history and threw the lines I’m also relative to Queen Elizabeth II…….if I was told this a year ago…..I would tell. u were crazy…….ty..Mary

      4. Sarah de Crespigny says:

        It would be amazing if one day through family matches we could in fact know the answer… It is lovely to see so many connections.

    2. Penny Taylor says:

      Both Queen Elizabeth II parents were British (born in UK). However it may be considered that her father was half German therefore making her 1/4 German.

      1. Lisa M Humphrey says:

        If we’re looking at where Her Majesty’s grandparents were born, you’d have to consider her 100% British. George VI’s mother Mary of Teck was born in Kensington Palace (in the same room where Queen Victoria herself was born) and raised in Britain.

      2. Samantha Michelle parr says:

        My nana is called Elizabeth Jayne hardy parr
        Elizabeth hardy parr
        Mary parr is Mary Frazer and Alexandra Edwardina Georgina Mary Parr Is my granddads sister
        Also Robert Newman hardy parr is my father
        Tho I was told all my life I was swapped for a bag of coal

        Couldn’t even make this stuff up

    3. Amy says:

      Queen Elizabeth II has connections to King Henry VII, Maragret Tudor, Mary Queen of Scots, her son James I & VII, Queen Mary Tudor, Queen Elizabeth (daugther of Anne Boleyn) and Lord Darnley on her father’s side. Therefor she has royal blood on both sides of her parents. Its really amazing how far back the connection goes.

  2. Vanessa says:

    Is it noy just amazing how Her Highness , Queen Anne ( who was so brutally murdered ) family produced Elizabeth I who brought prosperity in the turmoil her sister created ! Also the longest reigning monarch in Her Highness , Queen Elizabeth II.

  3. Kathryn Mast says:

    Thank you for sharing this information as I didn’t realize that the Queen descended from Mary Boleyn.

    1. Joanna says:

      I do not think Queen Elizabeth descend3d from Mary Boleyn. She descended from King Henry viii’s sister.

      1. Pene says:

        Indeed she is! Through her mother. Read the pedigree above. Mary Boleyn is progenitor of many interesting people.

      2. Claire says:

        She’s descended from Margaret Tudor AND Mary Boleyn. As I explain in the above post, the link to Mary Boleyn came from Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, whose Bowes-Lyon and Bentinck family were descended from Catherine Carey, daughter of Catherine Carey. Interestingly, Diana, Princess of Wales’s Spencer family were descended from Mary Boleyn’s son, Henry Carey.

        The queen’s link to Margaret Tudor is through her father, King George VI, who was descended from James VI’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, James VI being great-grandson of Margaret Tudor and her first husband, James IV.

        1. Mrs. E says:

          Does no one think that Prince Harry resembles Henry VIII? I do! It seems that DNA could be used to determine if Henry Carey were actually the child of Henry VIII. Or maybe it would be enough to be descended from the sister of Henry VIII to create a resemblance.

  4. Kyra Kramer says:

    Fun fact … Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Charles Bentinck eloped with Anne Wellesley (Lady Abdy) while she was still married. Lord Abdy divorced her, and she married Charles just in time for their first son to be legitimate. Anne was the illegitimate daughter of 1st Marquess Wellesley and his mistress, a French actress/courtesan named Hyacinthe-Gabrielle Roland. I am sure if you had told Miss Roland that one of her descendants would take the throne, she would have assumed you were mad as a march hare.

    1. Ames says:

      That’s fascinating. I didn’t know those facts. And I agree that Miss Roland would think you were mad.

  5. Starr says:

    It’s wonderful to realize that the Boleyn bloodline continues. What irony that, Queen Elizabeth I, came from Anne & that HM, Queen Elizabeth II, descended from Mary. Both Elizabeth’s being beloved monarchs, who will be remembered forever. It seems poetic, that the Boleyn bloodline has basically had the last laugh.

    1. Barb says:

      Great point Starr!!! Both Elizabeths descended from the Boleyn sisters

      1. Jean Roughley says:

        I’m also very well pleased that the Boleyn bloodline carries on and that the two great Queen Elizabeths are descended from them.

      2. Joanna says:

        Really! So queen Elizabeth II descended from the great mare! Unbelievable!

    2. Cindy L says:

      Poetic justice indeed. Fasinating!!

    3. Mindy Newell says:

      Yes, indeed. It would be fascinating if we could ask Henry VIII what he thought!

      Anne and Mary had the last laugh indeed!

      1. Samantha parr says:

        These are all in my tree and it’s a mess… I’ve taking dna just waiting my grandad said was related to cathrine parr but it’s like I’m missing a generation from me tree lol we vanished

    4. Rachel Tillman says:

      I completely agree with your eloquent response.

    5. Jackie says:

      I agree! I smile every time I think about it.

    6. Yup it sure does have the last laugh both suffered but Anne suffered the greatest

  6. Sue B says:

    That’s really interesting Claire.. I didn’t know that… it must be wonderful to be able to trace your family back so far. I also read recently that Sophie Countess of Wessex was distant relative of Bessie Blount. I thought that was very interesting as pale skin, blue eyes and blonde hair do seem to run in her family.

  7. Kerry says:

    I had no idea Elizabeth II was descended from Mary Boleyn. Fascinating! Thanks Claire!

  8. Barb says:

    Thankyou for the info, I never knew!!! I think she may have also been related to Henry VIII , theres a chance Catherine Carey is his daughter, I truly believe that. She is most likely also related to Queen Jane Seymour, through William Seymour, the Duke of Somerset. How amazing and awesome then, that Elizabeth II would also be related to Catherine Howard, cousin of Mary Boleyn!!!

    1. Tina says:

      You are right William Seymour is related to Queen Jane Seymour i looked it up…

    2. Steve says:

      Is it that much of a surprise Queen Elizabeth II is decended from so many Royals? She is decended from marriages of cousins. Queen Victoria married her first cousin and several royals before that married cousins. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II marries her cousin. Prince Philip is her cousin on both sides.

    3. Joanna says:

      LoL! They were just all into each other. So very small social circle and limited mobility that time. It was just crazy! I hope that because of technology this blood transfusion of very close related people will end.

    4. Jakki says:

      If Henry VII had recognized Catherine as his illegitimate daughter he probably would have elevated Mary Boleyn-Carey and her husband to at least a baronency. Queen Elizabeth II would be known as a descendant of “Lady Carey.” At any rate, it is fascinating to learn of her direct descendacy from Mary Boleyn through the Queen Mother. My hat is off to the geneologists who traced that connection through 500 years!

      1. Jakki says:

        Whoops. Meant Henry VIII.

        1. LETUPPE VÉRONIQUE ( French) says:

          Madame, merci beaucoup pour ces recherches généalogiques ! Je savais les mariages entre cousins et cousins éloignés et que l’Europe actuelle est faite de familles royales de même lignée, issue de la ” même famille ”. C’est en regardant un documentaire sur Henry VIII et les soeurs Boleyn que je découvre que la Reine Élizabeth II descend de Mary Boleyn alors que, justement, je regardais ce documentaire pour savoir de quelle femme d’ Henry VIII descendait Élizabeth II !!! Et j’apprends, en fin de documentaire, qu’elle vient de Mary Boleyn ! Comme d’autres personnalités ! Incroyable ! C’est la revanche des Boleyn !! Merci infiniment ! I’m sorry, I don’t know enough English to write all this! Thanks you very much !

        2. JAKKI YOUNG says:


      2. Yes! Such fascination looking back at 500 over years of British history and Church of England. I have so much of respect for HM Queen Elizabeth 11 although I am not British but because of Britain’s super power British India Empire was made and my grandfather migrated from India to Malaysia! My late dad was with RMAF – Royal Malaysian Armed Force as influenced by the British Air Force. I love this history and how I am in someway involved in this history. I am so amazed because of British Rule in Malaysia – I have been so influenced and also am a Christian- so pleased to learn that HM Queen Elizabeth is Head of England Church. My wedding dress and flower bouquet was inspired with Princess Diana’s wedding. Thank you so much to the genealogist and traced this God made history. Thank You and God Bless. 🙂

  9. Cindy L says:

    Absolutely Fascinating!! Thank you for posting. Love to see the bloodlines and how it all truly links together in one way or another. Great post. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Gail Burkett says:

    I’ve just about finished Alison Weir’s book on Mary Boleyn. She has found compelling evidence that Katherine Carey was Henry VIII’s child. In which case she would have Plantagenet connections on both sides.

    1. Paula says:

      Hmm, I don’t think so that’s the place where the Plantagenets died off because the boy princes died in the tower and the Tudor’s, ie Margaret Tudor’s son took the throne. Incidentally if you’ve ever been to that tower you’d know that rumors like that had to be true because it’s such a small Tower. Of course people knew they were there. Of course they were found buried in the wall. It’s a very small tower to even walk up into.

      1. Betty W. Hill says:

        Henry VIII’s mother was the sister of the boy princes in the tower so the Plantagenet bloodline continued just not the name and I am also descended from Mary Boleyn and Henry VIII would not have acknowledged his children with her because she was a married woman but apparently they were raised by him as Mary was always begging for money.

  11. Sheila says:

    This is absolutely fascinating. As a devotee of the Boleyns I’m so delighted to hear that the bloodline continues in another Elizabeth. Henry may have beheaded Anne, but Nature has had the last laugh.

    1. Phyllis says:

      My dad Robert walterTaylor royalty my name Phyllis ann Taylor I was born in ny Oct 16 1954 trying to find relatives

    2. Anna Vannoni says:

      That’s very interesting! So does the queen own Heever castlet then?

  12. Jennifer says:

    I recently discovered that I, too, am descended from Mary Boleyn! What lovely company I am in 🙂

    1. Sarah Coblentz says:

      Hello distant cousin! I am descended also through Catherine Carey and Thomas West in the US. All of it is so fascinating and mind-boggling!

      1. Patricia S Wolfe says:

        I am also related to Mary Bolyn through Thomas West. Would like to correspond with you.

        1. Colleen Souza says:

          Hello Patricia and Sarah I am also related to Mary Boleyn Through Thomas West! I also found out that Matoaka Powhatan also known as Pocahontas is my 10 times great aunt. This all started with my dna test said I was related to King Richard III he is my 1st cousin 16x removed and my line also goes back to Rollo the Viking aka Robert 1st duke of Normandy Norman kings as well.

        2. Angie says:

          Hi I am a descendent of John West also!

      2. Sheryl says:

        Mary Boleyn is my 13th grandmother. Henry VIII is my 13th great grandfather through Catherine Carey.

      3. Carrie Fox-Clark says:

        I’m also related through Catherine Carey and Anne West in the U.S. It truly is a small world.

      4. Dawn V Ortega says:

        Fascinating! Lady Catherine Grace (Tudor) Carey, Countess of Nottingham b.1524 is my 12th great grandmother!

        1. Heather Carey says:

          HI Dawn , DO you know it George who was an Aulderman in Nottingham in the 1800s who’s son Henry started the Carey and Sons Lace mill in Nottingham ?

          Interesting ….

          Heather Carey ( Sydney Australia

  13. Julia says:

    Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to do a DNA test to see if there is any relationship between the Queen and Henry VIII

    1. Andrea Fannin says:

      I just read that King Henry the VIII is the great great great great great great great great great great great great uncle to Queen Elizabeth II

      1. Dianne says:

        That would make him her 12X Great Uncle. Wow!

  14. Banditqueen says:

    Interesting post, interesting that she was related via the Bowes Lyons connection. Katherine Carey is an interesting person in her own right. Reinforces the fact that she is related via an illegitimate line though if Henry Viii was her father.

    1. Linda says:

      I never this about Elizabeth II and Mary Boleyn. I also thought it to be fact that she gave Henry VIII a son.

  15. Victoria Fennell Fuller says:

    This was very interesting. Didn’t know Elizabeth II descended from Mary. Thank you.

  16. Kristina says:

    King marries for heirs to continue his dynasty – doesn’t happen very long.
    King’s sister in law marries for love and she related to the longest reining monarch.
    Karma Henry!

    1. Mindy Newell says:

      Absolutely, Kristina! 🙂

  17. Martine Nauwelaerts says:

    Very interesting, I have learnd a lot more about the Britisch Royal family.

  18. Lalla Fitzpatrick says:

    Clare, how did the line of succession continue if Mary Tudor was not the queen but the sister of a queen (who was dethroned and beheaded) and the paternity of Mary’s children has not been proven either way not to mention if Catherine was Henry’s she would have been illiginenament anyway? And isn’t the Dutchess of Camberage also a decendant of the Boylins?

    1. Claire says:

      Mary Tudor, i.e. Mary I, died childless so the crown passed to her half-sister Elizabeth I. Elizabeth I also died childless so the crown passed on to James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England, and who was descended from Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister. Mary Tudor is not the same as Mary Boleyn.

      There was a newspaper article regarding Kate Middleton being descended from the Boleyns but experts have now disproved this link.

      This article was about the Queen’s link to the Boleyns, but you can see the royal line of descent at

      1. Tabitha Gage says:

        I think Lalla meant Mary Boleyn. I was wondering the same:
        How did the line of succession continue if Mary [Boleyn] was not the queen but the sister of a queen (who was dethroned and beheaded) and the paternity of Mary’s children has not been proven either way not to mention if Catherine was Henry’s she would have been [illegitimate] anyway?

        1. Claire says:

          Our present queen’s claim to the throne didn’t come from Mary Boleyn or the Careys (who had nothing to do with the line of succession), it came from her father, George VI and his royal line.
          Elizabeth II
          George VI
          George V
          Edward VII
          Queen Victoria
          Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, brother of George IV and William IV
          George III
          Frederick, Prince of Wales
          George II
          George I, who inherited the throne from his second cousin, Queen Anne, who died childless.
          Queen Anne was daughter of
          James II who was brother of Charles II, who was son of
          Charles I, who was son of
          James I, who inherited the throne from Elizabeth I
          and so on….

          The present royal family being related to the Boleyns has nothing to do with the succession or a claim to the throne, it’s just an interesting link.

          I hope that makes sense.

        2. Suzanne says:

          HM Queen Elizabeth II’s mother is a descendant of Mary Boleyn and married into the line of succession

      2. Sue Newman says:

        That is fascinating. I went to Hever Castle a few weeks’ ago and learnt with horror that all the Tudor and other documents in the basement were thrown out in 1968after a flood. What sacrilege. So little is known about such famous people.

      3. Barbara Howard says:

        Claire, Would you know who the first one in the Royal Line was to move to the American Colonies? In the Howard Ancestry.

        1. Claire says:

          When you say royal line, what do you mean?

        2. Barbara Jones says:

          Claire, I’ve looked an ancestor of mine, Sir Thomas West (3rdBaron de la Warr)and learned through Wikipedia that he is a great grandson of Mary Boleyn. Could you tell me more of his family tree?
          Barbara Howard, I don’t know if my ancestor was the first to travel to the America’s, but I do know he was a prominent figure in the America’s. If I’m correct birth the Delaware River and the state of Delaware are named after him or at least his family.

        3. Claire says:

          I’m afraid that genealogy just isn’t my area of expertise and I’ve only followed a few lines through the family tree.

        4. Barbara Jones says:

          I had a comment meant for you as well as Claire, but accidentally made to Joanna. The comment feed just below yours.

      4. Joanna says:

        I think you are the only one who got it right. Queen Elizabeth II descended from King Henry the eight’s sister, Margaret Tudor, NOT Mary Boleyn.

        1. Claire says:

          She’s descended from both.

  19. Angela says:

    That was truly awesome I really had no idea that they were related! Thank you for the info.

  20. ricky says:

    The present Duchess of Cambridge blood line can be traced back to Mary Boleyn also !

    1. Claire says:

      That was in the newspapers but was then disproved by experts.

  21. John says:

    Interestingly, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (‘Queen Mother’)was a commoner who originally wanted to marry Edward but he had no interest in her and Married Wallis Simpson after abdicating the throne. Elizabeth then went for George, his brother, and from this unusual abdication, he became King.

    1. Christine says:

      That was in the papers years later as I read it also but it’s just speculation, there’s no evidence that Elizabeth the Queen Mother wanted to marry her brother in law, the papers just said that to make people buy them, when she married George she was devoted to him and heartbroken when he died.

  22. Mindy Newell says:

    Claire, I have absolutely no problem with your interest and loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II. Yo are a British subject, after all, and obviously love the monarchy! I am surprised, however, that people on this site would have a “problem” or “question” your posting of a very historic event.

    You go, woman! I absolutely adore this site!

  23. Banditqueen says:

    It may be my imagination, but I have been looking at the portrait of Mary Boleyn and the young Elizabeth and they seem to me to look very much alike, the resemblance is uncanny.

    1. Bandit Queen…Great minds think alike…I saw the same resemblance!!!

  24. carole fleming says:

    I thought that Lettice Knollys married Robert Dudley who was also Elizabeth Tudor’s
    true love his first wife was Amy Robar who was found dead at the bottom of a stairwell
    when did Lettice Knollys marry Walter

    1. Claire says:

      Lettice was married three times: 1)Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, and father of her children Penelope, Dorothy, Robert (2nd Earl of Essex), Walter and Francis 2)Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, father of her son Robert Dudley, who died young 3)Christopher Blount. She didn’t marry Dudley until 1578.

    2. Sarah says:

      Amy Robsart

  25. Christine says:

    Elizabeth loved her mother Catherine Carey but hated Lettice calling her ‘the she wolf’ for ensnaring the Earl of Leicester, she banished her from court and kept Leicester with her as much as possible to annoy Lettice, then she favoured her son the Earl of Essex who turned out to be a hot head and a rebel, incidentally this would make Lettices son Elizabeth’s third cousin and Mary Boleyns great grandson.

  26. Michelle_B says:

    Hi Claire, I am intrigued about seeing a “Jane Seymour” in the family tree…is there any family connection there to the Henry’s third wife?

    1. Claire says:

      Yes, through her father she was the great-granddaughter of Edward Seymour, Queen Jane Seymour’s brother.

      1. Claire says:

        By the way, Prince William’s link to Mary Boleyn is:

        Diana, Princess of Wales
        John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer
        Albert Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer
        Charles Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer
        Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer
        George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer
        Georgiana Spencer, wife of John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer
        Anna Maria Mordaunt
        Brigadier-General Lewis Mordaunt
        Elizabeth Carey, Viscountess Mordaunt
        Thomas Carey of Sunninghill Park
        Robert Carey, 1st Earl of Monmouth
        Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon
        Mary Boleyn

        1. Cathryn Delahaye says:

          Wow! Fascinating. Princess Diana and Prince William are directly descended from the cousin, Robert Carey, who was with Elizabeth 1st when she died and rode hard and quickly to tell James v1 of Scotland that he had now become James 1st of England. Elizabeth was close to her cousin and loved him very much. This is amazing and thanks for sharing.

        2. Cathy says:

          I was wondering if Queen Elizabeth 2 is also featured to Ann Boleyn because she was Mary’s sister

      2. Colleen Souza says:

        I am related to 4 of king Henry the VIII wives Anne Boylen,Catherine Howard Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr the the West line in the U.S.

  27. Elleina says:

    If I remember correctly Queen Elizabeth I was also one a Queen who in her time had the longest reign of a sovereign ruler.

    1. Elleina says:

      Sorry I meant Queen Elizabeth I was one of the longest ruling Queens in her own right at one point.

      Sorry for the typo.

  28. Leah says:

    Thank you, I came by this site by accident and I find it informative and to be honest a breath of fresh air to other sites I have stumbled upon. Keep up the good work and once again Thank You

  29. Kaxyz says:

    Mary Boleyn aka “King’s whore” banished from court by her sister Anne and father Thomas Boleyn for marrying for love.

    1. Marie Takada says:

      I thought Mary Boleyn was sent away from court to marry Caray? My apologies I’m not a historian.

      1. Marie Takada says:

        Sorry for misspelling of Carey

      2. Betty Hill says:

        I think the marriage to Carey was arranged so Henry could have Mary close by. At that time he was not interested to divorcing his wife. He did attend their wedding and every time she gave birth her husband was rewarded probably for keeping his mouth shut. The second time he was given a reward which would be more if it was a boy.

  30. Kaxyz says:

    Thanks Claire,is it true that the Boleyn sisters(Mary & Anne) had sexual relationship with King Francis I of France?

    1. Betty Hill says:

      Only Mary was accused of it and if she did most likely it was because she was taken advantage of and didn’t feel she had a choice since she was in a foreign country practically alone.

  31. Brooke says:

    Just an interesting footnote to this lineage – especially with all the talk about Mary Boleyn’s possible “illegitimate” children with Henry VIII. I’ve heard the rumor bandied about that Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, might possibly be fathered by Robert Dudley instead of Walter Devereux. Supposedly, Lettice and Robert were having an affair before Walter passed away. I don’t know if there is any truth to this story – I just thought it was interesting. 😉

  32. Halia says:

    Thank you everyone for your imput!! I am a direct descendant of Mary Boleyn through her daughter Catherine Carey! Having done so much of this family tree, I am related to royalty throughout Europe. Maybe someone could help me put together whether or not the Boleyn’s descended from the Sassanid and Safavid dynasties of Persia. I also share a grandparent line with King Henry viii who descended from the Safavid Ismail 1 Shah of Persia. Any help would be appreciated! !! Thanks! !

    1. Marie D says:

      Would love to see lineage connecting Henry VIII to the Shah of Persia.

  33. adnan says:

    thank you for this beautiful history information, l love english history..thank you again

  34. Tammy says:

    I think that it’s interesting that queen Elizabeth is also a descendant of Elizabeth woodville thru her granddaughter Margaret Tudor.

  35. Jude Pollen says:

    Thank you Claire
    For this fascinating article ! You take one away for the worries of our modern world

  36. Karen Griffin says:

    Claire, is it true that Henry 8th was the descendent of a Persian? Love the website, by theway!

  37. Marion says:

    My passion is reading about our history from King Harold forward. Have read of Mary Boleyn . Your knowledge is absolutely wonderful. Have found it his article very informative. Many people hanks

  38. Marion says:

    Sorry that should read “many thanks”

  39. Cetty says:

    I have been searching how Queen Elizabeth is related to me, now I know, My 20th Great Grandmother was Mary Boleyn, Thank You

    1. Debby Corson says:

      Mary Boleyn is my 14th times great grandmother. This is confirmed though the Knowles line. Knollys

  40. Wayne Burns says:

    Wow so they are my ancestors on both sides ,Lady Anne BOLEYN Shelton is my 16th great grandmother which was Anne Boleyn aunt . Just on my father’s side

  41. Wayne Burns says:

    Crazy how we are all related and I’m over here broke haha it’s life I assume.

  42. Can anyone tell me the relationship between Countess Margaret Salisbury and Henry Vlll

    1. Jen says:

      Henry’s mother Elizabeth of York was her first cousin. Elizabeth’s father was Edward IV whose brother was Duke of Clarence. Margaret was his daughter.

  43. Frances K. Biellet says:

    I saw in my family tree that we are related to Anne Boleyn but my great grandmother’s name was spelled Bolen. I’ve been told stories of our ancestry but am curious if they are true. My ancestors are from Europe. I an 2nd generation American born.

  44. Trevor M Warman says:

    Monarchy Hahaha …ya mean whores and drunks. And insestreouse basterds. There is no true blood line sitting on the thrown .

  45. Murray Jaques'Pearce says:

    There are many fascinating facts about the Boleyn family
    Lady Alice Boleyn brother of Sir Thomas Boleyn Mary & Annes Aunty is my 10th Great Grandmother
    Some in depth knowledge you may not be aware if the there are several branches
    If the Boleyn family being they gave a Frech connection
    From the Count of Boulogne from Eustace II who
    Accompanied William the Conquerer during the
    Norman Conquest if 1066

    1. Murray Jaques'Pearce says:

      I’m also related to many Of the European Royal
      Houses across Europe /Russia and parts of the Middle East
      The Viking Connection is a good start to track the Persian equation
      It will make a lot of sense and create much vision of the created
      Ragnar & Rollo & Bjorn is where you should look
      Also look at the Fulk of Jerusalem he is a ancestor of us all


  46. Annie Ivey says:

    Is Mary Devereux, that married Walter William Gilliam, the daughter of Walter Devereux and Latitice Knollys? I keep seeing they had 4 then 5 and then 6, possibly 7children. . The first one listed is Mary Devereux. I am confused as to just how many children Latitce and Walter Gilliam really had.

    1. Deborah says:

      On someone has a Walter Gilliam as son of: Sir Walter Devereux & Lady Mary Grey, brother of Sir Richard Devereux, who married Lady Dorothy Hastings. Richard & Dorothy were the parents of Sir Walter Devereux (husband of Lettice Knollys.) Walter & Lettice had: Penelope, Dorothy, Robert & Walter. I descend from Dorothy.

      This Wikitree family tree gives Walter Gilliam & Mary Devereux a son Richard, married to a Dorothy Herbert, but no children. But that doesn’t mean anything.

      Hope this somehow helps.

  47. wow that is facinating it seems the boleyn bloodline continues and maybe the tudors as well since even today Henry could have fathered Mary Boleyn’s children i guess will never know toodles M.M.L.


  49. LAURA says:

    I was wondering how Elizabeth I is related to the present queen, Elizabeth II

    1. Colleen Souza says:

      I think she is related to Elizabeth I though king Henry VII.

      1. She is related to queen elizabeth the 1 through her aunt margerat tudor who was henry the eighths sister they are cousins many many times removed

  50. Emma says:

    I believe Mary Bolyne had one son by Henry VIII that he did not lay claim to! But this hasn’t come from a strong source. Just what I have read in different books over the years. I believe Mary became mistress to Henry VIII before Anne was on the scene. Mary was a close confidant of Henry’s and he sort her opinion on her sister Anne before he chased her and fell in love. This was when Mary was sent away, after giving birth to the kings only son. He obviously was still married to Katherine at this point and did not want to break his marriage to her at this point. It was only when Anne refused him and demanded he divorced his wife that he started proceedings! Anne also had a hand in the decision for the king not to claim his only son and heir, but of course if he did it would have put Anne out of favour especially as she only had a daughter.
    Please forgive me for any errors here, like I said I am only going off the history I have learnt from different books.

    1. Annie says:

      I have heard similar that Anne & Sir Walter Raliegh had a child and he is the true heir to the throne today – dont know if anybody else has heard that.

      1. Claire says:

        Sir Walter Ralegh wasn’t born until 1552 and Anne Boleyn died in 1536. If you mean Elizabeth I, there isn’t any evidence that Ralegh was at all involved with the queen, he loved her lady, Elizabeth Throckmorton, was married her in secret.

        1. Donna Darnell says:

          I am descended from the Throckmortons of Coughton Court.

        2. Claire says:

          Wonderful! I was brought up just 2 miles from Coughton Court. Have you visited it?

  51. Emma says:

    Henry was the son of her first cousin. She was executed at his command in1541

  52. Jesica Loru Koba says:

    Hi…I am Jesica and I come from Indonesia.I am very interested in the Tudor Dynasty!I thought their story were so intriguing and interesting and I am thoroughly fascinated by Anne Boleyn.So it was naturally such a jolly occasion for me to have found this page and WOW!!!What an interesting fact!I never know Elizabeth II was a descendant of Mary Boleyn.It was thrilling to know this really.I guess The Tudor line will never die

  53. val johnson says:

    I was told that my grandmother Queenie Grace Richardson who was married to A Septimus William Johnson was related to Queen Elizabeth the 1 first I would love to know for sure
    val johnson

  54. Aly says:

    Have I read that correctly? You have Jane Seymour’s parents as William Seymour and Frances Devereux. If do that is incorrect. It’s John Seymour and Margaret Wentworth.

    1. Claire says:

      It is correct, it’s a different Jane Seymour. Queen Jane Seymour would not be in a line like this as her only child died before he could have children. The Jane Seymour who was the daughter of William and Frances was born in 1637 (you can see her dates next to her name) and she was the mother of Charles Boyle, 2nd Earl of Burlington. I hope that helps.

      1. Aly Stott says:

        Of course! Completely misread it….my mistake. Thanks for putting me straight. 🙂

        1. Claire says:

          That’s ok, they weren’t very imaginative with names!

  55. Peter Bromage says:

    I to am descendant down from Mary Boleyn. She is my 12th Great Grandmother. There is also line back to William the Conqueror.

  56. Patrick Raynes says:

    My grandpa who recently passed away, was a 15th. cousin to Queen Elizabeth 2. But, my Grandpa Howard sure lived a different life from the Queen. He was born in Kentucky in 1937 and grew up on a farm in Indiana. Just until recently when I started doing my family geology, did I realize how prominent the Howard family were in British history.

  57. Pragati says:

    This is totally weird but Elizabeth I had both Boleyn blood and Tudor blood from her mother’s and father’s side respectively. This is the exact same case with Queen Elizabeth II.

  58. Judith Benz-Fanning says:

    Hi. I was curious about Queen Elizabeth the 2nd and the Bolyne sisters. I live in America. This site is amazing. I love to read about British heritage.

  59. Anna Vannoni says:

    That’s very interesting! So does the queen own Heever castlet then?

  60. S Martin says:

    Just wanted the author to know that they misspelled British on #2 the second spelling of it. Great info and nice work.

  61. Queen elizabeth is descended from margerat tudor who was sister to henry the eighth she is also descended from mary boleyn

  62. Wikifield says:

    According to your genealogy there is no blood line from Mary Boleyn to Elizabeth II. You show Richard Seymour as the son from Charles Seymour’s second marriage being born after Jane Seymour died, so the route from Mary Boleyn is a “step” descendant rather than a “blood” descendant.

    1. Samantha parr says:

      There in my tree this is getting freaky and my dad taught m songs n left clues I need sum help

  63. Randa Hoffman says:

    Enjoy English history as I descent from William Brewster (pilgrim) who was an assistant to Secretary of State tomQueen Elizabeth I.

  64. Randa Hoffman says:


  65. Gillian Keylock says:

    I have loved the history of the Tudors since I was a child. We lived in Burystedmunds, the town where Mary Tudor, sister of Henry V111, the Duchess of Suffolk is buried. My son sang in the church choir there from age 7-14. I have visited her grave many times and shown it to our guests. Mary was originally buried in the Cathedral in Burystedmunds but when her brother embarked on the Dissolution of the Monasteries she was reburied, a short distance away, in St Mary’s Church. Mary Tudor was well known for her kindness and support in the area. Her husband Charles Brandon remarried very quickly after her death, which was not uncommon in those days. The village of Brandon in Suffolk UK is named after him and sadly Westhorpe Hall where they lived was demolished. Suffolk UK was a very prosperous area in the Tudor era and is well worth a visit.

  66. Ryan Dudley West says:

    Could someone please tell me wether there is a DNA site that could tell blood ancestry?
    PS. I wonder if any Queens became pregnant by male suitors and were not the children of the King by blood!

  67. Iceberg says:

    Ryan, you do a DNA test, then compare your DNA to everyone else who has done the test and signed up to find relatives. Do an Internet search for something like, “DNA + finding relatives + genealogy,” or any combination of keywords. Read, read, read.

    You can check out several genealogy sites. If you come up empty, after taking a DNA test and finding close relatives, you can probably find some family information on genealogy sites. CAVEAT: You can’t take what you find on ancestry sites as true; much of it is sloppy research, guesswork, unreliable family stories, etc. You can find information, but you will have to get copies of marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, military records, etc., to be sure you’re on the trail of your ancestors, and not someone else with a similar name.

  68. Ipshita Das says:

    Hi all! I wandered onto this website accidently while searching about Mary – the first crowned queen of England. But this was quite fascinating as well.

  69. Cynthia Stafford Shepherd says:

    I have traced my ancestry back to Mary Boleyn after she married William Stafford. Stafford is my maiden name. Mary is one of my great-grandmothers. How would I be related to Queen Elizabeth II? This mind boggling to me!

  70. angie says:

    Hi, I am a descendent of John West son of Thomas West De La Warr who settled the American colonies. How could I also be related to Queen Elizabeth II?

  71. jakki young says:

    hI I am wondering if you can tell me what this means?? I am a descendent of the Morgans, who I am told, have a pedigree. Can you tell me what any of this means?

    “ Pedigree XIX.—Descendants of the Princes of South Wales: Earle, Hunter, Iddings, Lewis, Morgan, von Lohr (van Leer), Wills, pp. 127-36.” From: Glenn, Thomas Allen, Welsh Founders of Pennsylvania, p. xiv, Oxford, 1911.

  72. Monique MacDonald says:

    I have discovered a direct line from my father to Mary Boleyn, through her daughter Catherine Carey. What I am so excited about is that this is a major break through for my paternal side. Since both my paternal grandparents emigrated from UK to Canada in the 1920s it has been difficult to get any information about their families. For the past few years, thanks to DNA testing and the internet I have started to connect with some 2nd and 3rd cousins in UK and Australia. Fascinating!

  73. Gillian Keylock Cornwell says:

    How wonderful for you! That is so exciting! Thanks goodness for Sncestry and other Genealogy sites. I am an ardent fan and avid user of same sites

  74. Dawn Jackson says:

    Hello Amy 14 th grandmother was half sister to Queen Elizabeth 1 supposedly Henry the eighths daughter. My 17 th great grandmother was Elizebeth Tinley , grandmother to the Queens (Mistress to the Kings) trying to piece everything together .

  75. Dawn jackson says:

    This was very interesting as my 14th great grandmother was Henrys illegitimate Daughter half sister to Queen Elizabeth the 1st . This connection from my grey grandmother Racheal Dixon on back .

  76. Sarah de Crespigny says:

    My line changes from Lettice Knollys down. We do share the exact line down… Thank you for sharing this.


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