Walking the Route of Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Procession

I am so excited to share today’s guest post by author Zoe Bramley. Zoe has written a guide intended to help you retrace Anne Boleyn’s progress through the City of London. Walking the same streets that Anne once travelled, you will get an idea of what it is Anne saw on that momentous occasion.

Sit back and enjoy the tour!

Walking the Route of Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Procession

At around 17:00 on Saturday 31st May, a fine spring evening, Anne Boleyn emerged from the Tower of London where she had been comfortably lodged since Thursday. She was dressed in the French fashion, ‘filmy white, with a coronet of gold’ (Ives, p177) and her loose dark hair flowed luxuriously down to waist length. She rode in a litter drawn by two palfreys – small dainty horses – draped in white damask.

For the citizens of London, this was their first glimpse of the woman who had changed everything, from the succession to the way they worshipped. For Anne, the coronation procession was her first glimpse of the City and her citizens. Some reports say she had a lukewarm reception with sullen crowds failing to remove their caps and Anne complaining to Henry with the words, ‘Sir, I liked the city well enough but I saw a great many caps on heads, and heard but few tongues.’ Ives believes the crowds were ‘more curious than either welcoming or hostile’ (p 178) and he gives little credit to hostile reports. Whatever the truth, one can only imagine how Anne felt that May evening as she began her journey through the crowded, noisome streets. Was she nervous, joyful, defiant, or proud? A mixture of emotions is likely.  But it’s not within the realms of fantasy to imagine her breathing a sigh of relief as the procession cleared the City boundaries at Temple Bar and continued on its way to Westminster where she would finally be crowned.

Continue reading here.

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