Did Anne Boleyn truly love Henry VIII?

Full question: Do you think that Anne Boleyn was simply power hungry and wanted to be a Queen; or did she truly love Henry VIII? - Marie

I don't think that Anne loved Henry from the start but I think that she did fall in love with him. He pursued her relentlessly for so long, sending her letters and gifts and this must have been quite intoxicating, particularly as Henry was giving up so much for her and marrying her for love.
Their relationship was also a real meeting of minds. Both of them were intelligent and loved debating subjects like theology. Henry also involved Anne in planning palaces like Whitehall. Anne showed jealousy when Henry became interested in Jane Seymour and I don't think that it was just fear for her position, I think she and Henry had a passionate relationship and loved each other.


33 thoughts on “Did Anne Boleyn truly love Henry VIII?”

  1. Marie Burton says:

    Did Henry and Anne’s courtship begin before/during/after the birth of Anne’s sister Mary’s first child?

  2. admin says:

    I think that Mary Boleyn (Carey) gave birth to her daughter, Catherine, in 1524 and her son, Henry, in 1526. 1526 is when Henry becomes attracted to Anne and many believe that this coincided with a loss of interest in his mistress, Mary (Anne’s sister) after the birth of her second child.

  3. Anne Barnhill says:

    I think Anne was not in love with Henry at first, but was definitely in awe of him–he towered over her in both physical size and position. I believe she allowed him to court her because she did not have any choice or did not believe she had any choice. Given that, she decided not to become his mistress in order to hold him at bay. But slowly, over the years as she observed how much he loved her and what he was willing to do to prove his love, I think she fell for him. He was handsome, athletic, very smart, gifted in music–the perfect Renaissance man. Once her feelings were deeply engaged, I think their love exploded–and then imploded.

  4. Emma says:

    I think she loved him and that she wasn’t a adaulteress or a witch (for obvious reasons) but that henry was tired of Anne’s fighting (my favorite wife was Jane Seymour because of the way she learned from Anne and Catherine’s mistakes)

    1. Kirsty says:

      I think she did too and that he murdered her because he got bored of her and that she didn’t give him the son he was obsessed about. I think she got beheaded for him to save face and not go through another divorce. He married Jane Seymour the next day, it was definitely false claims about her plus a unfair set up of a ‘trial’. Making false claims and murder is quicker than divorce and fair trial after all.
      I think Henry would have got rid of Jane eventually had she lived, I don’t think being the mother of a son would have spared her from that.
      I think Henry is such an egotistical sociopathic man-child who was incapable of genuine love and the women paid the price for his ego, obsessions and boredom.

  5. dearheart says:

    I believe that she most likely saw him as a man of his time and nothing more, at first. He could have any woman he wanted and to deny him could be dangerous. This is where Anne was different because she was not afraid to deny him, causing him to want her more. The fact that he was willing to practically split his nation apart to have her probably endeared him to her because, at that time, why would a king give up so much for a commoner if not for love? It seems to me that it most likely became a love affair for her, while for him it was simply an obsession that would eventually give way to the next.

  6. David says:

    I think Anne became quite interested in King Henry and enjoyed the cat and mouse game, which really was a period of time for her to figure out whether Henry looked upon her as yet another conquest. There came a time in their relationship where a little light went off in her mind to the realization that Henry did care, lets say really cared or even lets say loved her. I mean how could one look upon what happened to her sister and not think that she was just the next toy to be played with. She had to overcome those kind of feelings first and I believe she did and eventually they both merged into a very real relationship. A relationship I feel remained with Anne to death but not with Henry. Yet I firmly believe that on those moon lit nights when maybe King Henry was gazing out his palace window at the moon light dancing upon the Thames, he thought back upon Anne with extremely fond memories, memories that he had to keep to himself. You could not have supposedly hated someone so much without remembering the fine line between love and hate. Well I guess I wondered a bit there but in answer to this persons question, yes I believed they did love each other very much!

  7. Tina Anderson says:

    I’m with everyone here. I think she grew to love him after a while. I feel so sorry for Anne. I know she was a Vixen-Diva type lady but she didn’t deserve what happened to her. It must have been horrible for the poor woman. I would not have wanted to be in her shoes. She did give England one of it’s greatest rulers so she made a huge contribution to her country. RIP Dear Anne.

  8. Riham says:

    I think what the most emportant thing for Anne is that she wanted to become queen at first so she pursued him to get rid of Katherine of Aragon as she was her enemy. Henry however, made Anne fall in love wi.h him in what he said in the love letters he sent to her. I think that Anne and Henry did fall in love with each other. The only problem was that the Pope didn’t want to upset spain so he would not allow it. Eventualy he got rid of he Pope and became head of the church himself. Anne anyway just wanted to be queen as she did become a queen.

  9. Caitlin Scott says:

    Why are you people so into history!!!! What is the point in learning about the past for gods sake !!! It’s already happned , get OVER IT !!!

    1. Claire says:

      Because it’s history that is responsible for the world today and that has shaped us. Also, don’t you have any hobbies?

      1. Baroness Von Reis says:

        Claire,I really can’t understand why some people find the time to go out of there way, to make nasty comments about Your Site??As Ms.Scott has done,I would like to say to Ms. Scott,Claire has worked very hard on her love for Queen Anne and all others in Tudor times,to create this site and write her books with endless research,and I think I speak for all of the people that have been on Claire’s site,if you don’t have anything kind to say,do us a huge favor and take your nasty comments elsewhere,as we have know time for people such as yourself.OMG Claire wish theses types of people would go away!!!!! Baroness

    2. Linda says:

      I am sooooo….? You get over it what are u intrested in huh? Clair is 1000000,0000 times right durr!

    3. vkhb says:

      Because history is fascinating. Why are you on this site if history is boring to you. Troll.

    4. Kirsty says:

      Because I am fascinated by it, the real questions are: Why are you so offended by any persons enjoyment of learning history? and Why are you on this forum if you don’t like history?

    5. Kiki says:

      Because that’s what grown-ups do: conduct research into important areas of study that young people with no responsibilities often find “boring.” Although given the date of your post, you’re probably more aware of that now. It’s really your line of reasoning that astonishes me, though: by your logic, why spend time on anything that already exists or is already “over”, including scrolling Instagram (which literally exists to document things that have already happened). Anyway, I hope you’re in a better place now than to have random outbursts in the comments section of articles you don’t even like.

  10. Sir Ronald Cherry of Tennessee says:

    I truely believe Anne loved King Henry VIII. I also believe Anne wanted so dearly to be Queen but once she gained the title she carried it with grace and fortitude. At the hour of her death she still displayed the most beautiful manner and died with dignity, grace, and the trust in God that he knew her charges were untrue and unjust! I am absolutely obsessed with British Royal History and particularly Anne Boleyn and the time in which existed! Thanks so much Clare for providing the perfect spot for me to indulge. Xo

  11. Stephanie says:

    I don’t believe she really loved Henry, not deeply. I think she was a very intelligent woman, who knew who he was – with all of his shortcomings. She was probably in awe of him, in love with how much he loved her, in love with his power, etc, but I think she was honestly very frustrated with him at times, and frustrated with her situation. When he first approached her, she saw what he had done to her sister, knew she didn’t love him, and tried to get away by denying him, which only made the situation worse.

    She never had the chance to refuse him, or the chance to follow her true feelings. There was a quote attributed to her, shortly before she was executed – “I never wished to choose the king in my heart.” (Obviously, she may have been a little biased at the time, or the story may have been made up, but I think it is still how she felt.) I believe she was a calculating woman who would always choose what was best for her, but I would say, had she been given a choice, she would have chosen Henry Percy over the King. She was locked in a time/situation where she wasn’t allowed to choose what she wanted, so she made the best of the situation.

  12. L says:

    I believe from what the tudors,and history portray it was a battle of wills, it was like they both individually wanted to be in control, the thought of loosing it too the other,set about a game of fight fire with fire, henry was a cancer male, they love passion, fairy tales, and need to be needed by others, i believe for him it was the conquest of not wanting to be rejected, he became obsessed with attaining his prize, he convinced himself it was love, it was a turblant and passionate affair based on desire and attainment, so no i do not think it was love beetween them it was profane,not sacred, Ann was believed to be a Gemini, us gems are the same as cancers in that deep down we whish to be loved, yet there is so many diffrent facets of are personality that things change very quickly,i no all this because i am a gem,he is a cancer and we are very similar to this historic royal couple, we crave each other, miss each other, but when it comes down to it we destroy the very thing we are suppose to love,henry loved Anns cheeky regections at first because he was always getting what he wanted,it was new and fresh, and he physically desired her,and she refused, this sent him wild with passion,not love,they got lost in there own game, over time the tables turned ann seen henrys soft and vunrable side,and began to love him unconditionally to which then henry became bored seeing this to which he slowley started to retreat on to his next conquest,leaving Ann angry and vengfull, un be known to astologers gemins love a great deal, they can be fickle if love is not serious, but when in love they can love and never forget a lover for years, Ann went to her grave loveing henry, henry simply realised he had shown this great women and his country his greatest weakness and he wanted rid of her, to re build his macho and hard nose exterior, he was a callous man, a self absorbed, trynnant, who hated the thought of not being in control. All ask your selves this question, even if someone betrayed you as she was suppose to have done, if you truelly loved a person, or had done in the past, could you let a man take a sword to his or her neck, the answer i no you all think automatically is (no) It was about control,image,showing the world he could attain any prize, when henry married and stayed with catherine of arogan for 17-18 years it was out of respect,duty,honour, for his brother and for his county again this world of being in power was new to him, so he faced the challenge and sacrafice willingly,also catherine was a virgo, cancer and virgo compliment each other very well,because the virgo women is domestic,family orientated,dedicated, and aims to please, i believe though cancers can get bored of the routine,and repetivness of a virgo lady,she is also critical and has no probleam like a gem saying it how it is if you push her too far, i was in a triangle situation, with guess what cancer male (him) the girl he was with (virgo) and me the Ann bolyn, has soon as cancer finds out your intreast they are gone,and in this instance the virgo gal won out in the end,a respectable, pretty competitor i must give credit.i believe unlike some refuse to believe,when you are born effects some of your charactristics,there is living prove if you study astrology and then look at a actual person example henry-cancer you can see a clear link to this, i also believe when henry met catherine howard, he saw that ann bolyn conquest all over again and he wanted to recreate that passion with her, inrespective of her being his apparant great love, the cousin of ann bolyn, when she betrayed him in a apparant similar fashion, all henrys emotions of ann came back to the surface to which he had her punished in the same way, i remeber watching the last episode of the tudors which is a great patron to the tudor history,in my opion, and you seen a broken, weak, man, a man who spent his life in a bubble going from thing to thing-person to person, to wake up in old age and see all the people he hurt and had lost, i believe in henrys last days he would have lied there and some of the greatest regretts man could have, and like in the show rys myers-henry the 8th says to his right hand man “of all things in this world what is most irrecuvrable to man” to which “he replys virtue” no henry replies, “for virtue can be reedeemed” “honour “he replies” “no for there again it can be reedeemed” to which he then goes on to say “Time of all things least recuvrable to man is time” that quote will stick with me till the day i pass from this world i am learning to heed this as should you all, if you take the time to watch the tudors esspecially the last series,you see a mans life flash before his own eyes, his achivements,success,joys,and his errors,failures, and above all his serious errors of judgement to which one has to face in the next calling,be that death or life, LX

    1. margaret says:

      very impressed with this especially the section about henry wanting to recreate the passion he had previously felt for anne now with katherine .i think thats the quest for everyone even nowadays .its really how the other person makes you feel anne made henry feel good she gave him a great burst of life and hope and after being with katherine of aragon for so long but the game went all wrong and he just got bored always looking for something more ,bigger ,better

    2. epiphany says:

      I don’t believe in astrology, but if you’re going to base character analyses of henry and his wives on it, you should at least get the dates right. On the Julian calendar Henry was born on June 28th; based on the current Georgian calendar, thatmakes his corrected birthdate July 7th. We have absolutely no idea when Anne Boleyn was born. Persons who fancy themselves “historians” decided she must be a Gemini, because she was so conversant and quick witted, but again, we have no idea if it’s true. We do know that Katherine of Aragon was born on December 16th, as per the old Julian calendar, making her corrected birthdate December 25th. As I stated, I think astrology is hogwash, but if you’re going to use it, at least use what we truly know to be fact.
      Back to the question at hand. No, IMO Anne wasn’t truly in love with Henry. She was initally amused by the fact that a King, who could have virtually any woman, wanted her. She enjoyed the cat and mouse game of enticing him near then pushing him away. When she finally realized he didn’t just want her for a mistress, but for a wife, that’s when she began to take him, and the situation seriously. Anne saw an opportunity to advance both her personal and her family’s ambitions beyond anything they had ever dreamed – and the Boleyns were a VERY ambitous family. She also saw the chance to exact revenge on Wolsey for sending away the true love of her life, Henry Percy. Eventually, Anne did come to genuinely care for Henry – how could any woman resist that much relentless attention? However, she freely ridiculed him behind his back to family and friends, before and after their marriage, and flirted relentlessly with other men at court. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not condemning Anne for marrying Henry despite the fact that she wasn’t in love with him – most high ranking marriages were made back then without the presence of true love, so she was hardly breaking new ground in that respect. Anne’s grave mistakes came from 1) promising Henry too much; she guaranteed him she would have a son – how foolish! And, 2) thinking that because Henry loved a little of her fire, she could burn like an inferno day and night and really keep his attention. Anne didn’t possess a sweet, nurturing bone in her body. She was attracted to strong, take charge men. Henry, of course, presented himself this way, but underneath he was insecure and vulnerable. He sometimes needed Anne to be soft and sweet, but she never was, and she lost respect for him when he appeared to be needy – and she made it clear she was ashamed of his neediness. Henry had her on so high a pedestal – which he did with everyone he loved – that she had no place to go but down.
      Just a thought; ever notice how Henry of Henry’s choice of wife was a reaction to the previous one? Katherine of Aragon was motherly, sedate, obedient but very headstrong. Anne was impudent, reckless, clever, attention loving. Jane Seymour was plain, meek, bland. Anne of Cleves – unknown until the marriage, but Henry made it clear he did not find her physically desirable. Kathryn Howard – chosen because she was very physically desirable – an airhead. Katherine Parr, intellectual, opinionated.
      Henry always married out of a desire for true love. He spent his adult life looking for his soulmate. He never found her, but that, along with his obsession for a male heir, was the driving force of his life.

      1. janice says:

        Well said.

        1. l x says:

          Ephiphany, there is no need to be hostile calm down, I didn’t know that the calander then was different and was going off what historians have said, after all none of it could be fact, the only fact we know is that of what came from there actual documents or, Ann and Henry and that could be altered, but I do believe by the way he acted he was a cancer and she either a Leo or Gemini lady, I love astrology and like to debate and learn about these things at know time did I say it was fact only my opinion so please if you are going to correct me on using the wrong calander that’s fine, but don’t take a years anger out on me, thanks it really is good to live in a democracy and debate things 🙂

  13. Lily says:

    Would Anne Bolyen marry Henry for love or power?

  14. mara says:

    Anne boleyn is amazing and her favourite animal was dogs and birds her favourite dog was a greyhound

  15. mara says:

    Anne boleyn is amazing

  16. mara says:

    she was very stylish everyone should respect her or e

  17. mara says:

    she was very stylish everyone should respect her

  18. queenanneboleyn2 says:

    Anne Boleyn is gorgeous young woman who knew French fluently, charmed the King and got what she wanted from 1927 upto death.

    Henry was so infuriated with her that he wrote letters and sent her gifts. He, even exocommunicated himself from the Church of Rome, to create his own Church of England in honour of Anne.

    Even though, she had fornicated with Henry, he married her and gave her a celebration party (for becoming Queen of England) that lasted approximately 3 weeks.

    Anne wanted to get rid of her step-daughter Mary, as she saw it as a threat to Elizabeth, and Henry sent her on way after Anne had been denied any involvement in her banishment from court. Anne had a dangerous temper for 7.5 weeks and Mary was told not to come whilst Anne was Queen!

    1. Chan29 says:

      1927 ? I think you are at lest 400 years too far 🙂

  19. Amanda says:

    I truly believe that at the start she didn’t. She certainly didn’t want to be another conquest or a whore as she felt her sister was. What amazes me is how do most historians think Mary Anne’s sister was this innocent and Anne is this vain, self opinionated women who gasped at power. I think there was a passion between them from day one and I think it frightened her and sent her running back to Hever to get away from it. Henry was obsessed with her at the start but I think it grew to a passionate love affair. It drove her to have jealous rages at his womanizing when was pregnant. This Henry could not stand as in some ways he wanted meek but also loved the passion that she had. She promised so much to say I will give you a son, bless her she could not. So I believe with her rage outbursts and not delivering a son he had to get rid. He couldn’t send to her nunnery as he wouldn’t have left her alone. So he trumped up charges against her. Did he regret this I think he did in his later life. Anne in my opinion was born well before her time, she was a trend setter, she was ambitious and in some ways vain in the end this cost her. She is a fascinating person who after all this time has people talking about her. Henry in my opinion was a man who changed his mind all the time one day you were favour next you was out it seemed to me he was an easy led man who was a tyrant, a bully and very spoilt that craved a powerful air. Through Anne he was delivered one of the greatest monarch’s the country’s seen. So god did smile on Anne in the end.

  20. HellokittyIsLife803 says:

    I know i’m late when it comes to commenting but I disagree with what claire said, that history helps us grow and shapes us, we’re still the cruel, selfish and nasty people we’ve always been. Clothes, technogy things like that are the only things that change, humans have been the same for thousands of years and will remain the same. That’s one thing you can definately learn from history, even if you don’t like history. Plus you gotta admit them thinking that god spoke to them, that they were put there because of god is so insane that’s it’s funny in a dumb way. I love history but more so because it’s funny to see how f***** up humans are how important and above everything they think they are too. Just straight up hilarious.

    Now on the topic if Anne loved Henry. Honestly I don’t think it even matters i’m not a believer in love but that aside from what that cruel murdering fat psychopath did to her it’s clear as day that whatever they had wasn’t real. Even if by chance love in that from is real you wouldn’t do what he did to her if he truly loved her.

  21. Kirsty says:

    I think she did eventually after unwanted advances.
    I don’t believe for a second that she is guilty of adultery, incest and witchcraft, I think it was false claims so he could marry Jane quickly (literally a day after Anne’s death) and to save him the embarrassment of another divorce.
    I also believe that the lies were made as an attempt to the people who despised her for them to believe Henry was claiming “They were right about Anne” to avoid so much rightful harsh criticism about murdering Anne to marry Jane.

    Anne’s only “crime” was not giving him the son he was obsessed about having (despite Henry FitzRoy, his son, existing..) and I think Anne was more capable of love than Henry VIII ever was.

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