Roxane Mesquida as young Anne Boleyn

Niece of the Duke Of Norfolk, she was the daughter of an ambitious father and was sent to the French royal court at seven to be educated with the French royal children. She later became one of the most educated women of her day, and spoke four languages. She became a maid of honour to the Queen at thirteen, a great honour, and played musical instruments at court. She left in 1521, because England and France were on the verge of war, and in 1526, she became a maid of honour to Queen Catherine. She was popular at court, intelligent, musical, with a wealth of knowledge that came from the French court. Although some contemporaries did not think of her as particularly attractive, there was no doubt she was alluring, and became a favourite of Henry VIII. Henry had wanted to divorce Catherine before he met Anne, and Anne encourage him to replace Catherine with herself. In summer 1526, Henry wrote Anne many sexual love letters, and she replied to none. She made it clear to Henry that she would not be his mistress, and only would sleep with him if he married her. Anne was also opinionated about religion; she wanted Bibles to be published in English, supported William Tyndale, and encouraged Henry’s belief that a King should have authority above the church. In 1532, Anne began to sleep with him, deciding that if she became pregnant he would marry her. When she fell pregnant in 1533, Henry did marry her so the child would not be illegitimate. Henry broke with Rome in 1534, for a number of reasons, but also because the Pope condemned his marriage to Anne Boleyn. She was Queen for three years, but her downfall came about when she fell out with Cromwell and bore Henry a stillborn son. (Additionally, this child was deformed, which was thought to mean punishment upon his sinful parents.) Cromwell and Henry planned to accuse Anne of affairs with men she clearly had no knowledge of, including her brother, George Boleyn. She was innocent of the charges, and only one of the men accused admitted to having relations with her, following his torture. On 19th May, 1536, Anne was executed on Tower Green, beheaded with a sword, in the French fashion, rather than in English. She prayed “God Save The King” at her death.

also: lotte verbeek as Catherine Of Aragon