Sunday, October 23, 2011

Question from SaraMarie - Anne Boleyn's crowns


I'm doing research on Anne Boleyn and am wondering if anyone knows about her crowns (Marquis and Queen), and what they may have looked like.

I found the description of a crown when she was given the title of Marquis, but want to know of more details and maybe drawings of what they could have looked like.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you.


Marilyn R said...

Hello SaraMarie

If you have a reliable description of her coronet as Marquess of Pembroke I would suggest you look up heraldry sites and compare what you have with what is shown on coats-of-arms. This is purely a guess, but as Anne was the marquess in her own right, I would think her coronet would be like that of the others, even though the others were all men. I suppose ,though, that her special position could have resulted in a ‘one off’.
As far as the crown was concerned, Anne is the only consort ever to have been crowned with St Edward’s crown – the crown of Edward the Confessor. What happened to this when the royal regalia was melted down during the Civil War is not known, but there is a mystery about the current ‘St Edward’s crown’ in that the invoices for it when new regalia was made for Charles II show a relatively small sum of money compared with other pieces, especially bearing in mind the enormous weight of gold in it. It has been said that it was an old crown that had survived and was merely altered a little, and it does have a medieval look to it when the arches are removed. This, however, does not mean it is the original, the one Anne would have worn at her coronation.
I think the best bet for you would be to look up the Tower of London website and contact them. I did this some time ago and they couldn’t answer my question but referred me to someone who could.

Good luch with the research. If you find anything out I would love to know.

Diane said...

Is it St. Edward's crown that Elizabeth is wearing in her coronation portrait?

Marilyn R said...

Diane has a point. I suppose if you look back at early 'genuine' portraits, such as Richard II, and the same crown is used on most of them it could be the one, not necessarily Edward's original, but one that had been around for a good few centuries.

Anonymous said...

Thank you both for your help. I really appreciate it. I will post if I find out more information. :) ~SaraMarie

Marilyn R said...

Just been looking in the British Library catalogue from the Henry VIII exhibition in 2009 for an answer to question from Liz above and have come across a sketch of the seating plan for Anne's coronation feast, and she's wearing the most enormous crown! It's a contemporary sketch, and very basic but is a lot of fun.

Page 153
ref:British Library Harley MS 41 fol. 12