Who leaves the flowers on Anne’s grave every May 19th and when did this start? Obviously a huge Anne Boleyn fan!! Rich Jones

I often wonder this too! According to one Yeoman Warder it has been happening for over 25 years and no-one seems to know when it actually started, perhaps it's longer than living memory. Perhaps a Carey/Boleyn descendant? Could be a tradition passed down through a family.

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32 thoughts on “Who leaves the flowers on Anne’s grave every May 19th and when did this start? Obviously a huge Anne Boleyn fan!! Rich Jones”

  1. michelle says:

    might it be a royal tradition seeing as she was queen when she was killed?
    thats just what i think anyway.

    1. mykel dyce says:

      anne was not queen when she died so it could not be a royal tradition mabey family members

  2. Claire says:

    Could be but then Catherine Howard doesn’t get any roses delivered and she was queen – a mystery!

    1. i go to church at the chapel of st peter ad vincula every sunday and quite often flowers are delivered for catherine howard and jane boleyn and again for jane grey

  3. Brenda says:

    Shades of Rudy Valentino! It’s nice that such care continues.
    b

    1. Brittany Jones says:

      I’m sure it is a family tradition, but maybe not her family. Maybe a loved and dearest friends family.Whom were so close they almost were family.

  4. michelle says:

    but wasnt catheine howard stripped of her title as queen? therefore not really a queen at her death??

    1. Brittany Jones says:

      Wouldn’t a rose called by any other name still smell just as sweet. Or a thorn masked by some beautiful cover name still prick, therefore title or not her character and her life’s deeds and work represent who she was. Nobility is character and title is a sash that can be worn or removed.

  5. Wendy says:

    Red roses are associated with many romantic traditions, but few so intriguing as one described in the Sunday Telegraph. Apparently for over 150 years, descendants of Anne Boleyn have been secretly sending a bunch of red roses to be laid on her tomb in the chapel of the Tower of London. The second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn was beheaded at the Tower in 1536. The roses arrive at the Tower each year on 19th May, the anniversary of her death.

    After three years research Major General Chris Tyler, a former director-general of the Tower who became fascinated by the tradition, has tracked down a family of descendants who live in Kent. After polite questioning during a visit to the Tower they admitted that they had been responsible for the flowers, and their relatives before them.

    Each year the bunch of roses appeared on Anne Boleyn’s marble tomb, but no one knew how they got there as no member of the public is allowed into the chapel without being attended by one of the Tower’s famous Beefeaters.

    A key piece of assistance came when General Tyler discovered that Longmans, the florist shop closest to the Tower, had been receiving since the mid-1850s, an annual order for red roses to go to Queen Anne Boleyn, The Tower of London, under instructions to maintain strict anonymity. But six years ago the order was moved to a branch of Longmans in the Kent village close to where the descendants live.

    1. anne also had red and white roses in her emblem didnt she?

      1. Susan Harrison says:

        That’s left on the spot where she was beheaded

  6. Karena says:

    I think it’s a wonderful family tradition and a lovely way to honour Anne, long may it continue.

  7. IAN PAYNE says:

    SO CAN ANY BUDDING HISTORIANS OU THERE STATE WHO HER DESCENDANTS ARE ANDF/OR WHERE THEY RESIDE ?

    SAW TE THEATRE VERSION ABOUT ANNE’S LIFE ON SUNDAY LAST IN BRUM – BRILLIANT !!!

    1. Patrick Payne says:

      Hello Ian, I believe we have corresponded in the past… I can’t answer your question, but I have uncovered a lot of interesting information on the family of Thomas Payne that married Elizabeth Boleyn. Currently investigating the possibility that they had children. Would like to hear form you if you are also researching this.

  8. Juliane says:

    Roses are red, my love, violets are blue…

    Anne is still with us, and that makes it all, allright! Smile, you lot, and stop sobbing, that’s what Anne would say. 😉

    1. Of course she would say where is my daughter Elizabeth now with her in the bluly sky in heaven holy prayer for her and her cousin Catherine Howard

    2. Of course she would say where is my daughter Elizabeth now with her in the blue sky in heaven holy prayer for her and her cousin Catherine Howard

  9. mykel dyce says:

    anne boleyn was not queen when she died but chathrine howard was so that is a mystery so it could not be a royal desendent

    1. grace says:

      anne boleyn was queen when she died as she gave henry a child and had her coronation catherine howard was not a proper queen she had no coronation because she had no child to henry

      1. alec says:

        Neither were actually queen at their death. The distinction you may be thinking of is that Anne was no longer Henry’s wife at her death as the marriage was annulled. Henry couldn’t annul his marraige to Katherine because then she would not be guilty of her crime – adultery. She was stripped of her title (queen) shortly after she was arrested and moved to Syon.

    2. Nadene says:

      Even Anne Boleyn’s marriage was annulled, she WAS Queen when she died, she was coronated, but more than that she was Queen by an act of parliament (act of succession).
      Catherine Howard was never coronated, therefore, she was never Queen in any sense of the word.
      Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn were the only wives of Henry viii to be coronated and proclaimed Queens, although Katherine of Aragorn was buried Princess Dowager to Henry’s brother Arthur.
      It has nothing to do with who gave birth and you didn’t, it was simply down to act of parliament that meant Anne Boleyn got to keep her crown in effect.

      1. Nadene says:

        That was supposed to start “Even though Anne Boleyn’s marriage was annulled”

  10. Phil says:

    As a fan of Mistress Boleyn since I was a kid, I have long been fascinated with the roses tradition, and spookily enough have on more than one occasion found myself at the Tower – usually taking friends and not thinking about the date – during the week of May 19th when the roses are there. A few years ago one of the Yeoman warders, who was as charmed as I am by the tradition, was kind enough to take me into the chapel and up to the altar to look at the roses closeup. The card simply said “Anne Boleyn, 19th May 1536”. The warder was under the impression that the tradition of anonymously delivering roses went back a lot further than 150 years, to a few years after her death; I don’t know if this is true. In terms of their delivery, they’re not “slipped in” – the florist simply delivers them to the Tower, and they’re placed in the chapel by the staff.

    But I’m rather disappointed to hear that someone has owned up to this – it was a very romantic mystery when it was anonymous!

    Phil Clapham
    Seattle, USA (originally Cornwall and London)

    1. Calleigh says:

      Hello, The flowers are placed there by the courier man. My brother in law was this man. He delivered the flowers three times and each time the warder lets him in and tells him he has to place them himself. For my brother in law this was a very special moment and he told me it was a very eerie feeling he got when he placed them for her.

      1. Claire says:

        They must have changed it now as I was actually outside the chapel when the roses arrived. A Yeoman Warder brought them up to the Yeoman Warder who was on duty outside the Chapel and then he placed them on the tile.

        What a special moment for your brother-in-law!

  11. Louise says:

    For one, I am happy to hear that a member of her family has kept the tradition going until this day. I just learned about it from BING.COM. Nice to know that she is remembered by her family – distant though they may be. It was not her fault that she could not give Henry 8 a son and that he was obsessed with the idea of another son. I think Elizabeth I did a splendid job!

    1. Andrea says:

      one of the most inspiring love stories is that of Henry and his Ann. Though true there love was, it was also a dangerous and devouring love. Eating up at both of them like death itself. The passion in their illustrious affection for one another completely consumed them into almost a state of mental disruption. There is no doubt that their short lived love was inevitably the most honest love either had felt.

      Their story really interest me in the way that a persons love and affection can be damaged in such a way. The way she courageously fought for Henry’s love inspires.

      There is a view that the stone marking that would have been her grave is not in fact where she was laid to rest. Her heart is said to be in Salisbury Church where she visited as a child. The reason for the stone was that in the church’s renovation they did indeed find the remains of 2 women. Convinced that one was Ann and the other was Katherine Howard.

      There is a very good chance that she is not laid there but in a secluded tomb completely unmarked. Knowing Henry being as proud as he was I would doubt that he would ever let her remains to have sign of acknowledgment.

  12. Nadene says:

    Even Anne Boleyn’s marriage was annulled, she WAS Queen when she died, she was coronated, but more than that she was Queen by an act of parliament (act of succession).
    Catherine Howard was never coronated, therefore, she was never Queen in any sense of the word.
    Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn were the only wives of Henry viii to be coronated and proclaimed Queens, although Katherine of Aragorn was buried Princess Dowager to Henry’s brother Arthur.
    It has nothing to do with who gave birth and you didn’t, it was simply down to act of parliament that meant Anne Boleyn got to keep her crown in effect.

    1. Nadene says:

      That was supposed to start “Even though Anne Boleyn’s marriage was annulled”

    2. Christine says:

      Yes that’s right Anne was queen when she died and after her death she was still referred to as ‘the late queen’ , even when she was accused she was treated like a queen staying in the lodgings she had occupied at her coronation, and every courtesy was shown to her even tho her trial was biased she still had one unlike Catherine Howerd , but then the evidence in her case was damning, Henry let her be beheaded with the sword another great act of courtesy and generosity of course he knew he was killing an innocent woman a crowned queen and the mother of his child, the only monarch to ever do so, here and abroad.

  13. I first heard the story of the red roses while at the Tower where one of the Yoman Guards
    explained. I thought it was extremely romantic and am sorry that we now know who sends them. It has taken the mystery away. Sheila, Seattle, WA.USA

  14. I will bring some respect to her very incessant women in the age of 35 years old

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