Friday, August 07, 2009

Question from Loretta - Portraits of unknown ladies in Queen Claude's court

There are many portraits of unknown ladies that date from the time of Queen Claude of France.
These portraits are very realistic, being of the school of Clouet. Are any of them suspected of being Anne Boleyn? I suspect that Anne might have been painted by Hans Holbein, and that any portrait of her was destroyed after her beheading. Henry seemed to hate her as much as he loved her and tried to erase her from his past life.

Why hasn't someone unearthed the bodies buried under the floor of St Peter ad Vincula? Forensic reconstruction of Catherine Howard, Jane Grey and Anne would be a wonderful boon to Tudor history fanatics around the world.

[Note from Lara - many discussions about the burials in St. Peter ad Vincula has already occurred in past threads, so I would just refer you all to the search box to the left for more on that topic.]

1 comment:

  1. The reason about the bodies not being exhumed is that the Chapel of St. Peter-ad-Vincula in the Tower, as well as other places of royal burials, such as Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey, are what is known as royal peculiars. As such, they fall under jurisdiction of the monarch, who would have to grant permission for any exhumations. Queen Elizabeth II has never shown any inclination to allow this type of work to be done. Though I agree, it would be fascinating, I also agree that the graves are best left as they are. In the case of Anne Boleyn, her bones were exhumed presumably at least once, during the 1870s renovation work at the chapel. But bones over the centuries were jumbled and damaged. Those bones that could reasonably be identified were buried as close to their originally stated site as possible. But there are also stories of the bones of several individuals, including Anne and her cousin, Catherine Howard, being placed in a common grave within the chapel. There is no way of knowing with 100% certainty whose bones are whose, and the Queen will never allow them to be excavated and removed, risking further damage not only to them, but to the architecture, as well. The probative value is too minimal. Perhaps Charles, should he become King, or William later on, may have a different view, but for now, under Queen Elizabeth, the remains will not be disturbed.


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