What was Anne’s relationship with Elizabeth like?

Full question: What do you think that Anne's short relationship with Elizabeth really comprised of? - Marie

In my opinion, it consisted of real mother/daughter love. It is said that Anne tried to spend as much time with Elizabeth as possible and that she was frustrated by the fact that, as Queen, she was supposed to be somewhat distanced from Elizabeth. Anne fought for Elizabeth's right to succession and was successful in this until her marriage to Henry was annulled, and Elizabeth made illegitimate, the day before Anne's execution. Elizabeth wasn't even 3 when Anne died so I doubt she would have remembered her mother at all - very sad.

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13 thoughts on “What was Anne’s relationship with Elizabeth like?”

  1. sarah r says:

    I think I read somewhere that Elizabeth’s memory of her mother was little more than of being held in a woman’s arms who was crying, and that they were looking up at a man at a window, who was the King. Anne was pleading her innocence in this rather poignant outdoor domestic scene. That would be consistent with her young age, of course – only recalling very dramatic moments. She remembered very little else, apparently, about her mother.
    SR

  2. Jamie says:

    I think you’re talking about a book in the Royal Diaries series called “Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the Tudor House” or something like that title. It’s in the voice of young Elizabeth as a teenager, and a very good book!

    1. Claire says:

      Ooh, I’ll have to look that one up, I don’t know it. Sounds good, thanks, Jamie.

      1. Patricia Boone says:

        I read this book. It was great!

  3. Matterhorn says:

    I have heard of this desperate appeal also, and thought it was very sad. Both Mary and Elizabeth had such tragic childhoods. But in a way perhaps it was a blessing that Elizabeth was not old enough to remember her mother clearly- Anne’s execution would surely have been much more traumatic for her if she had known her well and been close to her.

    1. Claire says:

      Yes, Matterhorn, it probably is a blessing that Elizabeth was so young and that she was probably shielded from what happened. I know that Anne tried to be more of a “hands on” mother than what was usual for a Queen so Elizabeth must have noticed her absence at the time. I know that my children would have noticed my absence!

      In her book “The Mistresses of Henry VIII” (I keep going on about this one because I’ve just read it!!), Kelly Hart talks of how both of Henry’s daughter grew up with unhealthy attitudes towards men and that this must have had something to do with their father’s treatment of their mothers and stepmothers. Mary completely fawned over her husband, Philip, and Elizabeth never married for fear of letting a man control her. Interesting.

  4. sharon vilone says:

    Does anyone know who Elizabeth looked more like? Her mother or her father?

  5. Claire says:

    Hard to say, Sharon, I think she was a mix. She had her father’s red hair but was said to have her mother’s swarthy complexion and very dark eyes. She also had long elegant fingers which I think she got from her mother too.

  6. David says:

    There had to be a huge level of vanity and puffed up egos in a court like King Henry VIII. Anne would have to have been wound up in all of that just to deal with it. I would like to think as a mother, and most probably during her private quiet moments away from the maddening crowd, she thought very tenderly of her daughter. I feel, without doubt, that she did love her daughter very much even though King Henry always made it so important that a son is what he wanted creating so much mental pressure on his wives to produce said son that the mere birth of a daughter was almost not fit to even talk about, however, I can not help but think that Anne loved her daughter dearly even if that love for Elizabeth was kept ,more often than not , within her private thoughts and feelings. I know that Elizabeth during her life said something like, “Am I not my father’s daughter?” I know that is not the exact quote, but as strong as Queen Anne Boleyn was, and if it was not a man’s world then, Elizabeth could have equally have said, “Am I not my mother’s daughter?” in order to communicate to those around her that she was indeed a strong Queen of England in her own right. With parents like Henry and Anne, it is no wonder that England’s greatest Queen and Monarch stands at the fore front of British history. Elizabeth was one potent force……….!!

  7. Desha says:

    I’m no expert by far, just interested in Elizabeth’s life. My only comment is based on my own experiences. I can remember many things from my very early childhood, back as far as younger than one-year-old. Without any documentation from Elizabeth’s life, this is all speculation, but it is possible she remembered much of her mother. Or at least if Anne treated her lovingly and wanted to spend time with her, there may well be events she remembered and a smart child would not be easily forthcomng with comments. Just a small though. Thanks for this great website.

  8. allene says:

    I would like to second desha’s observation. About remembering my own childhood back to about 18 months old, very clearly in some instances. Particularly relating to both of my parents and also experiences with my grandparents. Very pleasant always. Which of course would have marred those of Elizabeth. Even so, I feel that odds are good that our remarkable Elizabeth could have had clear early memories of both her parents. 3specially Anne if, as stated, anne allotted time, attention and affection for her little one.

    Also, read somewhere that when Elizabeth died, as her body was being readied for burial, a small ring that had been Anne’s was found on a chain around her neck. I hope that’s true. I’m going to believe it in any case. How would it be known to be Anne’s ring? Initials? I guess. Anyway..

    Nice to have found this site. Other lovers of Anne and Elizabeth.

  9. Sage says:

    I’ve often felt that we have our earliest memories of our mothers not in a concrete sense, but more of an emotional one, tied up in smell and touch. Perhaps Edward’s cold nature could be tied to his mother’s absence – I think in all his life he may have spent a day and a half with her. His lack of maternal affection – his own mother dead within weeks of his birth and his nurses likely too afraid of the King to get too close to his precious heir, lest he get ill – could be shown by his apparent indifference towards his mother’s memory. There’s no indication that he ever mentioned her or honored her memory in anything outside of a formal way.

    But Anne, as far as the time permitted, held and interacted with her beloved daughter, and Elizabeth likely, IMO, had those subconscious memories of love and comfort that caused her to miss her mother and feel deeply complex feelings about her – loving both her parents but having one with such a dramatic reputation and end made her extremely sensitive to any mention of her. She loved her mother privately, having those deep-seated memories of affection and love, but the combination of her mother’s fate and what Elizabeth may have felt was the “true” nature of her mother, based on those memories, may have made any public, overt reminder of her very delicate. We know that in her teenage years she didn’t handle mentions of her mother well, but unfortunately we don’t have her reaction to her mother’s image represented with Henry VIII’s at her accession in the London pageants. Personally I think she probably felt a deep satisfaction and vindication.

  10. Sreela Nair says:

    All on a sudden a video on Mary Tudor, followed by Lady Jane Grey and then on Ann Boleyn took me back in time to 1979 when I was just 15, or celebrated my 15th birthday in London in the 10 days spent there. I clearly remember what the guide told us about Windsor Castle and Hampton Court taking us there. Lady Jane was a character who fired my thought even then, quote unabridged by history. Later, in 1986 I did my post graduate degree and had English language and literature. By then I was much enamoured of the history plays. In retrospect, my memory of the day I had the panoramic view down from the fort walls of Windsor castle and also of the Thomas Grey churchyard at Stoke Poges informed every bit of meaning I imbibed from Shakespeare and the Romantics. And the lush landscapes which encouraged me to watch more movies based on Dickens and the Brontees whetted my appetite. Today, I fancy the classic English architecture and design models so much and try to concentrate on these aspects in my design studies. I bless the day history sat on my shoulders to inform my sensibility after four decades, that it seems some destiny, past or future, is ingrained. That’s why we ask to know the players assemble people. Lady Jane is by far the most impressive example.

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