Today in 1536 the much maligned Anne Boleyn was executed at the orders of her husband Henry VIII. In their happier days he had fought hard for their marriage, eventually breaking from the powerful Catholic Church in Rome and setting himself as the Head of England’s church. This bold move ensured he was free to divorce his first wife Catherine of Aragon and marry his long term mistress Anne.
I’m fortunate enough to live close to Hampton Court Palace where Henry and many of his wives lived. I grew up surrounded by Tudor history and it was always Anne Boleyn who was my favourite of Henry’s six wives. Eventually her life and reputation were destroyed by Henry as he sought to marry his new mistress Jane Seymour and sire a male heir.
Anne’s list of damning charges for her execution make sordid reading and I take many of the accusations with a pinch of feminist salt. For me she represents a strong woman who fought hard for her own path in a male dominated society.