The Mystery of the Chequers Ring – Article and Giveaway by Sandra Byrd
Posted By Claire on April 15, 2013
Today I welcome historical fiction author Sandra Byrd to The Anne Boleyn Files. Sandra has just released the third book in her Ladies in Waiting series, Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I and to celebrate the book’s launch she has written this special article for us and is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky person.
All you have to do, to be in with a chance of winning the book, is to leave a comment below sharing your thoughts on the Chequers ring by the end of Friday 19th April and a winner will be picked at random on Monday 22nd.
Over to Sandra…
She held the realm’s finances in her grasp and the crown jewels round her neck or on her head, but there were only two pieces of jewelry that Queen Elizabeth I was reliably said to have never removed: her coronation ring, which she considered to be her “wedding” ring, and her ruby and pearl locket ring. This latter ring, shrouded in mystery, tells us as much about the queen’s heart as does the former.
The ring is generally referred to as the Chequers ring because its permanent home is now at the British Prime Minister’s country home, Chequers, and under the authority of its trustees. In 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown lent out several pieces of art from Chequers to the museum at country house Compton Verney. Kathleen Soriano, head of exhibitions at Compton Verney, said of the ring, “It’s a very moving piece because it’s so delicate and small and really evokes the sense of the story. It’s a very powerful object.”
Just what is that story evoked?
Most sources place the first appearance of the locket ring at 1575. Although some assert that the queen had it commissioned, there is no trail or definitive provenance for that claim. Traditionally, lockets are gifts. Inside might be a portrait of a lover or a child, or perhaps a lock of hair from someone who had passed on. The idea is to keep close to heart someone who is likely far removed by death or convention, politics, or sea. The idea, too, is to be able to shield or shroud the identity of the loved one by clasping and keeping the locket closed.
English locket jewelers Lily & Will tell us that, “When Elizabeth I wore a locket ring … it marked a new beginning for the locket. It started to rise in popularity as Elizabeth I gave gifts of jewel encrusted lockets to many of her favourite loyal subjects—Sir Francis Drake being one of them.” The Scottish National Museum holds among its collection a locket with portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots and her son James, given to a trusted servant on the eve of her execution (see above).
Then who is to be found inside of the ring so cherished by Queen Elizabeth? Another royal, executed mother, and her beloved only child. When opened, the Chequers ring reveals two portraits which face one another. One is clearly Queen Elizabeth, seemingly in her early forties, neatly fitting with the year 1575. The second portrait is widely understood to be her mother, Queen Anne Boleyn.
Because there is no direct provenance, there has been speculation that the portrait could be of the young Queen Elizabeth herself, or even of Queen Kateryn Parr, Elizabeth’s stepmother. It’s unlikely that the queen would have worn two portraits of herself throughout her life and in any case, there would have been no need for those portraits to be kept hidden. Although Elizabeth bore tender affection for Parr, the portrait within does not clearly resemble Parr, nor does the French hood worn by the subject fit in with the French hoods known to have been worn by Parr. It does, however, perfectly match the French hoods Anne Boleyn was well known for.
The British Museum says of Anne Boleyn: “Of the mid-sixteenth century representations of her, the most reliable must be the tiny miniature set into a ring of about 1575 which belonged to her daughter, queen Elizabeth I (The Chequers Trust; see ‘Elizabeth’ exhibition catalogue edited by Susan Doran, London, The National Maritime Museum, 2003, no.7). This likeness comes from the same source as the painting in the National Portrait Gallery.”
There is another miniature of Anne, which Charles I had copied by John Hoskins the elder in the 17th century, which is endorsed, “from an ancient original.” What might this ancient original have been? Anne’s principle biographer, historian Eric Ives, states that it is, “more likely that Hoskins had access to an earlier image of the kind from which the NPG image originated.” Ives continues, “A full-length portrait of Anne was owned by Lord Lumley in 1590 and existed as late as 1773. Could it even be that Hoskins’ source was or was derived from a Holbein painting now lost?” Perhaps there was one early portrait or sketch that Hoskins, the painter of the NPG portrait, and maybe even the painter of the locket miniature based their work upon.
Although Elizabeth likely could not remember what her mother looked like, there were those at her court old enough who would remember, and there were also those who still held quiet affections for and perhaps an illustration of Queen Anne. And just like that, the generosity of fiction allowed me to consider who might have loved and understood Elizabeth enough to risk giving her a ring with a portrait of her beloved, but taboo, mother inside.
Roses Have Thorns
Blurb from Amazon:
In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiance has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth’s circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen’s downfall, Helena is forced to choose between her unyielding monarch and the husband she’s not sure she can trust–a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences.
Vividly conjuring the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, Roses Have Thorns is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.
You can read my review of Sandra’s book on our review site – click here. The novel is available to buy now at Amazon UK and Amazon.com, or your usual bookshop.
227 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Chequers Ring – Article and Giveaway by Sandra Byrd”
While there is no definitive paper trail connecting that ring to Elizabeth herself commissioning it – I wonder if it could have been a courtier, friend or even a family member who had that ring made as a gift for Elizabeth, as a reminder of the mother who was taken from her.
A wonderful article. I am of the same mind, that it is indeed Elizabeth and Anne. Since Elizabeth could not openly embrace her deceased mother, it was Elizabeth’s own way of keeping not only her mother close, but also the tree of life that sprouted out The Church of England. I think that is why Elizabeth I never had Anne moved and interred into Westminster Abbey, is because of how unpopular at that time Anne was, and Elizabeth didn’t want anyone questioning her legitimacy. I am curious, on what hand, and on what finger did Elizabeth where this infamous ring? Does anyone know? Because I know that the placement of different jewelry pieces has always meant something. I think it is one of the most BEAUTIFUL RINGS I HAVE EVER SEEN! It kept Anne close to Elizabeth at all times, and with her legitimacy already being challenged at the beginning of her reign, she couldn’t do as James I did, and move her mother. I think it would be amazing if the Windsor’s Elizabeth II had Anne moved into Westminster. And probably also Kathryn Howard, Anne’s first cousin.
After all, the Windsor’s are indeed of Tudor blood descent from Henry VII I believe, and ancient blood of Edward. The same Edward that Anne’s family, the Howard’s, also descend from. Making Elizabeth II, not only a distant relative of the Tudor Dynasty, but also a very distant relation to Queen Anne herself. I believe. If I am wrong, please correct me, but everythingI have read, point to that. The The names may have changed with different dynasties, but that same royal blood still swims in them today. I would love to see Queen Anne given the proper resting place that she deserves. Not just the most happy, the most influential woman (if you ask me) history holds to date.
Laady Brooke,Thank you for your kind thoughtful words! I spent alot of time to find out this Info,Q’Elizabeth1 would not have put any of Henrys wives in such a personal Item,but her mother.Also at Elizabeths corination she had a statue of Queen Anne made and it was diplayed also Q’,Annes badge.It was a great help with everyone, on your comments for me to go forth and research as it is a very hard task ,I don’t no how Claire and Sandra Byrd do this.I A LSO WANTED TO POINT THE REAL AND 1 AND ONLY PERSON CLOSEST TO THE RING IS THE PRIVY KEEPER OF THE CROWN JEWELS.They our checked by him every hour on the hour,also I really enjoyed the sooth,but next someone else, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND!!.Very Kind Regards Baroness x
I’d like to stir the pot with an idea I just had. Im probably wrong but still enjoy a good. Birthstones can be traced back to Exodus. However they became popular to wear ones birthstone in 15th and 16th century Poland. What if the stones give us the month AB was born? Henry viii was born in June making his birthstone a pearl. Elizabeth was born in September making her birthstone a sapphire, but many people don’t know that sapphires and rubies are actually the same stone. Diamonds are April’s birthstone. According to the Gregorian Calendar, this is what it says about April: She who from April dates her years, Diamonds shall wear, least her bitter tears. For vain repentance flow; this stone, Emblem of innocence, is known. Pretty cool if you ask me! I’m probably far off, lol. But hey, I read into things too much, love to research stuff, and because of the secrecy of us not knowing when QA was born, or the wonderful mysteries that surround Anne, it gives us all liberties to create things surrounding her. I think stories are fun. I have no doubt that the ring is QA and QE. Just thought this would be fun to stir the pot. Henry also died in April. The diamonds in the ring. This was just for fun, don’t scrutinize me to hard! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day.
Also, again the R in the ring is blue sapphires. Elizabeth’s birthstone as well so maybe the rubies are Anne’s, stirring the pot more. If my crazy thought or theory is right Anne could have been born in July.
Lady Brooke,Thank you for some of the info ,and I did state that the portriats were made of Enamall and mother of preal but, withat said they have to be set in the semi mount which was gold,the frist thing to start to deteriorate would be both enamall and mother of preal ,as they are organic.As for the gemstones ,I think Q’A was born in 1501, so if she was born in July that would make ,the hing that gives the ring ability to open and close, does block were the B would have been.It’s not a dimond to dark and the Royals would Never use dirty dimonds never eva!I’m going to take a gander at the link on Elizabeth ,that you were kind enough to send.I am April baby my daugthers is and my grandmother is also, so we know our dimonds. Kind Regards B x
Lady Brooke,one of my Fav’s,But not just the preal is the Birthstone of ,June babies ,Alexandrite and Moon Stone our as well.Also Sapphire and Rubies are of the same family they both contain ,corundum ,Iron and are highly included and can be very opaque .True Sapphires have some of the same mineral make up,but different levals of corundum and Iron ,and they come in many different colours.The purest of sapphires is white from the amount of traces ,vanadium in it,and the Iron levals give it there different shades,they can be yellow,pink blue,orange,green .Rubies our that of red and no other colour,although they do have some of the same mineral make,which is chormium ,yes they both are of the Chordum family. Sapphires also can have traces of titanium which make up the blue,while green varieties, are due to higher quantities of Iron, and pink to the presence of chormium.Also the rarest of the Sapphires are that of the Padparasha which I own,want to buy it??Keep stirring that pot girl.THX B x
Hello everyone. Baroness I found this photo while looking through things on the net. It is said that it could be Catherine Parr or Lady Jane Grey. It looks so much like Anne and like portrait inside this mysterious ring. I think that picture looks more like Anne or like tge woman in the locket with Elizabeth. What do you think.
Lady Brooke, also take a gander at the ring under the band on the shank you can clearly see there is gold ,but it is comming off the band of the ring from so much wear and time gone buy. Baroness x
Yes baroness it does have some beautiful gold inlay’s, but if I remember right the ring itself is actually carved out of mother of pearl. Often mistaken for Ivory. It has so many properties and beauty’s. enough to keep us mystified for all time.
Lady Brooke,The band of the ring is enamall and on the face of the ports, is wear the mother of pearl is,as mother of pearl would be too weak to support a ring band,shell chips far to easy and to there is gold inlay on the inside of the band, which we can clearly see has worein from time.Also it has been said the ring was made by ,Robert Dudley,maybe true,as she loved him her whole life and he to loved her.But he was also out of the Queens favour as he married Lattice,and Elizabeth was the last to know,so perhaps he had the ring made for the Queen, to get back into her good will.He to was almost put to death by Q’E when he was consorting with Spain,it didnot sit very well with this Queen.So maybe Dudley had the ring made for his true love,Q’Elizabeth.Just my thoughts. Regards Baroness x
spelling malfunction pearls,I’m going blind!!! Baroness
Ladt Brooke thought you disappeared was worried about you AB Friend!! Yes you very right it could have been,but wyh on earth would Elizabeth sport a ring of another Queen?? I ‘d want my mothers picture not Howard nor Parr.I still think it’s Q’Anne happy to chat with you agaon!! Kind Regards Baroness x
Hi AB Friend Lady Brooke,I took a gander at the picture you found and it really could very well be, Q’Anne, it looks very much like the Pictue in the lockket ring!! I’m amazed how you found that?? Great FIND!! THX Baroness x
Lady Brooke,It would be so easy to take a ring sizer to get the band sized and take it from there??I have a ring sizer and use it all the time to make sure my rings our the correct size. my pinky is 5 my ring finger is a 7,middle is an 8 index 8,I do not wear rings on my thumbs.THX B
Last comment for the day friends. I found a very interesting article on the ring. It goes into tons of details on the ring and other interesting things that Elizabeth had. One of them called the Elizabeth cipher which holds Anne’s falcon in it. It is beautiful. This is a must read!! hope you all enjoy it as much as I have. It’s completely fascinating. http://tudorfaces.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-chequers-locket-ring-mother-and.html?m=1
Lady Brooke,Here some more info,there had to be at least 3 to 4 people to make this ring,goldsmith who shapes the gold,a lapidary they take the rough and remove it to get to the gem and cut and facset polish and set the gem stone and ,Artist to do the portriats of the two Queens ,Tedious work!
spelling malfunction Lady Brooke sorry! Baroness x
A very interesting article. After reading the article, I do think it was her mother-Anne. What we all would give to know Elizabeth’s thoughts about her mother.
This ring symbolizes a daughter’s eternal love, respect, and affection for a Mother she really could not recall too clearly because she was too young when Anne departed this world, but yet knew in her heart what Anne symbolized and sacrificed for her daughter. All that Anne did in her short life allowed Elizabeth to gain access to the throne and carry on the desires of her Mother and beloved kingdom!
This was so interesting. So even though Elizabeth often said she was her father’s daughter, she kept upon herself the memory of her mother. One wonders what her father would have thought about it, if he were still alive.
Hi David,I too agree with your reply,yes I feel Elizabeth also kept a memory of Q’Anne.However if Henry or anyone of the ‘Queen Anne’ haters saw this ring ,Henry would have been ferious, as all Q’ Anne’s things were all burned to wipe her memory out of Henry’s mind aswell,as others whom disliked Q’Anne.If the king would have heard of Q’Anne would put him in another RAGE! If he were still alive,yes she was her fathers daugther,she was her beloved mothers too. Baroness x
What if Henry made that ring for Anne with her portrait and Henrys portrait together. maybe during the time of Henrys divorce so Anne and him had a way if being together, before they officially could be together. Especially since Anne and Henry were known to often give each others gifts, and love tokens. And maybe later on when the ring came back into Elizabeth’s possession she had it modified to have her portrait in there with her mother. Elizabeth was reminded everywhere of her father, but not her mother. One if Elizabeth mottos was “I see, yet I say nothing.” Which to me shows Elizabeth’s softer side. It helped her remember where she came from, and was a way to honor her mother. One other possibility I hadn’t thought of till now was that the ring also could be that of Anne Boleyn and of Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother since that is where Elizabeth’s name came from. If that was the case Anne herself could have commissioned to have that ring made for her daughter. What size is the ring and does anyone know what finger Elizabeth was fond if wearing it on?
Lady Brooke, Good points!!I still think it was Q’Anne,as in history they made such things in rings and pendents,mother and daugthers.We may never no who gave this to Elizabeth1, I feel this was a token for Q’E1, as there were those who loved Q’Anne and were closed to QE1 ,when she was young,Iam sure they spoke of her insecret ,about her beloved mother.Claire said that Queen Elizabeth had long slender fingers,she was very proud of.They can use a ring sizer to find out what size ,Elizabeth’s ring is very easy to do. THX Baroness x
I agree Baroness, it’s always appreciated and delightful to hear your insight. Your a wonderful asset to these blogs and I enjoy reading all that you write. Either way, I think it is beautuful and would love to find out what fingered she preferred that ring on. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to find that when Elizabeth made her famous speech about marrying England, that ring could have been added to Elizabetgs ring finger, where maybe she chose, to wear that ring on her ring finger. Reminding her, that before love, she married England, and her people, and married her mothers cause to save England from the “corrupt Papacy”. I would live to think that with QA photo as well as Elizabeth’s, it could have been a wonderful reminder of who Elizabeth was inside, carrying out her mothers wishes as well as QE. Loving mother, who gave everything, to continue carrying out the freedom, and daughter that turned England into the golden age. I wouldn’t be surprised either if Anne did make that ring, or Henry and later a artist put Elizabeth in there. To me lockets aren’t just to hide things, ( even though the ring would have had to be hidden) lockets are also ways to keep something in your life private and special and completely yours. Especially when nothing is personal anymore, when it comes to monarchy. You belong to everyone. I think it is very special, definitely gave no doubt it is Anne and Elizabeth.
Lady Brooke,Took a really good look at the other Locket of Mary Queen of Scots,that to is stunning ,it too is made with enamal and seed pearls,seed pearls our very tiny and they have strung them in gold,most liklely 24kt,as it seems to be intwined around the face,and 24kt is soft and easy to bend and shape.The seed pearls our strung with gold aswell.I also study Egyptian Kings and Queens .They our exspert at finding rare jewels and Kings and Queen,they also use MRIs alot for Identification, which is a great tool ,MRI can pick up the most minute things the human eye can not.I’m going to put in my great room ,a Sarcophagus of ‘Queen Ankhesenaumun’ life size,my husband thinks I’m crazy!!! THX Baroness x
Lady Brooke,I have narrowed this down has I said ,if Henry had this ring made he would ahve had it destroyed along with all of Q’Annes belonging.Also the Finger?Q’Elizabeth would not wear such a ring on her pinky finger, as it would be very easy to damage this ring ,by hitting it on some thing,nor she would not wear the ring on her thumb,same thing to easy to damage.Corination rings were most put on the middle finger ,as wedding rings, so with that said she may have put this on her index or ring finger.Now we have the two fingers most likely were she would wear it?Remember this ring was very small ,I say ring finger. THX B x
I agree that the portrait is of Anne Boleyn. I think it silently shows Elizabeth’s feelings towards her mother, though she barely knew her. Elizabeth was too young to choose sides when Henry turned on Anne, and was thus brought up as Henry’s daughter (rather than how Mary stood by Catherine of Aragon). But it seems Elizabeth was told enough of her mother to come to have an affection for her, even though that affection wasn’t politically convenient at times. Elizabeth, through trials under her father and her sister, became a master of the poker face. I admire her ability to keep her true heart hidden, regarding her mother, Dudley, etc., and putting on a brave face to put her country first. Also, when one is on constant display as a monarch, there’s a certain strength and satisfaction in keeping a secret or two.
I can only hope that it was Robert Dudley who gave the ring to Elizabeth. He was her life long “Robin” and the love of her life. Since her decision to never marry, I would hope he would gift her with things that had great meaning to her since they could not express their love in very many ways. I have often wondered what secret gifts they exchanged that would have had great meaning to both of them and can see Robert giving her a ring that recalled the mother she was never to know but still loved. Although Elizabeth was Queen, with all the pomp and power that came with the crown, in many ways she was isolated and alone. She must have put a great deal of emphasis on things that reminded her of lost loved ones.
Well said! Very direct and I feel very accurate and to tge point. Well put Shoshana.
Ladies,I agree with both of your replys,perhapes Dudley did give Queen E1, the ring how thoughtful ,and a great show of his love not just because he loved her ,but too show her that he also loved as his Queen,how romantic!!Kind Regards Baroness x
The bonds of blood and maternal love go so much deeper than we imagine. I believe we remember the sound of our mother’s voice, the feel and smell of her, long after she might have left us. I certainly hope that is true; I hope my grandchildren remember the love their mother gave them, the comfort of her arms, even though their conscious minds may have forgotten. This love is wrapped around each cell in their bodies. At least, that’s what I believe. There is no greater power than love in this world. I think Elizabeth felt her mother’s love, though Anne had been snatched away at a very young age. We cannot tell what the heart remembers.
Anne,Thats wonderful how you put it into words,I put perfume on that my grandmother wore ,and it’s like she right beside me,and remember all the love she had for her family,she passed ,would have been 113 years old this month.I loved her so much. Kind Regards baroness x
I believe it was given to Elizabeth by her favorite, Robert Dudley, probably during the spectacular 19 day party staged for her at his remodeled Kenilworth castle in July 1575. It would be in line with his all out effort as a final attempt at trying to entice her into marriage one final time with great splendor, pomp, and the showering of gifts, and the ring would have been one of special sentiment to the Queen. As a childhood friend he would have known how much it would have meant to her, and would have had access to all the court painters and jewellers.
The portrait may have been, if not her mother, then someone who’s life was cut short, reminding Elizabeth how precious life was and how perilously short it could be..to proceed with caution, her reign.
I came across the Chequers ring or the queen mother queen daugher ring as i think of it, Elizabeth was so young when her mother was executed and did not have much of a memory of her i would think. Her mother was an important part of her being and the bringing the anglican faith to the forefront which made the monarch the head of the church instead of a pope. I have always felt a close connection to both of these women because they were really strong and sort of they laid down the stones for women to follow in their footsteps of being strong independent women that had a mind. There were others before them but i think they cemented it for all of us women.
The gold ring is everlasting and the rubies the colour of love and the pearls were the growing of love. Some day i hope to be able to see this ring in person.
From all accounts Anne loved her daughter, though she wanted a boy. This ring speaks volumes about how a mother’s love never leaves a child’s heart.
On the other hand… it may have also served to remind Elizabeth of the downside of marriage.
If the ring was a gift Robert Dudley, Ralegh, William Cecil, and more were able to arrange it. Is there any possibility that the Queen did order it (quietly) through someone else?
Helena Snakenborg came to England in 1565as a lady in waiting to princess Cecilia Vasa of Sweden WHO visited England with her husband. Elizabeth I aparently liked her sosse remained in England At Court. She married Cathrine Parrs brother and later a ledset nobleman had several children and apparently remained close to Elisabeth. I am distantly related to Helena
I wonder if it not only shows respect for the mother she never knew, but also a reminder of her roots and the devastation and heartbreak that surrounded her mothers marriage to Henry. I agree with many of the historians who believe that Elizabeth’s desire to never marry and to remain the Virgin Queen was as much a personal move as a political one – throughout her life, she had seen how many high-ranking marriages could end, well, abruptly. At the end of an axe for the woman. Elizabeth learned that lesson well, perhaps this locket ring also served as that reminder?
Good afternoon Claire and eveone who reads the column. The first time I read about the locket (Chequers) ring, it brought me to tears. To think of Elizabeth, one of england’s greatest monarchs as someone who had been deprived of a mother’s love, saddened me to my very core.
I like to believe that she had the ring commissioned as a memorial to both the mother she lost at the tender age of three, and for herself; as a reminder never to marry, for marriage was probablythought by her to be a death sentence.
I take solace in the thought that they are reunited in Heaven and now live beside each other in one of God’s many mansions.
I would looove to see this piece of history in person! It is a beautiful ring, I can’t believe it’s actually made from a circle of mother of pearl. I would love to know if Elizabeth commisioned it or if it was a gift. And if a gift, from whom? Just another one of the many mysteries that surround the Virgin Queen and make her so interesting.
This ring allowed Elizabeth to keep her mother’s memory, however brief it might have been, close to her and only for her. I have always believed Elizabeth remembered more than we might think; traumatic as her mother’s death was, it IS possible she had some memory of the time of her life. The beauty of the ring is amazing!
I like to believe Anne comissioned the ring for her daughter to give her upon leaving home, but when she saw the tidal wave of treason coming down on her head, left it in the care of Kat Ashley to give to Elizabeth, and charged her to care for her daughter, then left to go to court and fight for their lives and positions. Every modern mom prepares for “just in case”, with thehigh morbidity rate, Im certain they did too.
Yes, I believe that the portrait was that of Anne as a daughter’s love for her mother would have been a stronger bond than politics or what “gossip” Elizabeth may have heard of her mother. I’m sure those near and dear to Elizabeth would have ensured that she had some kind of connection and memory of her mother.
Alan,I feel perhaps you are right on this locket ring,Elizabeth1 was not an infant,she was a young girl,and with that said I feel that this ,Chequers was made for her in remembarence of her ,Queen Mother’ Anne Boleyn. None the less ,I woul thin she kept the ring close her at all times. I also am very pleased to here it is in a museum,as ther were not to many things they found ,of time gone past.A truely stunnig find! Kind Regards /thank you Alan /Sandra ‘Baroness x
spell malf.would think.
I, too, love that it still exists, and that we can see it, Baroness!
I would like to believe this locket contains a portrait of Anne Boleyn. A daughter has a natural affection for her mother, even one she never knew.
Also, Ms. Byrd- Ive read a great many of your books recently, including the red an white aueens, as well as Phillipa Gregory and a few others. Why is Anne almost always portrayed as a backbiting harlot? I believe she acted mostly out of respect and duty to jer king and family, that it grew to love, and a genuine desire to be with Henry, and then fear for her and her childs safety when she saw what happened to the last woman unable to give him a son. Additionally, I believe Henry had her executed more from rage that she didnt tolerate his sleeping around. I believe she submitted to her fate simply because she saw there was no choice, but decided to make it the ride of her life. Why dou you think Annes character is so often colored by views of “the other woman”?
Tara, Sandra wrote To Die For and The Secret Keeper, not The Red Queen and The White Queen, those were written by Philippa Gregory. I’m sure Sandra will be happy to answer your question though. Thanks for the comment.
As Claire mentioned, I wrote To Die For, which is a very sympathetic portrayal of Anne Boleyn, because I, too, believe she needed to be portrayed differently through popular fiction. As to why she’s so poorly portrayed sometimes, perhaps it’s because the history that first came down was certainly “pro Henry VIII” as he was still in power, and others drew upon that? Also, it is certainly easy to have sympathy for Katherine of Aragon, too, as a longtime wife, and that may have turned people against Anne.
I hope you’ll read my book, and my portrayal of Anne, and let me know what you think!
Sandra,Will it bring tears to my eyes??Can’t wait to read it,is it on Amazon? Regards Baroness x
‘Why is Anne almost always portrayed as a backbiting harlot?’
It is all too easy to say that the winners write the history and that Anne was wrongly portrayed as such but the recent discovery of Richard III’ body, ‘hunchback’ and all, just goes to show that there may well be some truth in these reports. The head of the Richard III Society was vehement in her disdain for Shakespeare’s portrayal of Richard but ended up looking quite stupid when his bones were found and it was shown that it was not all that far from the truth. There is no smoke without fire. This does not justify AB’s treatment but there is no portrayal of Anne that I know about that portrays her as the perfect tudor housewife!
“there is no portrayal of Anne that I know about that portrays her as the perfect tudor housewife!” Try John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments or William Latymer’s Cronickille of Anne Bulleyne for very positive portrayals of Anne.Latymer was her chaplain.
Re “no smoke without fire”, there can be plenty of smoke without a fire, hence the huge miscarriages of justice we still have today and also the gossip and scandals that have wrecked innocent people’s lives. If that saying is true, then we’d also have to believe the gossip about Elizabeth (she was a boy, she had lots of illegitimate children) and Catherine of Aragon (she was a bit too close to her confessor) etc. Just because one “myth” has been found to have truth in it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all are true.
Thanks for your strong reply. But surely the books you quote were written by her contemporary supporters, based on her support for the new faith so it was to their advantage, just as her attackers were writing with hindsight or with a view to gain advantage with those who would plot against her. Whatever, my point was not that Richard III’s recent discovery proved that all myths were true as you, surprisingly, seem to suggest, but that believing that all portrayals were false because you don’t like them or because there is little evidence other than writings of contemporary enemies or later historians is not a basis for saying they are wrong, merely that they MIGHT be.The RIII Society had been adamant in categorically stating that there is no evidence that he was a ‘hunchback’. The AB Files similarly seems convinced that she was not the ‘backstabbing harlot’ that she has been portrayed as so often (though not, I believe, in the more recent portrayals and for all it’s faults, I would not be surprised if ‘The Tudors’ was not that far from the truth). But I do not know what AB was like and either do you. I admire her (probably) as much as you do but do not pretend to know if my idea of what she was like is right. I meant the ‘smoke without fire’ in this context only. You obviously do not like your ‘theories’ questioned and fair enough, it is your site and I think it is a wonderful site at that, but you will no doubt be pleased to read that whilst I will continue to read the excellent articles and reviews, this will be my last post, unless it is to help somebody with a specific query. I certainly meant no offence in my post and I am sorry that you seem to have taken it as some kind of attack on AB or the site. I would also like to add that this particular article, on the chequers ring was absolutely fascinaiing, so for thatand the site itself, many thanks.
” But surely the books you quote were written by her contemporary supporters, based on her support for the new faith so it was to their advantage”, yes, just as the critical accounts were written by supporters of Catherine or those writing in exile during Elizabeth I’s reign.
“You obviously do not like your ‘theories’ questioned and fair enough, it is your site and I think it is a wonderful site at that, but you will no doubt be pleased to read that whilst I will continue to read the excellent articles and reviews, this will be my last post, unless it is to help somebody with a specific query. I certainly meant no offence in my post and I am sorry that you seem to have taken it as some kind of attack on AB or the site.”
I love it when people question what I write, that’s what this site is all about: debate. There really are no rights or wrongs when we’re considering sources from 500 years ago, as long as we are backing up our viewpoints with primary source evidence. I didn’t take any offence at what you said, and meant no offence, I was being brief and to the point as I was on my phone and so cannot type much, it’s hard typing anything on that! I don’t take any comments as attacks unless it is obvious that they’re meant to be. Surely we can disagree on points.
I don’t believe that Anne was the perfect Tudor housewife or that she was the saint that Foxe portrays her as, but we cannot rely on Chapuys, who hated her, or Sander who was writing in Elizabeth’s reign and did not know her. It is best to get a rounded view of her from a diverse collection of sources and they don’t support the back-biting harlot picture.
Lancelot de Carles is another source on Anne. He knew her from her time in France and although his work is written in French, and old French at that, it is a very interesting biography of her. Also the Chronicles of Hall, Holinshed and Wriothesley are good, plus George Wyatt’s bio.
I don’t know why you thought my reply was strong, I was simply disagreeing and suggesting sources that were pro-Anne to show that not all sources are critical. They key to using sources and trying to build up a picture of an historical person is consulting every source possible and then taking account of the context, bias, who the person was and if they actually knew her/him and then looking for corroboration. Historians and authors owe a lot to Eric Ives who spent decades researching Anne Boleyn and not from any particular viewpoint. He became interested in her because he was researching William Brereton. I highly recommend Ives’ work. His bio and journal articles.
Claire,I think I can speak for all of the AB Friends,we our here to learn and give our thoughts, as to what we know and would very much like to know.Also everyone thoughts are always welcome,we don’t want to fight about anyone or anything.Claire has taken many punches in the past,we all have in one way or another.We did not get off on the right foot,but thats ok move on ,and share with Claire and all the AB Friends ,what you know how you feel and why.I am sure that ,Claire would very much want your veiws ,as all of the AB Friends would ! So rethink as I did and just get over it, nobody wants you to leave,so lets move on to bigger things and get along. Very Kind Regards Baroness x
Kipper,It’s your AB friend,You write your replys,comment like someone,I used to no on this site,he is a very smart gentlemen,and knows what he is talking about.But I must say that, Q’Anne did have faults, as everyone does,and Therories, are just that,they are not Factual.With that said I must agree,but with Anne faults there were many others aswell.We can go back and forth about ‘Queen Anne ,and Henry V111 ,and all whom lived in the day of ‘Tudor’ time they our truely the ones that know what really happend,yes we can have our own Theroies and agree to diagree .We will never no the whole of it all, just the people that Lived,Love ,and Died,there lies the secreat of ,Henry V111 and Queen Anne, and all of the other Queens whom lived and lost Henry. So I really can say I agree totally with your comments. Very Kind Regards Baroness
Wouldn’t it be interesting if Henry VIII had that ring made for Elizabeth??? You never know…maybe he did!
The portrait of Elizabeth must date decades after Henry died in 1547, from the fashionable clothing and headgear and Elizabeth’s mature face.
What if the ring originally contained portraits of Henry and Anne and Elizabeth had the protrait of Henry replaced with one of herself? Could then give credence that Henry originally had the ring made and either Elizabeth or someone else had Henry’s portrait replaced.
I think your right Ann,Henry could not have or would not have that ring made for her,Henry did not even want a useless daugther ,and it is decades old,So thats spot on. Kind Regards Baroness X
Ann,If Henry had the ring made for Q’Anne who he had beheaded,he would have ripte the Ring off her finger,remember he had a mission get Rid of Her and anything of Q’Annes. THX Bx
The ring seems to have a great many areas of secrecy attatched to it. For one fact that there is no trail as to its origination.. When did it appear? Who was around when it appeared?
Secondly, no one seems to have ever stepped forward to claim their construction
Of the ring. I cant imagine that such a piece would have been kept secret, unless that was the purpose of the ring or rather the portraits themselves where meant to be secret or more likely they where meant to be kept close to ones heart. My original thought was that the ring was a gift from Mary being a tribute to her sister for nt knowing her mother as Mary was able to know hers. However this doesnt allow for the elder portrait.. All very Sherlock Holms.
I agree that she have had either a loyal servant have it made for her..or even her stepmother Catherine Parr. Parr was big on family and may have had it made for Elizabeth. Either way..something special as a keepsake and a nose thumb to Henry.
I love these types of stories. I firmily believe that the Chequers Ring shows the image of Anne Boleyn. Just consider, that while Elizabeth could celebrate the memory of her father, which stood as a reminder of her right to the throne. The memory of Anne Boleyn was so tainted on the other hand, that it was wise to not mention her mother–as her enemies still whispered that Anne was unfaithful and that Henry was not Elizabeth’s father. So the only way that Elizabeth could honor the memory of her mother would be in a private item such as this. The Chequers Ring shows Elizabeth’s love (and perhaps longing?) for the mother that was taken away at such a tender age.
From the first time I heard of the ring and saw a photo of it ( I believe in the Eric Ives book) I was sure Elizabeth had the ring made for herself. I can imagine her as an exceptional child who remembered her Mother’s love and protection. As much as Anne in death had become vilified, there were many still alive who knew that for all her faults she was a faithful wife and Queen. The child Elizabeth, once rich, royal Princess then poor motherless bastard, would tend to not only remember but embrace her young mothers memory and her unjust death. I think that when she had long been Queen she felt powerful enough to embrace her Boleyn heritage and claim back her mother’s love and memory. She was more than her Father’s daughter, she was her Mother’s daughter
and The Queen of England!
Michelle,Sometimes there are inscriptions written on the insideof lockets and rings.I wonder if there were any???Like QAE or maybe another code?They did alot of that.It’s really easy to find a jewllers loop.Sandra do you have any evidence that, pehaps there may be a code??? Kind Regards
One thing I learned about lockets, though, Lorri, is that they were traditionally made as a gift from one person to another, unlike other kinds of jewelry that one commissioned for oneself. So it’s certainly possible that she had it made for herself, but more of the era (even through the Victorian era) that it was a gift. I have not heard anything about a code inside it; not sure if the miniatures were ever popped out!
Sandra,Thank you,I just thought that perhaps if it was Anne maybe she put QAE if it was mother and daugther? Kind Regards
The dress of the woman in the portrait (French hood, style at court during the reign of Henry VIII) certainly persuades me to believe it is Anne. The oval face shape is also very similar to the other portraits we know to be Anne, as well as the “Moost Happi” medal.
I definitely believe this is Anne, and although no record exists of Elizabeth I speaking about Anne publicly, I’m sure someone close to her (who knew her mother also) would reflect on Elizabeth’s characteristics that she inherited from her mother (and not just her father). I like to think she kept this ring as a private reminder of her mother’s courage and strength.
I doubt we will ever know who commissioned the ring…perhaps Elizabeth commissioned it herself as a memorial to her mother?
I agree that the style, especially the shape of the French Hood, argue for this being Anne. The overall shape is more oval, reminiscent of other portraits said to be Anne, and other portraits of the time of her prominence, than the later more circular shape which can be seen on the famous portrait of Elizabeth I as a girl, and also on the portrait formerly said to be Jane Grey and now identified as Catherine Parr. On both of these later portraits you can see that the nether billiment, closest to the face, finishes at the cheekbones, towards which it curves sharply, while on this portrait it curves more gently towards the corners of the jaw. Also the hair is brushed flat down the sides of the face, not puffed out at the temples as appears to have been the later style.
The ring’s story always moves me so much… Elizabeth wanted to present herself as Henry’s daughter, and she was right to do so, as she was once declared bastard and had to remind everyone of who she was. I read that she was pround of her red Tudor hair. But the ring proves that although she didn’t talk of her mother much, she had her in her heart and wanted a reminder of her. Anne was always close to Elizabeth when she wore this ring. Fabulous story.
I would love to have this book! Everything is so fascinating!
Elizabeth was always renowned for her prodigious memory , so I hope it’s not too fanciful to suppose she could remember her mother. (I can remember being in my cot and a great uncle who died when I was three.) It would be wonderful to know who gave it to her. When was it first documented that she wore it? What is the earliest mention?
I wonder whether it might have been a gift from Catherine Carey (later Knollys), daughter of Mary Boleyn. Or was it too costly for the Knollys to have afforded it?
Hi all! I adore reading every one of these comments as we are very much sisters and brothers at heart in our love of the Tudors. The ring is first believed to have appeared around 1575, though you’re right – it’s very mysterious. I have “solved” the mystery of it one way in my book, but there are certainly other plausible solutions. That’s the beauty of fiction. I hope you’ll read the book and then let me know what you think of that solution, as well as some other ways that I have Elizabeth subtly connect with Anne. Although she didn’t speak of her mother, Elizabeth favored many Boleyn relative courtiers and had some other subtle signs of her mother around her court!
Does anyone know if this ring could possibly be one of Anne’s ? I was under the impression that when Anne was arrested she was wearing a gold ring set with rubies and pearls. Could not Anne have given this to one of her ladies in waiting to give to Elizabeth when she ascended the throne or sometime after ???
Elizabeth then might have had it re made or the person who was holding it for her with the image of Anne and herself.
Just a thought.
Hi Sherri,That was my thought aswell and would in great hope that it is.Elizabeth1 would have something of her mothers, to hold close to in her rememberence,of the untimely death of her mother.I truely hope it is just that! Kind Regards Baroness x
I’ve always loved that ring….something so personal, enchanting and mysterious about it….like that ring was the core of Elizabeth…where her heart resided. To me it’s clearly Anne. That ring is my favourite piece or her jewelry! A cherished memory I have is when I was living in Lambertville NJ there was a high end antique store near my home and they has one of Elizabeth’s letters for sale, it was kept in a locked glass case….I us to go to that store and just stare in awe at her handwriting, her signature. Thinking…..she actually touched that paper, her hand formed those letters…and then my thoughts would drift into reverie. Lol sorry for waxing dramatic, just a treasured memory!
Ah, to have viewed that letter. Plan to visit the British Library to see original letters and documents; it’s absolutely magical.
An exquisite ring, gorgeous detail. A fabulous reminder of two strong Queens. Where can I pick one up at? (lol….)
Brenda,If you have a 100,000 ,I think you to can have a replica made at Tiffany&CO.I do gest! Regards B x
I just learned of the existence of this ring a couple of years ago. I was really touched by it. I believe that Elizabeth never spoke of her mother in public, but kept her memory alive in private. I believe she used the Falcon badge on her books. Some people at court who could have remembered her mother were her cousins, Lord Hunsdon and Catherine Knollys, Mary Boleyn’s children. Lord Hunsdon was Anne Boleyn’s ward–not out of spite as Phillipa Gregory claims. Matthew Parker, Elizabeth’s first Archbishop of Canterbury was a chaplain to Anne Boleyn and seems to have made her a promise to look after Elizabeth. According to a Protestant refugee who wrote to congratulate Elizabeth on her accession, he had seen Anne Boleyn shortly before her arrest, holding Elizabeth in her arms while having an argument with Henry. Elizabeth was only two, but she would certainly have felt the tension and anxiety and not known what it meant or how to deal with it.
All very plausible. Anne Russell has a lovely role in this book! 🙂
Ann, My Prayers our with your son,God Keep him and bless him,my son is 23 years old, and it’s anyones guess were he will be deployed to next.My prayers our with all the ,brave men and women who defend all of us! From one Mother too another. X
Ann It’s just a nod to all service men and women. Thx Baroness X
In my family, rubies and pearls symbolize blood and tears. I wonder if some courtier in the Henrician court, so admired AB, he had her portrait set in this ring. Then, when he dies, his son, becoming Elizabeth’s chief advisor, William Cecil, HE orchestrates Elizabeth’s likeness to be set in the other half of the locket ring?
His father, Richard Cecil, WAS a courtier of Henry’s day, an attendee of the Field of Gold, a Groom of the Robes…..and a supporter of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Is it so farfetched that RC had the piece made, perhaps with Elizabeths’ coming to the throne in mind? He died in 1552/3, and the task was incomplete…..until William presented the ring to Elizabeth…..
My Ab Friend rubies were also used for hemrages.
I have looked at photos of this ring many times. And I too think the other image is of Anne Boleyn her mother. Even though she grew up in the shadow of her mother’s execution Elizabeth was not a baby when her mother died. And she more than likely had a relationship with her mother and remembered her as well as a small child would
and loved her as a child loved her parent. I would like to think Robert Dudley had it made for her.
Wow I’d love to read more about Elizabeth I guess even she had jewels that were dear to her heart I hope I can read some more about her maritzal
Wish I could know more on Elizabeth I and her family sincerely MaritzaL
maritzal, Claire has a site’ The Elizabeth Croniciales’ you can read all about her.Hope that help! Regards Baroness x
Regardless of the origin of the ring–I won’t speculate as to who gave it to her or if she had it commissioned–it is exquisite. From my perspective and what I see, it could be no other than Queen Anne. I believe it’s to honor her mother’s memory as well as serve as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice her mother made that eventually lead to Elizabeth becoming the strong woman and great monarch that she was. Like mother like daughter, for Anne was a strong, intelligent woman.
I thought this was a very interesting article. I was even showing my daughter the pictures and telling her who was in the locket ring even though I know she has no interest but I wanted to show someone. I have not read anything about the lockets before and was glad I read this. I look forward to this book as well.
griperang at embarqmail dot com
I think the locket ring holds picture of Queen Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn; probably given to her by a relative or close friend. Alas, we will never know for fact.
It always makes me sad that there are no contemporary portraits of Anne.
Cait, there is a contemporary portrait of Anne – The Moost Happi portrait medal in the British Museum.
It was made during her pregnancy in 1534, and according to Eric Ives, such a medallion could only have been made on royal authority.
It is the only known representation of Anne’s features made during her lifetime, and represents Anne as she herself wanted to be seen.
You can read my research into the medal, and it’s history here: http://lucychurchill.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/the-moost-happi-portrait-of-anne-boleyn-a-rec/
My theory is that the Carey relations had remembered Anne as they were older and either helped Elizabeth replicate her image or commissioned somebody to make this ring for her. Elizabeth was quite involved with the Careys and fostered them. They likely gave it as a gift expressing gratitude and fealty.
I wonder if it was given to her by Henry Carey. Although Mary was dead by this time it would’ve been a great way for one of her children to reinforce to Elizabeth their family connection and as he was 10 and a ward of Anne’s at the time of her execution he would’ve had a better memory of how she looked than Elizabeth.
I like to think that she had the ring made with both her and her mother`s portraits. What a nice way to remember.
Elizabeth I extended favor to Mary Boleyn’s children and to Norris’ heirs. If she had meant to distance herself from her mother and that legacy, she could have done so. So, to me, that loyalty suggests to me that she had a strong commitment to memories of her mother, to her mother’s righteousness and to her Howard/Boleyn ancestry. Even if a daughter’s affection was not available to her because her mother died when she was so young, I imagine that her own pride led her to see her mother’s greatness despite her father’s attempts to denigrate her mother’s memory. People who knew Anne to be virtuous were within Elizabeth’s hearing and would, I think, have been willing to align themselves in speaking of Anne’s goodness to Lady Elizabeth in her minority.
I think all of Europe blanched at Anne’s execution.
George Crowly,Very well said!!
I adore the story surrounding this ring. Never taking it off and concealing the precious photos inside of it, as if to forever guard the very people the photos portray. This little token tells a lot about the character of Queen Elizabeth I; proud of whose daughter she was yet never forgetting the prices paid for her to sit on the throne. All of this locked inside of a tiny ring.
I think the little ring tells a lot about Elizabeth, too, Liz!
I love that kind of locket and ring. To keep a secret to your heart or finger is something I would do. The question raised by Elizabeth chequers ring are interesting and I think it may be Anne Boleyn. the portrait looks like the opnly portrait we know of Anne and it would be a reason to keep it a secret since Anne Boleyn was not famous at this time, and surely still at her time. It would be her way to be close to her mother, and maybe to have her mother watch over her, since the portrait is above Elizabeth’s. This object and jewel is full of affection, feelings and love. It must have been precious to Elizabeth.
I believe this ring held a portrait of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth’s mother and that she wore it to remember her mother by. The bond between mother and daughter was not broken by Anne’s tragic death and the ring was symbolic of that bond.
Thank you for an interesting article. I’ve always believed the other image was of Anne. Look forward to reading the book.
I do think that the picture depicts Anne Boleyn, but I don’t think Elizabeth comissioned the ring herself; like someone else suggested, it might be a present from a relative or, as suggested from another book, something her mother somehow handed down herself. Either way, it’s an interesting piece of jewellery.
Though I desperately want the locket portrait to be of Anne Boleyn, I force myself to remain open minded. The chief sticking point for me is that the sitter clearly has golden hair, though Anne was reported to be a brunette. There are portraits of young Elizabeth, who was famed for her golden locks, wearing a French Hood. However, I agree that the hood in the ring resembles that worn by Anne in the iconic posthumous portraits of her.
It has been suggested that the hair was once enamelled, but that the enamel has worn away revealing the gold of the ring. Having examined the ring in person I utterly reject this theory;
For parts of the ring to have rubbed together with enough force to remove the enamel suggests that it was either badly designed or suffered damage. Neither appear to be the case,as there is no evidence of erosion elsewhere, or visible signs of damage to the ring or its hinges. The artisan intended the hair to be gold.
The similarity of the sitter to the Moost Happi medal portrait has also been used to support the case of it being Anne Boleyn. However, it has often been remarked that mother and daughter shared many similar facial features, so this in itself cannot be taken as proof.
So, as a sculptor specialising in restoration work, and having spent much time examining portraits of Anne Boleyn, I believe we cannot without a doubt identify the sitter, nor use the Chequers ring as proof of Anne’s appearance. However, it makes me feel consoled and happy to believe so.
Roland Hui believes that the sitter doesn’t have golden hair at all and that it’s the gold showing through.
I know Claire, but having examined the ring myself, and with my background in craft, I cannot agree with this theory;
For this to be true the ring would be badly designed (which is unlikely, given the recipient) or comprssed – and there is no evidence in other raised areas or in the hinges that this has occured.
On all other points I am happy to agree with Roland :>)
Claire and all AB friends,I went to an Exspert on vintage jewllery on this, Chequer Ring of Elizabeth 1.On any kind of medal,enamel mother of pearl, these two are organic Enamei,Mother of preal would be the very first to Deteriorate! with in a short time as they are organic.All medal will over time begin to Deteriorate and start with in days as the, Micro Fibers and Acid in the skin starts this processe.All the material will begin to Fade over time ,Even Gold as, I stated Micro fibers and Acid in the skin.The pigment of the material will ,Also Fade ,Hair, paint, anything that holds pigment will infact fade.This piece and others from any Royal Jewels will start to Deteriorateno not just the Royal Jewels .This perhaps is why the hair looks blond ,as was said lose of pigment and Fade in all the material, that was used on all Jewels.Even ours will in time Fade tranish wear and Deteriorate.So I truely hope after spending 2 intire days ,none stop will give if some very Factual Info,with that said, I am going to have a Martini !!! Very Kind Regards Baroness XXX
I also left out as, I am bleeding out of my eyeballs,there was an ‘R’ in Royal Blue Saprhires,as Q’Elizabeth would not have had’ R’ in the ring if they were not Royals’R’ means Royals. Kind Regards Baroness x
Spell malfuctions,but I think I’m going blind from being on this lap top for days,pearls enamall and whatever else. THX Baroness
Roland is spot on.
I have to agree. Doesn’t the R when it comes to royalty mean Regint or Regina. Rather than a surname? It seems a lot if Henry’s and Elizabeth’s letters were signed H.R or E.R for Regint? Which if that is the case than it possibly could prove tiger it wasn’t made until after Elizabeth succeeded the throne. Unless, deep down Anne always knew her little girl would indeed be Queen.
Claire,I have several peices of your ,Tudor Jewels,and even the mini ports Q’Anne the hair colour is different from black to a reddish brown, and not to dark on the one,that is pirced at 160.00 of Q’Anne.I have the pendents and rings of Q’Anne Q’katherine Howard,and Mary’s 3 strand pearl and cross neckless,I plan to buy that mini of, Q’Anne with the, lighter hair.Your remakes will be very collectable, anything over 50 years is considered vintage, and will not go down in it’s value,so ladies and Gents,get it well the getting is good,I want all the mini’s there stunning!!!These will be heirloom ,and I plan to hand all of them down to my children. THX Claire Baroness x
Lucy,I do agree with some of what you say on the, Chequer Locket Ring,I inlarged the ring and used a jewelers loop and clearly see a pearl neckless .I in great hope that this ring is that of Q’Anne/Q’Elizabeth1.Perhapes they should do a MRI on this ring and this most likely would be put to rest.It is just my feelings, that this is mother and daugther from what I have read and seen of this ring.I to believe with Roland that this is gold showing threw this image it is over 480 years old and we do not no what was used to clean this ring,cemicals can be very unkind to gems and medals.I have seen women and men where very valueble jewels and ruin ,them OMG!!! Kind Regards Baroness
Lucy ,Perhaps you should speak with a Historical GG,I spoke with3 of them,that I know.Enamall is organic as well as, The mother of pearl,that would be the first to start loosing pigment ,and I explained this indetail,also it will wear and fade,Medal as well from micro fibers and acid in the skin.We clearly know this is Q’Elizabeths ring, it has the’ E’ in dimonds and an ‘R’in royal blue sapphire,which means it is a Royal Peace.Who do you think the pictures are ???She would only put a ‘Royal in that ring not a commoner,and she most certainly would not put any of Henry’s other wives in there ither,why would she???She wore this ring to the time of her death and then it was removed ,may we ask you who you think this women is ? Kind Regards Baroness
I’ve done a large amount of research on this ring in the past and I need to point out the following here as there is confusion over the features of the ring and what we know about it.
We need to be careful about stating things about this ring as if they were fact when we only have tiny images to go on. the miniatures are the size of a little finger nail. We need to go on what the experts who have examined this ring tell us. Lucy is not just a sculptor, she has handled this ring, spoken to experts and has knowledge of historical restoration. I just wanted to clear up some misunderstandings here.
Sources and Further Reading:
The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, Eric Ives, p42 and note 29 on p373
Princely Magnificence: Court Jewels of the Renaissance, 1500-1630, A.G. Somers Cocks
Elizabeth: The Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, ed. Susan Doran
A catalogue of the principal works of art at Chequers, HMSO, 1923
For further reading about the Chequers Locket Ring, I heartily recommend Roland Hui’s article.
Roland Hui is himself the creator of beautiful miniature lockets recreating some of the most loved Tudor portraits. He is also a keen researcher and thoughtful blogger on Tudor topics of interest.
Thank you for the link, Lucy. That was an interesting article and does (perhaps) clear up the golden hair color. That confused me at first as well, but Roland’s theory of the black enamel having worn off Anne’s hair to expose the gold underneath does make sense. Although, I just looked at it again and her French hood is black! Wouldn’t that have worn off as well? What a mystery! I love it!
What I find interesting is the placement of the portraits within the ring. The base of the ring, the portrait closest to Elizabeth’s finger, the foundation if you will, the first portrait – is not Elizabeth but Anne. Elizabeth’s portrait can only be seen if you open the ring fully. Who else would be so important in Elizabeth’s life that she would hold them so dear?
Leslie, it is a plausible theory, but with my experience in restoration work I can see that there no evidence to back this hypothesis; as you have pointed out, there are no signs of wear on her black hood, and there are no other signs of compression elsewhere.
It’s easy to be seduced by neat theories, or wishful thinking, especially in this emotive context, and that is ok – so long as these ideas aren’t taken as fact.
I find the fact that Elizabeth wore a ring with her mother’s portrait on it to be very touching. I always assumed that Elizabeth commissioned the ring for herself; however, it’s possible that it was given to her by someone very dear to her.
Anne had a warm relationship with Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. He would have been concerned with Anne’s spiritual welfare and also that of her much loved daughter, Elizabeth. According to Joanna Denny in her excellent book Anne Boleyn: A new life of England’s tragic Queen, Thomas was known to have spent time in the Boleyn household. I therefore put forward the suggestion that the Chequers ring was a gift to Elizabeth from Thomas Cranmer who would undoubtedly have spoken warmly and at length to Elizabeth about her mother.
I think Cranmer died in 1556 – and the ring didn’t appear until 1575 according to the article.
What a lovely example of a daughter’s memory of a mother’s love. I too believe that the other picture is Anne. We may never know who actually commissioned it, but the fact that Elizabeth wore it always speaks volumes over it’s sentimental value to her. Looking forward to reading the book. 🙂
Linda M,I must say I feel the same way,that if infact it is a ring of Q’Anne and Q’Elizabeth1,It would be wonderful,as commenters have also said ,Elizabeth was not a infant ,she was older and so she must of had bonded with her mother.However weather or not she had it made or someone close to the, Queens had it made,most likely will never know,however I truely in great hope, it is infact Mother and Daugther,as Elizabeth I ‘m sure loved her mother even if it was in secret. Kind Regards Baroness
Elizabeth would have been 42 years old in 1575, at that point in middle age and perhaps beyond child-bearing years. I think she commisioned and wore the ring as a remembrance of what she, and her mother Anne, gave up in their lives, for her to become Queen. It is a stark reminder of the sacrifices each made.
To have a mother that a King would woe for seven years, then behead after three years of marriage, must have made Elizabeth wonder. Who was this woman my mother? To know that her mother was talked about in whispers, paintings, and personal belongings, all gone. Who was this woman, my mother, what did she think about, what would she have talked to me about? To look at the face of her mother, the small image inside her ring, mother and daughter together. To imagine what they would have done. Yes, that was a special ring, a ring of love, a ring of a mother and daughter, a ring of loss, a ring that opened the door to dreams of a daughter.
I am so proud of Elizabeth I, she stood down to no one and her wearing of the ring with her mother’s image is proof. I wonder if anyone ever “called her out” on wearing it and what became of them. I’m sure it wasn’t good. God bless Elizabeth!
I was just reading, ‘The Queen’s Governess’ which says it was Kat Ashley who gave Elizabeth the ring when she was old enough on the request of Anne Boleyn. I think this souns quite reasonable as the ring is really beautiful
Oh, this is an interesting theory since Kat was such a “mother figure” to Elizabeth. I admire Elizabeth’s quote about Kat:
“We are more bound to them that bringeth us up well, than to our parents, for our parents do that which is natural for them, that is bringeth us into the world, but our bringers up are a cause to make us live well in it.”
Such stimulating debate. One can’t help but come away with a passion to further explore this subject. Just when I think I’ve seen all angles surrounding Anne, I’m inspired to go another direction. Tell me, how does an American (a Texan for that matter)who has never stepped on the shores of this country, become so enmeshed and mesmerized by this mystical lady and her amazing daughter?
I agree! I’m a Texan too and I’m completely in love with all things Tudor! I’ve never been to England either but my husband promises to take me when he retires from the Marine Corps. I simply cannot learn enough about this amazing woman!
Kathy,My son is in the Marine Corps,special forces, he just got back from Africa,the MARINE CROPS ROCKS!!!!
You’re right Baroness, the Marine Corps DOES rock! Oohrah! I was enlisted for 10 years and my husband is coming up on 25 years! Please thank your son for his service for me. :o)
Kathy,My son is a sniper with the AR 50 cal. machine gun, that can also take down aircraft,my daugther inlaw is also with the Marine Corps.My older brother is a pilot and flew in both wars,he flys ,cargo and troupes .I want my son to go carrier ,aswell good bennies for your service,my prayers are with all of our brave men and women ,and you and yours. Very Kind Regards Kathy Baroness X
Kathy just a nod to all who serve. Baroness X
My daugther live in Dallas TX small world! Baroness x
If it is Anne, I find it comforting to know that those who knew her told Elizabeth enough about her true personality and actions so that, in secret at least, Elizabeth kept her close to her heart. If the ring was made for her as a gift, she obviously shared her feeling on her mother with someone near to her.
Although, I can’t but wonder who else it could be, I think there is a chance it could be Catherine Parr as, from what I have read, she was a mother figure to the children, something none but Mary had had the chance to experience from Henry’s other wives.
I have a few ideas about this ring which could be totally wrong and sound too far fetched but here goes ,the ring could have been connected with the wyatts i.e the one that was not executed had it made for himself with anne portrait inside ,all he would ever have of her.but on reading lucy churchills comment about the near impossibility of black enamel being somehow rubbed off ,and I think this is true because others parts would also have been eroded away over timeand the ring looks too well made for this t have happened.so my more recent notion is ,that this is most definitely not anne (the blond hair ,is my reason to think it was Katherine parr as Elizabeth was close to her ,another reason for it not being anne is Elizabeth would not have had a memory of her mother ,she rarely saw her when she was sent to live in hatfield and this was normal ,children grew up with somehow detached emotions about their parents because they didn’t really get to form loving relationships with them and Elizabeth was too young ,also I think for some reason Elizabeth had very mixed feeling about anne whom she could not have formed an opinion on ,her being so young at time of anne s death,and who was going to start talking about anne to Elizabeth when her very name was so taboo ,no one was going to risk that even years later ,if Elizabeth kept quiet about her mother ,so was everyone else.
I spoke to 3 very exsearenced Historical GG and will say it again that Enamall and mother of preal our organic that would be the first to start deteriorate,and micro fibers and acid in the finger and skin would start the gold to also deteriorate,Lucy is a sculpter, not a GG.big difference. Regards B X
spelling malfuction again pearls exspearence,very tierd. B x
mararet,I have studied this feild for more then a decade on rare Gems Stones and Jewllery for mor then a decade,with some of the most exsperienced GG’s in the world.I have my own company,Blings and Things, dealing in Rare Gemstones and Vintage Jewllery,Clothing and Antiques,so this is not new to me,pieces this old must under go very intensive study,as I do when buying rare pieces ,it can take hours even days under high powerd microscopes ,not what you see in a picture.If I had the piece I would have a MRI done on it ,and that would most likely tell all.I do very much believe that this is mother and daugther,I own many crarved cameo’s and enamall brooches from russia,they will also use gold to paint on to these pieces ,as they do with fine bone china own that too.If not poperly taken care of,these things can be ruined.Gems and Jewels should always be put in air tight containers to keep moisture and the other elaments off them,never use harsh cemicals on them ,and clean your jewels with a mild cleaner never use brushes, they scratch the medals and can scratch your stones aswell.Always use a soft jewlers cloth to wipe your jewels,not paper towels or dish cloths,don’t think you can wash dishes ,or go to swim in them you, will begin to ruin them.Never put, Fine China in the dish washer ,and if you own wood collectables ,just use a damp cloth on them ,not lemon fresh pledge!Remember if you buy any Antique’s, never paint them or change them in anyway ,they become worthless,vintage cloths should always be put in a cover to keep them safe.Take pictures of all rare items and have them insured.If the present Queen will let me and the Historical GG’s, have the Locket ,and not look and some picture, which does not do it any justice, will be happy to study this ring. Very Kind Regards Baroness X
I have always wanted to know more Anne Russell. I believe she was Ambrose Dudley’s wife, the Countess of Warwick. Elizabeth kept reminders of people who were important to her. When she died, a letter was found among her papers, written by Leicester just before his death. It was marked ‘His Last Letter.’ The only other candidate for the image in the locket that I can think of would be Katherine Ashley. She was probably the actual mother figure in Elizabeth’s life, and she would have known Anne Boleyn, since she was appointed to Elizabeth’s household before Anne’s death.
She was married to Ambrose Dudley, and remained a good friend to Elizabeth throughout her life. She was fun to read up on and write about!
Love reading all the comments and theories about the Chequers ring, and I hope to see it in person one day. I like to think the mystery woman is indeed Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth must have been so intrigued by the woman/mother she never knew. And though she knew her father and could determine which physical and personality traits she inherited from him, she must have always been mindful that some things about her reminded Henry of her mother. And the “Anne” part of Elizabeth may have been secretly, rebelliously pleased about that!
It is heartbreaking how Elizabeth had to keep her love for her mother hidden in a locket and her heart. Even though she was her father’s daughter she knew who was responsible for taking her mother away from her and it must have been painful to her at some point of her life.
If it is Anne, maybe Norris gave it to her. He had no doubt been around Anne since his father had been so close to Henry. He would remember Anne and possibly even have a portrait of her hidden away somewhere! And Elizabeth seemed to feel close to him and would feel comfortable taking such a gift from him. Since Norris is an ancestor of mine, I’d love to believe that anyway!!
It is interesting how Elizabeth stressed her connections with her father, to strengthen her claims to the throne, but is famous for the skills that brought her mother to Henry’s attention. For Anne was a formidable scholar, and I believe part of her frustration in life was that she could not inherit the family property (though she was probably better suited to it than George) and that she had to use her “weaker sex” machinations to bring about the change she desired. When you look at her daughter, Elizabeth, it is almost the same story, except Elizabeth did succeed in obtaining the crown. But for her entire reign, Elizabeth had to use her wiles to keep her male courtiers inline. Perhaps the ring, then, is a talisman of sorts or an homage to the skills her mother had and passed on to her daughter.
The Chequers’ Ring:
The style of the French Hood fits with Anne Boleyne period; Katherine Parr hoods were a tad larger and more ornate. The bodice decline, too, dates it to Anne Boleyns’ period, being squared instead of “collared”. On that simplistic basis, the likeness held within the ring, leans to it being a likeness of Anne Boleyn.
Elizabeth, it is said, bore resemblance to her father, her colouring etc, so her physig io nomy of 1575 cannot, realistically, be compared to her mother, who had the misfortune to die in her 30s. Hair colour, AB, brunette. CP, auburnish. The jeweller may simply have left the piece as it is, or, at one point, a lock of hair had been placed in it. I tend to believe it is a likeness of Anne Boleyn.
kelpiemare,I agree that it does look like, Q’Anne not Q’Kate Parr,as you are right ,the hood and gown it was in Q’Anne s style.Whenever I see your picture on the site, it reminds me of ‘The Phantom Of The Opera,really cool , it’s the eyes! THX Baroness X
baroness ,a question for you ,how would you explain the fair, blond hair on the little portrait ,this is what puzzles me ,if this portrait was going to be hidden from all eyes except Elizabeth ,why not give her dark hair ,that’s if it is anne .
margret,As for the picture these tend to fade in time, so maybe that is why the hair is not as dark as it should be,just my feelings,as we are looking at a peice that dates over more then 480 years. Kind Regards Baroness x
Forgive my jumping in here, but…enamelling doesn’t really fade away. It can chip. It can fall out of whichever segment of the design it was meant for. Or, as I think in this instance, the “hair” segment was never enamelled, and that the ring held a lock of ABs’ actual hair.
Given that ER wore this ring every day, until her death, I suggest those who prepared her for eternity, (wrongly, in my view-it should have stayed with her) removed the ring but left the lock of hair, perhaps in another miniature of AB.
Onyhoo, there will be as many theories as to who, when and why of the ring, ad there are folk who think about these topics!
Kelpiemare,I should of been more detailed on the band around the finger was enamel,however the portraits were not, it also was made of gold around the faces,the faces are mini portiates that do have paint .Also why did the sitter have the the famous ‘B’ hanging from pearls on her neck??I also can’t think of any other Queen that ,Elizabeth would keep so close to her ,even on her death bed.So I have to say it’s mumm,but thats just what I feel.Yes theres so many Q’s ,but thanks for bringing that up. Kind Regards Baroness X
Thank you, Baroness, for your kind words.
This image was made in an attempt to portray invisible disabilities, “showing a face to the world, whilst all else is kept hidden”. There again, almost all folk with a disability do that, even with their doctors.
Thanks again, Baroness
kelpiemare,You can jump in anytime AB Friend!I always love to converse with you!I wanted to add aswell ‘Elizabeth 1 ,never took that ring off . THX BaronessX
margaret,and all AB Friends,I spent my time doing some research on the Chquers Ring,heres what I found.This ring was made of mother of pearl and enamel,gold rubies dimonds and a pearl.It was small measured 175 mm across.There is a monogram ‘ E’ in the dimonds.The sitter wears a french hood and a neckless with the letter ‘B’ that hangs from pearls,this is the same NPG/Hever and National Portraits, so it is thought to be Q’Anne.The King was in possession of the Home Family,having been given from, The Royal Treasure, James 1 to ,Lord Home.When Queen Elizabeth1 died the ring was removed ,1603 March 24th at Richmond Palace.sources Kathleen Sariano- Head of The Exhibition at Compton Verney,sources Sir Eric Ives, National Royal Treasurey. I also found a wonderful quote!Elizabeth 1′..I may not be a lion,but I am a lions cub,and I have a lions Heart. Kind Regards Baroness x
It was also said that this is an acceptable ,accurate likeness of Queen Anne, National portraites/NPG Hever.
I am curious that you write ‘The sitter wears a french hood and a neckless with the letter ‘B’ that hangs from pearls..’ and wonder what this statement is based on.
Though the arrangement of the necklace (and dress and hood) is that seen in the Elizabethan hood paintings of Anne Boleyn, I have seen no letter ‘B’ in the ring portrait, but a jewel embeded in this postion.
I’ve had a look at all the close up images available and I can’t make out a B either. If there was a B then it would solve the argument, but the fact that historians and art historians are still debating who the sitter is suggests, to me, that there is no B present. I know you’ve examined the ring closely, Lucy.
baroness,i have looked at close ups of ring and all I can see is a jewel where I suppose the “b” I magine would be,can you tell me what link or site you saw this on so that I can see it ,if theres a letter “b”on portrait well then I would be convinced that its anne after all thanks.
Lucy ,she does wear a french hood and if you loop you can see a neckless on the sitter,I did research as Sandra Byrd did aswell.I list the sources on my reply,and the hair does appear blonde-redish,However Elizabeth 1,never took this ring off ,it was taken off at her death along with her corination ring,which were the only two rings the Queen was known to wear,and we certainly can’t say that these pieces do not fade with time ,as they do.I would love for a Histrorical GG, that deals in rare jems and jewels to study these peices.I ‘m sure this piece was loopt and put under microscopes,as this was a very small ring so small that perhaps with the naked eye, you can not see a small B,unless you were very close to this ring and perhaps had a jewllers loop,you would see this neckless there is ,clearly a neckless on the sitter.I am no exspert on this,but I have studied GG for more then a decade ,and have Victorian peices I own ,when buying these types of very old pieces ,I always loop them,as some of theses have faded with time .It is just my Gut Feeling’ this is Q’Anne ,and we know it is Q’ Elizabeth ,as there is a ‘ E’ in dimonds and it was on her finger ,at the time of her death.My rare collectables our always put into air tight inviorment,even the mini portraits, I bought from Claires site ,as in time they will fade.I will speak to a very smart ,GG in vintage pieces and see what he thinks of this ring thats ,all he deals in vintage.But thank you for your comment. Kind Regards Baroness
While QE1 took the secret of the identity of the other lady in the locket, it’s fairly clear it’s a portrait of her mother.
In her reign, QE1 took great care not to put a foot wrong on a few key issues: marriage (“Thank you, no. I prefer to rule, not a man who would put himself ahead of me in all areas due to his male gender.”) and religion (“My mother, God rest her soul, careened into dangerous grounds despite her very honorable attempts to wrest control of men’s souls from the papacy’s treasure boxes of money.”)
QE1 was shaped and educated in a world where dissent from the monarchy’s religious dictates had the reward of death by burning, or worse. Her aim to dispel the discord of interpretation of God’s word, made human and fallible by men in Rome, not to spy on her people at worship. I’ve always loved her for that, if it can be said one could love someone never met, and, in fact, dead for centuries.
Marriage? She knew her mother held out for years (religious complications, AGAIN) only to be thrown over, then beheaded, by her husband the king. Perhaps she seriously considered Robert Dudley as a marriage partner for a time, but ultimately, I think her decision to make her people her first priority gave her their goodwill.
BTW, the quotes from QE1 are, of course, my own. 🙂
Beautiful ring! Finding these sites have opened up a whole new world for me. I have read many historical fictions but I now see on these sites so many more that I have missed! Anne Boleyn is among my favorites and can’t wait to read more of her
Sandra,I loop both the pendent and the ring,the pendent really looks like Mary Queen of Scots,I loop the ring to and it does have a likeness of Anne and Elizabeth.Was a exspert in rare jewlery and gemstones brought in? I collect rare jewlery and gemstones, the ring looks to have spinel bezel set on the shoulder and the under gallery looks to be Ivory or coral? The Royals often mistook rubies,but they were infact spinel.The ruby is highly included which contains, chromiun and iron.But the ring also looks to be carved conch shell on the likeness of Elizabeth,but painted on the likenes of Anne?Did you know that they used these gemstones for prophetic powers,such as a remedy for hemorrhages?Do you have a est $ amount of these peices? THX Baroness X
Hi there! I don’t have a value for the pieces – that would be interesting to research. I know the tools they had available then were not quite as refined as what we have now so gems were not as precisely cut. I’m guessing the rubies have been tested! 🙂
Sandra,spinel,many treasures of state throught the world, sport massive red spinel,mistakin for rubies.The British Imperial State Crown is no exception .The British Crown,has Black Prince spinel in the center of the ‘British Imperial Crown.It was a gift from’ Pedro ‘The Cruel king of spain,to the ‘Black Prince,son of Edward 111 of ,England,in1367 for his help in battle. Just a little info,on the Crown Jewels.Yes, I am sure the ring has been tested,I would love to know the more about the ring ,so maybe I will do some of my own research ,OMG research is not a easy task,if I find anything on these pieces will let you know.My poor eyes!! Kind Regards Baroness X
I don’t see Elizabeth including a portrait of her younger self and, between Anne and Katharine, the former seems more logical as well as more romantic.
I read “To Die For” and I absolutely adored it. I don’t read a TON of historic fiction but that was a book I couldn’t put down. It was amazing and I’m so looking forward to reading this “Roses Have Thorns”. I so want to believe that Anne is portrayed in the ring with Elizabeth, to remind her of her mother’s courage and possibly to remind her too of what happened to her mother who put her faith in a man. Elizabeth didn’t need a man to “answer to” or to rule over her and maybe it could have served as a reminder of what happened when her mother had to answer to Elizabeth’s father.
Thank you so much, Kathy. I’m guessing our outlooks on Anne and Elizabeth are the same, so hopefully you won’t be disappointed with Roses. Do email and let me know your thoughts after you read!
I do not remember where I read it, a fiction story of Anne or one of her relatives, but it mentioned the ring which Elizabeth wore. Few knew that it held a portrait of her Mother and herself. If I remember the story went that it was Anne’s ring and her sister Mary had it, and upon Mary’s death gave it to a close confident who sneaked into the castle and gave it to Elizabeth just before her coronation. Anyway I have always believed the woman was Anne, and Elizabeth remembered her mother, loved her and never forgot her. Because of the bastardy bestowed on her by her father, and due to her mother’s conviction of the (false) charges of adultry, wanting to feel safe on her throne, she did not mention Anne, but kept her Boleyn family close and Anne closer still.
If only this ring could reveal all the secrets it holds as well as the two portraits inside…..what a story it would tell.
Dawn 1st.This ring is clearly Elizabeth1 and she is in the portrait there is a ‘E’ in dimonds she never took the ring off ,it was taken off the day she died. THX
Dawn,Maybe this Ring does not want to give it’s secrets up?? Regards Baroness x
Sorry Baroness didn’t express myself clear enough there, wasn’t including the portraits in the ring’s secrets, to me there is no question who they are, I was refering to all the other secrets it holds….
Hi Dawn 1st,I get what you said and agree with you totally! Regards B x
For anybody wanting a close up of the ring, I sent Claire a picture from the ‘Elizabeth’ exhibition catalogue when it was being discussed on this site last year. There are close-ups of it both open and closed and I cannot detect a ‘neckless with the letter ‘B’ that hangs from pearls’ as mentioned by Baroness in a reply to Lucy Churchill above, so I too would be interested to know on what that statement is based.
June 27th, 2012 at 5:30 pm
I have seen this actual ring at close quarters, not just from pictures (although not at all in the same sort of professional and expert capacity that Lucy would have done) but, even armed with a powerful magnifying glass, I did not see a ‘the letter ‘B’ that hangs from pearls’.
Marilyn,When looking at rare gems and Jewlery never,never use a mag glass use a loop or microscope this is 480 years old If you can read the site I went to my Exsperts to explain to the, lay person on how jewels over time can and will Deteriorate and there are a strand of pearls in the painting.There are some of the same mini’s on this site??? Kind Regards Baroness
Margaret here baroness, I have been looking at the ring again and can only see a diamond where I think necklace with “B” should be ,what I do not understand is ,that naturally this ring would have been closely examined by experts and why have they not documented the fact of the “b”letter .
Margraret,I did see that as well but ,if you would read what research I found on this locket ring,understand that the B could be very well woren down as the gold you see by the front of Annes head,thats why we don’t seem to see hair.What you mabe be seeing is a hing on the inside of the locket not a dimond,I can see something too ,that blocks the lower neck area,remember this is over 480 years old.I did find a link and it did say there was a ‘B’ on the pearls hanging.I went to many sites and most all say that this is Q’ueen Anne.I think they should MRI this peice?As we don’t no what the ring went threw, if it was ever damaged,and she always had the ring on. We also do not no what was used to clean the jewels any thing harsh would break down organic matrerial,as well as gold and other medals.Perhaps it’s just faded,but there is what I think is a hing.Hope that helps. Kind Regards B x
Margret,I think what you see is a hing to give the locket the ablity to open and close,that would indeed hide the lower neck and the B.I however do not think it’s a dimond. THX B x
Wow, it looks like we are everywhere. My son is about to celebrate 21 years in his beloved Corps. He is in Okinawa right now, and was in Afghanistan last year. The base in Afghanistan was right nest to the big British base, Camp Bastion. I think my son spent so much time over there at the NAAFI, that it seemed like he had joined the British army. Only thing on earth meaner than a US Marine is his mother.
My husband was at that same base in Afghanistan! He would visit the British base to get good coffee he couldn’t get on his! We’ve also been to Okinawa. Loved it there! My husband is coming up on 25 years and I was enlisted for 10. Please thank your son for his service. OOHRAH!
Ann God Bless you and you son for his brave service! Very Kind Regards B x
Ann Russell,I could’nt of said it better myself my prayers again oour with all. Baroness x
Congratulations to Liz V whose comment was picked at random as the winning comment. I’ve emailed you for your details, Liz, and I hope you enjoy the book.
Congratulation Liz thats wonderful!! Thx B x
I am going to keep investigating this ring, because its making me mad. Especially, since I am in Utah (California born) and have no money to hop on a plane and go see tge ring myself. I think this has been a fantastic post and debate. I will keep researching this, and I am now pouring over some old family books discussing Elizabethean jewelry. I just saw the mummy expedition a few months ago, Baroness. I don’t blame you for wanting a life size mummy tomb in your front room? Not crazy at all, they are beautiful.
Lady Brooke,I use to live in Colorado for some 20 years,my brother inlaw use to ownThe Dead Goat Bar and Tommy G’s down town Utah ,I have been there nice place,love the mountains ,I really miss that,now, I live in the mid west.Today we are having a snow strom 9 plus inches or more,my husband works in the Twin Cities,we are across the St. Criox River in WI, cheese head country.Baroness x
Oh that’s so cool! I really don’t like Utah very much to live. It’s beautiful don’t get me wrong, just not the best to live in.
Well done Liz V….enjoy.
Kathy and Baroness: Perhaps we should take our USMC stuff off this forum. You can contact me directly at email@example.com. My son used to go to Camp Bastion for the coffee, too. He thought it was strange that he went to a British base for good coffee. He was also appalled that the Brits put milk in their tea.
Claire/Sandra Byrd,Thank both of you for this post it will perhapes go down in, Claires AB Files History.I had a great time learning about this piece,and looking forward to your new Novel! Best Wishes to Both Ladies ,Baroness x
Yes it would be easy, but I’m in the USA maybe someone on the AB page will indulge us. I have no doubt in my mind that its the beautiful dove, Quene Anne. What I find interesting is that the photo which has the same style French wear, etc was even on a portrait painting that claiming to be Jane Grey. Especially because it is in a locket with QA. And because of the age difference between them. I was more of the mind that given all we know, that and how close to the portrait it looks, I think the sitter in the painting, that they claimed to be Jane Grey, was possibly Actually Anne. I don’t know exactly, but I enjoy that u am not the only Tudor fanatic! I enjoy being able to converse with you, mysterious and it’s fun.
I agree ladies. I am still looking into more on this ring, I find it fascinating. I love the idea of it being Darnley. Even in tudor England there is room for romance. Since we talked are talking about Elizabeth’s rings. I found an interesting quote from Elizabeth that I’ve never seen or heard, it’s regarding her coronation ring. She says,” When I received this [coronation] ring I solemnly bound myself in marriage to the realm; and it will be quite sufficient for the memorial of my name and for my glory, if, when I die, an inscription be engraved on a marble tomb, saying, “Here lieth Elizabeth, which reigned a virgin, and died a virgin.”she wore that ring on her ring finger, also until her death. In the days leading up to QE’s death (which her death was also very mysterious It’s an intriguing question, for which there is no definitive answer. There was no official postmortem. Her body “was prepared for burial by her ladies and was not discected Either Elizabeth had forbidden it or her ladies forbade it on her behalf…no man’s hand touched the body of Elizabeth after it was dead. She went to her grave with her secrets inviolate.” sected and embalmed as was the rigorous custom in those days for sovereigns.
If QE wore her coronation ring, on her wedding finger, she could have worn the locket ring on one of 3. I agree she probably wouldn’t have worn it on her pinky or thumb. Elizabeth had long slender fingers she was quite fond of showing off. I’m still seeking out for more on the sizing of chequers.
Here is an interesting read, it talks about a letter written to Elizabeth I after her accession in 1559. Discussing her mother AB. MUST READ! Especially, with the eye witness accounts and information Elizabeth was told about about QA. I have no question in my mind or heart, that the chequars ring is QA and QE. Enjoy!
Alexander Alesius’ letter is wonderful. It’s the source I mention in my post https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/30-april-1536-a-visit-cancelled-a-royal-argument-and-the-first-arrest/ about Anne’s argument with Henry.
I think that the fact that Anne surrounded herself with Boleyn relatives during her life shows just how important her mother was to her.
Oh, ok thanks Claire. I didn’t see it.
Good day and good night
That’s ok, thanks for the link to the complete letter. Good night or good afternoon as it is here x
Many thanks for your kind comments Baroness. The important thing here is that these issues should be open to discussion, whether we agree or not. It must surely be the most fascinating period of English history. I have studied the history of our great nation quite considerably and I don’t think there is a boring bit, but this era, from The Wars of the Roses, to the death of Elizabeth I would be too far fetched as a novell!
Anyway, the more we talk, the more is found and the more people get involved – we all win!
All the very best,
Exactly, in many cases there aren’t any rights or wrongs and all we can do is debate and hypothesise. Yes, the Tudor era is like one huge soap opera – a King who was married six times and who killed two of his wives!
Claire, I said it’s a good thing they did’nt have the telly,reality shows,I can see it now ‘ KEEPING UP WITH THE TUDORS!!!I have to go get some Joe ,thats coffee people in the states ,not a person. Thx Baroness
I agree! And ill drink to that! But I’m Irish and my family will drink for even the slightest occasion.
I’ll share a Guinness with you!
Sounds great. I love Guiness! A girl after my own heart.
I love it too. I live in Spain now and the only places you used to be able to get it were Irish bars and English supermarkets on the coast, but now one of the big Spanish supermarkets stocks it – yay! I’ve never been to Ireland, though, and they say it tastes different there.
Lady Brooke,Here Here!!! Baroness x
Hi AB Friend Kipper,So happy to here from you again!! I truely mean that,and hope that you will comment on, Claires site often she has one of the best! Claire I mean that to.Your so right we really need to keep on track’ Focused and ‘Opened minded to all.I really think your going to be an asset to Claires site Kipper,and look to hearing your thought in the future! Kindest Regards Kipper,ABF Baroness x
I am also of Irish descent – my parents are both Irish – and agree about any excuse for beer, but am probably the only person with irish blood who doesn’t like Guinness!!! I have been to Ireland a million times and it does indeed taste different. Appently it’s the waters of the Liffey as opposed to the Thames that makes it different.
By the way, it’s probably been asked a million times before on this site, but was AB the first woman to be beheaded?
I don’t have any Irish in me as far as I know. My father is English and my mother is Welsh. I’d heard that it was the water that affected the taste too, it’s a good excuse to visit Ireland one day!
I know that she was the first queen to be beheaded and I suspect that she was the first woman to be beheaded, women were usually burned for treason. Capital punishment is not my area of expertise though so I’m not 100% sure.
Ya that sounds fun! I’m in the USA. Im irish-scottish-english
and in complete honesty, possibly of even poodle
descent! lol my family is a tad nuts.
I want to say that I am in true awe of you. You have built your life on your passions. Your books, website, all the places you have been, it truly is inspiring. To make a living doing what you love, is the rarest of all treasures. Most people it’s just a job, and I can tell how passionate you are, and I find it not only beautiful, but incredibly inspirational. I only hope one day to go to the UK. I’ve never been further east than Wyoming (and that was only for beer kegs, because They are not legal in Utah! I am a California native and that is the furthest West I’ve gone.
Everything you have done is above amazing. And I appreciate this blog so much. I come here to relax, read and and find moments of sanity, in an otherwise chaotic Starbucks fueled world.
(Holy crap, I was so relived to know that others were also addicted to Tudor England, cause there are sure as hell no 16th century/Tudor Dynasty addicts anonymous meetings. 🙂
Sincerly, a thousand thank you’s.
Thank you, Lady Brooke, for your lovely words. I love running this site and I love all of the research and writing too, it’s my passion, but it’s always good tp hear that people enjoy the site. I’m thrilled that you come here to relax and enjoy yourself. Thank you for your words and your support.
Kippper,My Grandfather had Irish of the Haneys,and have Scotish on my grandmothers side.I woul love to go to Ierland,Scotland,England,and do plan to someday,right now I’m launching a new Company ,and looking for retail space for it,it very hard but I like a challlenge.As for having your head tacken off your person ,I never heard any women,but then Henry did start a NEW TREND with Anne and Katherine Howard followed and The Lady Jane Grey and on and on.I would take an axe ,over being burned at the stake any day,they like to toast you nice and slow ,too get there point across. Kind Regards Baroness
Kipper,I Love a good pint of Guiness,I even cook with it a good Steak and Guiness Pie!! OMG,Irish and you don’t favour a pint ,well it’s a matter of taste right? THX B x
I’m also Irish-English-Scottish. Honestly guys, I love Guiness, once and a while some good tequila and on occasion a Bloody Mary. Other than that there aren’t a ton of alcoholic drinks I really fancy. I just like a good buzz and an occasional I DID WHAT LAST NIGHT? Drunk. Tee Hee.
Lady Brooke,I wish you lived closer to me we have a GREAT TIME!!!! THX Baroness x
I also suspect she would have been the first as I cannot find any previous examples despite the various familial feuds during the Wars of the Roses where women sensibly stayed out of the carnage whilst the men were losing heads all over the place. The only ‘high profile’ execution of note that I can find during the previous century was, of course, Joan of Arc who was, though it sounds ridiculous, not as lucky as AB!
If this is indeed the case, it’s a bit like London buses – wait for ages then 4 come along in no time! (Anne, Catherine, Jane and Mary) and that’s just the Queens.
Kipper,Yes Joan Of Arc,but she was not beheaded,they brunt her, at the stake,OMG that would be horrible!!I can’t even imangine,and poor Joan was just trieing to get her beloved, French Doufuier,thats most likely spelled wrong ?,and rise him up too the throne of France. Why they wanted her ousted anyones gess?? Why they liked chopping the mens heads off ,and burning the women anyones gess?I gess it would beat ,being sliced down the middle and disanbowled ,racked,peeled and quarterd ,and have your body parts tossed over the country side.Regards Baroness x
The ring is currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and will remain there only until March. I strongly feel that this ring should be on PERMANENT public display, not kept hidden away, and have written to my MP about this. These national treasures should belong to all of us, not just a few select politicians. If you agree, may I suggest you do the same? If you are a UK citizen, it is easy to write to your MP via the “write to them” website – just put in your postcode and fill in the form. Your MP will make enquiries. The text of my message is as follows:
When Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, a locket ring was found on her finger. Inside was discovered a miniature portrait of her mother, Anne Boleyn.
After a curious history, this ring is kept as the property of Chequers and has only been publicly exhibited once or twice in history. Although it is currently on display, this is only until March this year. It is therefore in the private custody of the Prime Minister of the day, viewable only by him/her and guests to Chequers.
I feel very strongly that this piece is a wonderful national treasure, and should be on permanent public display, somewhere appropriate such as Hampton Court, the British Museum, the Tower of London, or perhaps the V+A. I would be very grateful if you could ask the appropriate person (maybe the PM’s office, or whoever is in charge of Chequers Trust), the following:
1. Why is this ring not on permanent public display in an appropriate location?
2. Has Chequers, or the Prime Minister’s office, ever been lobbied to donate the ring for permanent public exhibition? If so, was this by an
individual or an organization? If it was an organization, could you
please inform me of the name of the organization.
Yours sincerely (etc).