Anne Boleyn was born in England, but grew up in France and returned to England in 1522. At that time, Henry VIII was the King of England. He was an intriguing character whose main interests included eating, gambling and women, though he was married. He met Anne Boleyn when she was a mere 23 years old. However, she was not willing to be used by King Henry, as her sister Mary had been when she was the King’s mistress. As a result, Henry sought an annulment from his marriage to marry Anne in 1533. Shortly thereafter, Anne became pregnant with King Henry’s child. A discreet wedding followed and Anne became Queen of England in 1533. However, Henry continued to be unfaithful to Anne as he had been to his first wife. Serious problems arose when Anne’s first child was a daughter and Henry desperately wanted a son. After three miscarriages, Anne was only able to produce a stillborn male. Consequently, Henry turned to one of his maids. Realizing he would have to free himself from Anne to marry again, King Henry planned to have Anne executed on the grounds of adultery, incest and practicing witchcraft. Although the charges were false, Anne was found guilty and imprisoned. Unfortunately, despite Anne Boleyn’s protests of innocence, in 1536 she was beheaded under orders from her husband. Anne’s daughter, Elizabeth, was three and a half when her mother was executed. Elizabeth would later become arguably the greatest queen of England.
Sources for additional information
Anne Boleyn [web site]. Retrieved May 30, 2005, from http://englishhistory.net/tudor/monarchs/boleyn.html
Eakins, L.E. (1995). Anne Boleyn: The Most Happy. Retrieved May 30, 2005, from http://tudorhistory.org/boleyn/