Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M - Anointing and status of Queens

I have a question about anointed queens, specifically Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII divorced Catherine and had Anne tried and convicted and executed for treason. In the latter case, she lost her title of marquess of Pembroke and her marriage to the king was also declared invalid. Could the fact they were both anointed queens ever be taken from them? Did they have to be considered to be legally married to the king to be crowned and anointed? Henry tried to say Catherine was never his legal wife, and only the Princess Dowager of Wales. Anne was a convicted traitor. But did this effect their status as anointed queens, no matter what Henry or the courts did?

1 comment:

kb said...

An interesting question to which I have no easy answer except to ask back - in whose eyes?

If you are Henry - then no. In these specific cases, and generally, this honor was granted by the king and, as he granted so could he take away.

If you are asking if the church looked at it differently then - which church? Remembering that church politics were every bit as byzantine and mortal as court politics.

Clearly, the Roman Catholic church considered Catherine of Aragon to be queen until her death. Did the reformed church under Cranmer feel the same way about Anne? Officially, her marriage was dissolved by this same reformed church's authorities.

Although you ask specifically about Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, remember that Elizabeth and Mary were both crowned and anointed without husbands. So crowned/anointed in their cases was not dependent on marital status.

The anointing of oil, in my humble opinion, is permanent and holy if there is belief in the practice. So.... you can see this could get tricky.

Perhaps others will have a different view.