Apparently so. Both David Starkey and Alison Weir mention it. Starkey talks of how Henry VIII forbade Anne from doing it and Weir talks of Anne actually doing it. It was definitely not the thing for a Queen to do, or even consider, as it was usual for a royal baby to be handed over to a wet nurse.


7 thoughts on “Did Anne Boleyn really want to breastfeed her daughter?”

  1. Nikki Grant says:

    If Anne couldn’t breastfeed and a wet nurse fed the baby, what milk did they use? Can’t see them having formula?

  2. Claire says:

    Hi Nikki,
    A wet nurse was a woman who was still lactating either from recently giving birth herself or by continually breast-feeding other babies, so the wet nurse would have used her own breast milk to feed Elizabeth.

  3. Rachele Wells says:

    I would like to believe its true. It makes perfect sense. You carry a child inside of you for nine months and immediately have a bond when you see your baby. Funny though how two very famous ill fated queens (Anne Boleyn and Marie Antoinette) are both rumored to have wanted to breast feed. It definitely boosts sympathy from me if nothing else!

    1. Jason says:

      The real question is did they change diapers!

  4. J says:

    The real question is did they change diapers!

  5. Shelby says:

    In “The Tudors,” when Queen Anne tries to breastfeed Elizabeth, Henry VIII scolds her that “Queens don’t do that, especially for daughters.” No doubt this was b/c the life of a female child was deemed not as valuable as that of a male & would have delayed Anne getting pregnant again quickly, preferably with a son. Am I correct? I wonder if Queen Jane Seymour was allowed by Henry to nurse the Prince Edward. If she did, it would have no doubt made for a healthier young child, although Edward was quite weak & sickly & died at age 15,

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Shelby, Jane Seymour died from birth-related complications twelve days after Edward’s birth, so it was never an option.

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