Anne Boleyn's Rise to Queen (02:08)
Anne Boleyn promised King Henry VIII a son if he married her and refused the queen. Queen Catherine loved, supported, and fought a war for the ruler. The queen convinced the king to settle the matter in a public trial.
"The King's Great Matter" (04:07)
At Blackfriars Priory, King Henry VIII explained that the bible forbade a man from marrying his brother's widow. Catherine of Aragon knelt before him, testified that she was a virgin when she married Henry, and stormed out of the proceedings. The divorce case was sent to the pope to render a verdict.
Waiting for the Verdict (02:31)
King Henry VII told Anne about the trial. The pope refused to annul the marriage. Frustrated at the lack of progress in the divorce, Anne decided to infiltrate Catherine's court with spies and ban any male courtiers.
Birth of the Church of England (03:17)
King Henry VIII separated the Church of England from Rome. Confident the marriage was finished, Henry and Anne procreated after seven years of courting. Henry married Anne in secrecy on January 25th, 1533.
Pregnant Bride (02:01)
At Greenwich Palace, Anne gave birth to Queen Elizabeth I. King Henry VIII canceled a jousting tournament to honor a son when he learned the baby's gender. Two years of happiness followed between Anne and Henry.
Catherine Dies (02:31)
Even after the marriage was annulled, King Henry VIII refused to give Catherine money or support and frequently moved her to various locations. The Duke of Suffolk arrived at Buckden to curb Catherine's willfulness. The former queen continued to have faith in her husband.
Henry Injured (02:52)
Ecstatic at Catherine's death and Anne's pregnancy, Henry VIII organized a jousting tournament at Greenwich Palace to celebrate. The king took a fall from a horse, which renewed his fervor for a male heir.
Anne Miscarries (02:32)
Anne thought the miscarriage was due to the stress of the fall; the child would have been male. As queen, Anne must accept compliments from male courtiers without offending the king. The Tudor court played games of "courtly love."
Fatal Mistake (02:43)
Anne began flirting with Mark Smeaton and Henry Norris, two of the members of her court. By vocalizing the death of Henry VIII, Anne committed high treason. Rumors about her infidelity circulated throughout the Tudor court.
Cromwell's Investigation (03:39)
Thomas Cromwell seized the opportunity to further his career and informed King Henry VIII of Anne's infidelity. The charge cast suspicion on all future royal children. Cromwell arrested, questioned, and possibly tortured Smeaton who confessed.
Six Courtiers Arrested (02:52)
Cromwell questioned George Boleyn and Norris. Authorities arrested Anne and imprisoned her at the Tower of London; Female attendants that stayed with Boleyn reported her comments to Cromwell. King Henry VIII started claiming that Anne slept with more than a hundred men and believed she deceived him.
Anne's Trial (03:46)
At the Kings Hall in the Tower of London, Anne learned she was accused of high treason and pled not guilty. King Henry VIII refused to attend the trial. The charges of adultery and incest swayed popular opinion against the queen.
Jury Deliberates (02:54)
The jury found Anne guilty on all counts. The Duke of Norfolk deemed that Anne could be burned alive or beheaded. Anne attested that she was loyal to the king.
Anne's Execution (02:55)
Four days later, Anne chose to face her execution with dignity. Listen to her final words before her beheading; King Henry VIII paid for a swordsman to complete the job more quickly than with an ax. Afterward her death, the king became more jealous and paranoid.
Credits: The Six Queens of Henry VIII: Episode 2 (00:36)
Credits: The Six Queens of Henry VIII: Episode 2
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