1. ITV Report

Ten facts about Henry VIII's second wife Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn Credit: ITV News

As music from a songbook believed to have belonged to Henry VIII's second wife Anne Boleyn is played for the first time, here are ten facts about the Queen.

  • Anne Boleyn is believed to have been born around 1500 to Sir Thomas Boleyn and Lady Elizabeth.
  • She was the lady-in-waiting of Henry VIII's first wife Catherine of Aragon when the King began pursing her romantically, after an earlier dalliance with her elder sister Mary.
  • In 1527, Henry asked the Pope for an annulment of his marriage so he could marry his then mistress Anne instead but he refused.
Tudor King Henry VIII had six wives Credit: PA Archive
  • Anne Boleyn secretly married Henry VIII in 1533 after becoming pregnant with her first child.
  • In 1533, after Henry's marriage was finally annulled, Boleyn was crowned Queen shortly after.
  • Anne stayed the night at St James's Palace after her coronation. The initials HA entwined in a lovers' knot were later seen on a couple of Tudor fireplaces in the State apartments.
  • Despite the King's hopes of a male heir, Anne gave birth to Princess Elizabeth at Greenwich Palace in London in September 1533.
  • When Anne failed to produce a male child, Henry got frustrated and took her lady-in waiting Jane Seymour as his mistress.
  • In 1536, Anne was accused of adultery and incest and imprisoned at the Tower of London before being sentenced to death.
  • In a speech before her execution on 19 May 1536, Boleyn praised Henry, saying: "a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord."
  • Read more: Music from Anne Boleyn's songbook performed for first time in 500 years