My friend and I got involved in the April A-Z blogging challenge and it motivated us to post 26 blogs. Now we find ourselves on April 30th worried all of that momentum will go to waste. But fear not, we came up with a great idea, the May Day Blogging Challenge. Check the previous post for details.
Is it Really so Good to be King?
Before I even had a chance to think about what to write today, a friend told me about the following historical event, and it turned out to be exactly what I would have chosen.
May 19, 1536 – Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, was beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.
King Henry VIII had many mistresses while married to his first wife, Catherine, but Anne refused to be simply a mistress. That of course made the king pursue her even harder. The Pope at the time refused to grant King Henry an annulment of his marriage to Catherine, and this is seen as the beginning of the rift between the Catholic Church and the British Monarchy.
On May 23, 1533, newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer declared Henry and Catherine’s marriage null and void; five days later, he declared Henry and Anne’s marriage valid. As Queen of England, Anne gave birth to future Queen Elizabeth I, but failed to give the King a son. That among other things caused the King to lose interest and seek to negate his marriage to Anne. Instead, he had her investigated for high treason and subsequently beheaded. It’s good to be king.
What I find even more interesting is the fact that after Anne’s death, the marriage to Henry VIII was annulled and their daughter Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Still, Queen Elizabeth I managed an almost fifty year reign in England and the time became know as the Elizabethan Era. The period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake.
Following the coronation of her daughter as Queen, Anne Boleyn was renowned as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation. Some argued that she saved England from the evils of Roman Catholicism and that God had provided proof of her innocence and virtue by making sure her daughter Elizabeth I ascended the throne. Revenge of the sweetest kind.