26 thoughts on “Did Elizabeth ever mention Anne Boleyn?

  1. It’s striking and rather incredible that Elizabeth idolized her father, when he had her mother killed. How was this possible? Do you think it had something to do with her being too young to really remember her mother? I imagine it would have been much harder for her to love Henry if she had been close to Anne.

    Good luck with this new site. I decided to sign on with my other, second blog’s URL so if you like you’re welcome to visit it, too.

  2. You need to remember, Queen Elizabeth was a very small child when she lost her mother. She would have very few if any memories of her.

    And, being raised by King Henry’s staff, of course all she was EVER going to hear about her mother was what an evil, adulterous, incestuous witch she was.

    No one in the court or as part of Henry’s staff was going to ever tell Elizabeth anything otherwise (THE TRUTH) about her mother.

    After all, they liked their heads just fine where they were-on their necks !

  3. Hi Tonja,
    Yes, Elizabeth was only 2 years and 8 months when her mother died plus she only stayed with Anne for the first 3 months of her life and then was removed to her own household. It is highly likely that she would not have remembered her mother at all. As a queen though, she did surround herself with Boleyn relatives so I’m sure she could have grilled them for information about her mother, I hope she did.

  4. Tonja hit the nail right on the head.

    Elizabeth has no memories of her mother (she was much too young to remember anything at all). And anything that she DID hear would be very negative towards her mother. All Elizabeth had was her father, so I think she realized very early on that I should just love what I have, because that’s all I can have.

  5. I think you have to get away from the modern way of thinking on this. For 16thC aristocrats parents were not love objects. In fact children and parents would barely know each other. Kids were sent away at a young age, and younger kids were cared for by nurses. Mother-love such as it was was provided by servants, not by the mother, and fathers were even more distant. Probably Eliz venerated her father because he was her king, and also represented her own claim to kingship. By asserting her connection to him she was strengthening her legitimacy. It would have been a public, political admiration, not necessarily in any way connected to her private feelings.

  6. I think Elizabeth had a love/hate feeling for HenryVIII. While she most likely would not have had much of a relationship due to the times and position she was in, she still was able to observe Henry VIII and was bound to have heard numerous things – good and bad – about her mother as she got older. With this in mind, I think, in her heart, she was afraid of marriage – and the unexpected changes that could happen in a marriage, as well as a person. She was an extremely strong person, due to her life experiences, so why even take the risk of marriage? It is this strength and independence, as well as her -probably unconscience – fear of marriage, that kept her from ever marrying. My opinion.

  7. Hi… am facinated to found this page about my dear Elizabeth… An i have one cuestion why the name of Elizabeth in traduction to spanish is Isabel??
    Regards for all!

  8. I don’t know, Leah, I guess it’s the same for Juan and John, Enrique and Henry, and how the English anglicised Catherine of Aragon’s real name, Cataline, and called her Catherine. It’s all very weird!. I never understand why place names are different e.g. London is Londres in Spanish, Sevilla is Seville in English, Firenze is Florence in English, it’s all very strange!

  9. I agree, she did not have any memories of her mother. Being raised, Elizabeth was often humiliated about her mother. “The whore” and other names, known as first woman his majesty has executed. I feel she carried the fact of her mother being murdered with her throughout her life.

  10. I have to disagree, I think she remembered, I also think children are smarter than adults. Even to this day children know when not to bring up subjects. If you were a child knowing your mother’s head was chopped off. Would you open your mouth? When you are called a bastard? I think she was very smart. She had to be.

  11. I think Elizabeth probably held much resentment toward her father, & she was also, no doubt, afraid of him. She would be right in her fear of him, as he was the King, & I don’t think he would have let anything, even his own child, put him down, to any degree. It had to have been very difficult for her, having to be stoic and bow to him, on every level.

  12. N-one can be sure if Elizabeth actually remembered her mother, Anne,or not. We cannot get inside the head of another person, and we know that she only saw her mother from time to time. Elizabeth was not yet three when her mother was killed. I do believe that she must have had some brief and fleeting memories of her mother and may have been helped to recall by devoted friends of her mother who served her later in life. It is doubtful that Henry would have spoken much, if ever about Anne, let alone about how much she reminded him of her, especially through her eyes. Anne is a bit of a mystery in some areas of her life, especially anything that she may have written, so we do not even know if she even wrote to her tiny daughter. I am certain that Anne had genuine affection for Elizabeth, but what memories they shared is hard to say. All I do know is that I have memories from when I was two onwards. They are actually not of my mother, because my relationship with my mother was not a close one or a happy one, they are of my father. They are vivid and they are fresh. I think it is possible that if Anne spent any time with her daughter that she had some memories of her.

    I do not believe that she would never have spoken of her or even have asked questions about her. I have heard the story of the locket a few times that she had a locket with a tiny miniature of her mother inside of it. Her stronger bonds would have been of her father who seems to have grown fond of Elizabeth as she became older. They shared a love of books, of music, of ships and of dance and learning. He is said to have referred to her over and over again as MY Elizabeth. I am certain that he did not share anything about Anne with his daughter, but as for Elizabeth never mentioning her mother, just where do so called historians who were not there, come up with such rubbish that deny her any feelings for her mother?

  13. After reading the comments on this thread, I thought I’d add my two cents in seeing as I have a similar childhood background to that of Elizabeth’s. It’s not exactly similar but when it comes to the type of emotional trauma Elizabeth must have experienced, my childhood gives me some insight into what Elizabeth’s feelings towards her mother might have been.

    When I was three years old, my parents had a volatile fight concerning me which lead to my father losing custody of me because my mother claimed that he beat the crap out of her. That night was the last time I would see my father for sixteen years. Because my mother suffers from the mood disorder, bipolar or more commonly known, manic/depression and was diagnosed and untreated, she had convinced herself by the end of the night when she came to collect me, that my father had beaten the crap out of her when that was neither the case. Within those sixteen years, the only things I was ever told about my father was that he beat my mother up, was a drug addict, and thathe never loved me… Any time I would bring the subject of my father up and ask questions, things would get really ugly.

    While not as violent as Henry VIII’s having Anne beheaded and the impact it must have had upon Elizabeth in regards to how her mother would be described and presented to her from that day on, my parental issues can be considered similar in a way if you thought about it.

    So using the impact that the fight between my parents had upon me, I can only guess how Elizabeth must have felt when it came to Anne and Henry based upon my own feelings.

    Someone mentioned the possibility that Elizabeth would have remembered Anne and others argued that she was too young to have been able to remember Anne. I have to argue in favor of Elizabeth remembering Anne. I have memories as far back as from when I was two. I am about to turn twenty-eight and those memories are still as vivid in my mind as they were twenty-six years ago. Those memories center around my father. In fact, my only memories from that age are of him. I remember the apartment he lived in, a rather ugly fabric pattern from a pair of curtains, the kiddie table I would sit at as he fixed breakfast for me and of falling asleep in his arms, feeling the safest and most secure I have ever felt in my entire life and of being loved. I have no doubt that Elizabeth could have maintained memories of Anne when you consider that it is recorded that Anne was a very dedicated mother.

    Because of the memories I had of my father, I struggled with which truth to believe in, the stories my mother told me or the contrasting memories that I had. As a teenager, it only got worse as I wavered between anger at the father who wasn’t there while I suffered through a few other traumatic experiences and the craving for the father I desperately wanted to take me away.

    We now know that Elizabeth held her mother very close to her heart. Elizabeth’s feelings for her mother and craving for Anne’s presence and for some knowledge of her mother that wasn’t what Anne had been accused of had to have been central to Elizabeth’s heart and there is no doubt that Anne’s fate had left a lasting imprint on Elizabeth as she feared that she too could have shared Anne’s fate. I have no doubt that it was Anne’s fate that made Elizabeth fear marriage and seeing Kathrine Howard suffer a similar fate served only to reinforce the trauma of her mother’s death. I have no doubt that Elizabeth had intimacy issues when it came to the subject of love and commitment issues in the case of marriage. Robert Dudley was the love of her life, and while they were scandalously close, she still kept him at arms length until the day he died. When in negotiations with possible marriage suitors, she had formed a bond with a few. The Duke of Anjou for example, She is reported for admitting to seeing a union between them being a happy one, but she prolonged in making a commitment to the match as with all the others and ended up finding a convenient excuse to keep herself from making a commitment to this match, citing political reasons.

    Having a slew of abandonment issues/intimacy issues/ commitment issues, I can understand Elizabeth’s perspective on the matter of love and marriage. Love and marriage are simply too dangerous and will only serve to make us vulnerable after years of carefully protecting ourselves from the consequences we know are bound to befall us if we let down our walls. Using logic and reason, it isn’t very hard to excuse away our issues with very convincing concerns and belief systems that we would present to the world.

    So in all, it is not difficult to figure that Elizabeth had been deeply affected by her mother’s execution in a number of lasting ways. If you had a traumatizing childhood events similar to Elizabeth’s or my own,then it is very easy to Gauss how Elizabeth may have been affected by Anne’s fall.

    But I have to disagree with those who speculated that she had resented her father for Anne’s death. I have no doubt in my mind that Elizabeth loved and worshiped her father. As an adult, and especially as queen, she proudly declared herself the daughter of Henry VIII and credited him with her having the strength to rule and to survive. She prided herself with being the daughter Henry VIII and no one, save for the king, Mary, Edward and her stepmothers were above her in rank and if anyone dared to overstep their social bounds when addressing her, she did not hesitate to put them in their place. I believe that she sometimes even considered what her father wold have done when deciding on state matters. I do not doubt that Elizabeth held a strong bond with her father.

    If you were to argue that she resented or even hated her father for what happened to her mother, then perhaps yo should extend that argument over to Mary as well. Mary suffered greatly when Henry VIII cast Kathrine aside for Anne and practically abandoned Mary, relegating her to that of a bastard and servant in her infant half sister’s household were she was treated harshly by Elizabeth’s governess and Anne herself. Henry tore her away from her beloved mother, forbidding any kind of communication and even threatened to have her executed if she did not sign the same oath that Sir. Thomas Moore refused to sign and was beheaded for doing so. Mary suffered tremendously until Jane Seymour managed to reconcile Mary with her father. However, as much as Mary suffered, she did not blame Henry for her suffering as she rightly should have. Instead, she shifted the entire blame onto Anne Boleyn. I would wager that Elizabeth pt the full blame for her mother’s death solely upon Cromwell’s shoulders in the same manner.

  14. I also have a long memory going back to two as we had a collie dog who my parents told me died when I was that age and I remember her distinctly, I also remember sitting in the pram and playing with the plastic elephants so there is a strong possibility that Elizabeth remembered her mother, and if she did I think it’s lovely as she would have carried her image all the days of her life, in an age when people went to the block for the flimsiest misdemeanour I’m sure Anne’s shame didn’t bother Elizabeth much, J Neale one of our earlier historians said the scaffold didn’t matter much as it was a sign of nobility to have your head lopped of, unlike being dragged all the way to Tyburn and suffering an ignoble death, we will never know her true feelings regarding her parents falling out, but we do know she worshipped her father and all her life she wore a ring containing an image of Anne Boleyn never taking it of, so we do know that she loved her for being the woman who gave birth to her, which is as it should be.

  15. Just want to mention that Anne Boleyn was not a good stepmother to King Henry’s oldest daughter Mary and this may have accounted for Mary’s brutality with Protestants during her reign as Queen. Anne kept Mary socially isolated not allowing visitors to see her and also (with Henry) did not allow Mary to see her mother, Catherine (Henry’s first wife). I don’t doubt that Mary was disrespectful to Anne, but you cannot blame her since Anne helped ruin her mother’s life. I simply cannot have any sympathy for Anne Boleyn whatsoever and I think it is wrong to try to paint her in any kind of good light. Thank you!

  16. Hi all
    I love reading these threads about queen Elizabeth I and her mother queen Anne B. I just would like to add something to what I think how Elizabeth remembered or not remembered to her mother. If one of your parents die when you are too young to remember or you don’t know them you will grow up fantasising about that parent. I lost my dad when I was 2. I have no recollections about him what so ever but as I got older I longed to know more about his personality or his likes and his thinking. I am sure Elizabeth felt the same. That is why she wore the ring with her mother’s picture in it. She wanted somehow to be close to Anne. And also that is why she surrounded herself with the Careys. No matter what she heard as a child about Anne Boleyn blood is blood. It can’t be taken away. I feel really sorry for them both. I can’t imagine how frightened Anne must have been for her daughter’s safety before her execution. I look up to Elizabeth I for being so strong through her life and showing courage. No matter what position you are in if there are no family around you you feel lonely. It’s good to know she had some true friends throughout her life.

  17. I think, personally, it’s a mixture of not remembering Anne, and also the fact that her father was the king. Obviously, as Tonja said so perfectly — she was raised by Henry’s staff, who all probably told her bad things about Anne.

    Also, being that Henry was the king, I’m sure the worst thing for her to do would be to get on his bad side. Knowing Henry, critcism wasn’t something he would’ve taken lightly. Plus, she probably believed she already walked on a thin line, being the daughter of the woman he had executed for charges of adultery. Elizabeth was a very intelligent girl, so she knew very well not to test her father.

    And to add to this, I remember reading somewhere (it may have been this website) that Henry showed pride in Elizabeth, allowing her back at court. With the security of having a son, he was more confident and placed her into the succession. This act of great fortune probably made Elizabeth so happy and grateful that she felt more willing to bond with Henry.

    Lastly, as someone else mentioned, that’s the only actual parent she had in her life. Although she must have had parental figures caring for her, the only living biological parent she had left was Henry. If she could build a bond with him, she probably wanted to.

  18. I also think her feelings toward Henry was more love, hate,and fear than anything. Many children have bonded with strong tyrannical parents. Even though Elizabeth was proud to be the daughter of Henry Vlll, I definitely believe her deep feelings for him were more complex as I said. She wasn’t old enough to remember her mother and her execution, like stated she undoubtedly heard the bad talk about her growing up. She probably heard them from everyone from Henry and his aids to her bitter and angry sister, Mary.But, the fact that she was very kind to her Bolyen relatives and carried a locket with her mothers picture shows that she wasn’t loyal to her father to the point of banishing her mother from acknowledgement. Also let’s remember the Elizabeth was old enough to remember the execution of her stepmother Catherine Howard who it was said she grew fairly close to. Before that her father unceremoniously dumped his fourth wife Anne of Cleve’s. These experiences on top of her stepfather Thomas Seymour attempting to seduce her for political gain had to seal a deep distrust when it came to men.

  19. Children have a way of loving the unseen parent thinking that they would have probably been a better parent. Even idolizing them. I think that Elisabeth was very hurt when she heard all the nasty things that were said about her mother. Wouldn’t you be? That is probably the only reason why she did not mention her. She was queen she could do or not do what she wanted. Look at William now. He will not discuss his mother. They say it’s too painful for him. And someone here said that she did not feel sorry for Anne at all. It seems one thing to me, that husband stealing is and was not a death sentence. And no one should be glad someone got their head chopped off. You really think that it was Annes idea? Where was Henry the guy who ultimately killed her? Anne had a fiance. Henry got rid of him. What was Anne supposed to do short of kill herself? The King wanted her. He had already had 3 children with her sister while she was married. He also had many many affairs. He was sick of not having a son. he felt less than a man or King to not have had one. Catherine did not do the job. It could have been anyone. Why fault Anne just for existing? It’s not fair. Jane Seymour was already ready to marry the King before Anne was MURDERED. If she was not around would he have killed Anne? So whay not say she got what she deserved by dying while having that oh so precious, change the whole kingdom to get baby boy? Then he was sickly and died before adulthood. If anything it was Henry who had some sort of curse on him. Geez it’s like saying Catherine deserved what she got because she did not have a son. If she would have had a son then England would still be catholic, no Elisabeth the first, Perhaps his son with Catherine would have not been sickly and reigned? Maybe Mary queen of Scots would have taken the throne. Shoot there would have been so many changes because of that cursed baby boy right now. Butterfly effect, perhaps there would have been a King who would have not lost the revolutionary war because he was sick and the USA would be part of the UK. OMG the scenarios that would have or would not have happened if all of that did not go down exactly! We all might never have been born. Point being while it is interesting and infuriating to read and talk about it, there is no use in being mean to or talking ill of someone who died 600 years or so ago!

  20. I think she used Henry VIII’s name for political reasons, to strengthen per position as queen. She called herself “Great Harry’s daughter.” Henry was a strong king who commanded–and received respect and deference. By publicly declaring Henry as her father, she was trying to make herself formidable and respected.

  21. We don’t know what Elizabeth’s private feelings about Anne was. But, the locket speaks volumes IMO.

    But, I agree 100% with those who said that her tying herself to Henry and his legacy was probably, at first, the act of a child bonding with their parent but definitely also an artful calculation of being seen as Henry’s rightful and destined heir, no matter what technicalities might pronounce her illegitimate.

    I absolutely do believe that Elizabeth not speaking of Anne publically was political in nature as well. Hm, speak of the mother who was accused of treason and tie yourself to her legacy or tie yourself to that of the father and make your rule more concrete by establishing yourself as his rightful successor and inheritor?

  22. I think Elizabeth was frightened speaking about her mother. They were very cruel in this century so I don’t think she spoke about her mother when Henry was in the room. But I think she spoke about her mother, with people who knew Anne.

  23. I am very sorry for Elizabeth. After her Mother’s death, Her Father had Her, “Elizabeth”
    put out of his sight because she reminded him of her Mother. The poor Little girl
    was sent to Haitfiled. She was done just like her older half sister, Mary.

    I don’t know how the little princess learned of her Mother’s dearh, but if my Father
    had had my Mother Killed, I would want very little to do with him.

    My Mother divorced my Father when I was three years old. He was a dead beat. He
    never told me, that he loved me, or, that he was proud of anything, that I accomplished.

    He told my Grandparents, that I was going to be treated like a part of the family. i was
    more like his Bastard son even though I was born into royalty.

    Sometimes I wonder if Mary Tudor told Elizabeth about how Anne Boylen died, and, that
    their father had Elizabeth’s Mother, Anne Boylen executed.

  24. Poor Elizabeth, the Child had four Stepmothers. One of them was her 2nd cousin on
    her Mother’s side of the Family.

    If My Father has been Henry VIII, I would be afraid of him. Mother was beheaded and
    Cousin Queen Chathrine was too. Cousin Catherine got the ax.

    I really think, that there wasn’t any lover in Henry VIII’s houehold for his to daughter
    except by some governesses. Henry VIII was some kind of old Devil or a tyrannt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.