"No, I’m not going to worry every time I see another day go by."
I did a thing. Oops.
Eleanor Parker (June 26, 1922 – December 9, 2013)
Finally watching the Sound of Music broadcast because I had to work Thursday night….and every night since then.
Historian Tracy Borman dispels the myth that Anne Boleyn meant nothing to Elizabeth or that she was ashamed of her mother. Starkey talks of how Elizabeth never mentioned Anne at all and Weir mentions that Elizabeth only talked of Anne twice, but Borman talks about how we have to consider Elizabeth’s actions to really see the high regard and affection she held for her mother:-
- A high proportion of the servants in Elizabeth’s household were Boleyn relatives.
- The locket ring she wore up to her death contained two miniatures – one of herself and one of her mother.
Although it may have been dangerous for Elizabeth to speak out about her mother, who was still considered by many to be “The Great Whore” or a traitor, her actions speak louder than words.
Anne defied convention by insisting on breastfeeding her baby daughter but Anne was a “hands on” mother in other ways. Despite the disappointment and fear that Anne must have felt when she had given birth to a little girl, and not the promised mail heir, Anne did not let this affect her treatment of her daughter. She shocked courtiers with her displays of motherly affection and the way she placed the infant Elizabeth on a cushion next to her throne.
Like any new mother, Anne doted on Elizabeth and showered her with gifts, and it must have been a blow to her when Elizabeth was sent to her own household at Hatfield at just 3 months of age. However, Anne ensured that Elizabeth was surrounded with trusted Boleyn relatives like Lady Bryan. When Elizabeth was summoned back to court in January 1536 to help her parents celebrate the death of Catherine of Aragon, the main challenge to the legitimacy of their marriage, it is said that Henry proudly paraded his daughter in front of the court and how Anne must have enjoyed seeing her daughter again.
Then came the gradual decline of Henry and Anne’s marriage – Henry’s growing distaste for his wife, his infidelity, Anne’s miscarriages, and Henry’s growing belief that God was offended by his marriage to Anne and so was withholding the male heir that Henry craved so much. As Henry spent more and more time with his new love, Jane Seymour, Anne concentrated on ordering fine clothes for her daughter and when, in April 1536, Elizabeth came to visit her parents, Anne spent all her time with Elizabeth, playing with the toddler and dressing her up, bonding with the daughter who was kept away from her so much.
We all know how the story ends – how Cromwell conspires to bring about the fall of Anne, the woman who threatened his position at court and even his life, and the wife who had become so “irksome” to Henry. However, historian Tracy Borman tells a slightly different story about the events leading up to Anne’s arrest. In biographies like the one written by Eric Ives, we learn that Henry is sent a message at the May Day joust about Anne’s alleged infidelities and that he never sees Anne again, yet Borman suggests that Anne hears of the rumours of her alleged misconduct and, like in “The Tudors”, appeals to the King with Elizabeth in her arms. Her appeal, even with their child in her arms, is not heard and Anne is tried and found guilty of all charges.
On 19th May 1536 a very brave and courageous woman climbed the scaffold. Anne made a dignified speech in which she praised the King, an attempt probably to keep her daughter and other family members safe from the wrath of the King she knew so well. Anne was then, as we know, executed by a French swordsman and buried in an arrow chest in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, with other traitors.
Trying to type around a cat as he lays on your chest isn’t the easiest. But he’s so damn cute, I don’t want to move him. Also he’s warm. I like warm.
Regina’s Hair Flippy thing when Emma calls her
Sometimes you just have to listen to Passion when you should be listening to Christmas carols.