Just a quickie to let you know that a letter that Henry VIII wrote to Anne Boleyn is on public view for the first time. Described by Dr David Starkey as “the moment at which British history changes”, this letter has been loaned to the British Library by the Vatican and is being displayed together with Henry VIII’s writing desk.

This letter is part of the Vatican collection of letters written by Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, and was written in 1527. In it, Henry writes to Anne:-

“The proofs of your affection are such … that they constrain me ever truly to honour, love and serve you.”

Written while Henry was pursuing Anne, it is an important letter because, as David Starkey says:-

“This is the moment at which British history changes, when Henry makes clear his undoubtable intention to marry her, and the world turns upside down…From being the most Catholic country, absolutely at the heart of Europe, England begins now this voyage in a completely different direction, towards hostility to Europe and the island nation. Henry, I would argue, is the first Euro-sceptic.”

The love letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn are fascinating because they show a loving and passionate side of this tyrannical monarch. See the letter for yourself at the British Library Exhibition, “Henry VIII: Man and Monarch”, which runs from today until the 6th of September, or order the “Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn” book from our Resources Page (choose Europe/UK or US).

With all these Henry VIII events going on, this year is wonderful for Anne Boleyn fans!

(Source: Dr David Starkey quotes from Telegraph.co.uk 21st April)

P.S. The Hampton Court Palace David Starkey debate is now sold out, but you can catch him lecturing at the Royal Geographical Society on 28th October – click here for details.

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