Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII’s Second Wife
Anne Boleyn was the famous, or infamous, second wife of Henry VIII (depending on how you look at it). They wed in 1533, after many years of awaiting a divorce from Rome. After years of waiting, Henry became the Head of the Church of England and was able to end his marriage from Katherine of Aragon in order to wed his new love, Anne Boleyn. Anne was pregnant with Elizabeth when they were married.
Following the official meeting with the French king in autumn of 1532, Henry and Anne went through a secret marriage, it is thought, on 25 January 1533. She was pregnant at the time as Elizabeth was born in September. The marriage may sound bigamous in that as far as everyone else in England and Europe were aware, Henry was still married to Katherine. No formal statements had been made to change that. But from Henry’s point of view, that marriage was about to be annulled and that wouldn’t mean that his first marriage was then terminated but that the marriage had never been real in the first place – so he was therefore really a bachelor and thus free to marry for the first time. – Anne Boleyn: Triumph to Failure
Three short years later Anne was dead and their daughter, the Princess Elizabeth, now a bastard.
After the execution of Anne Boleyn, Henry had all traces of her image wiped from history. The only image that remains is the damaged coin shown above. Even the coin was not safe. However, the coin was struck during her lifetime and can be used to compare to all the portraits below.
My gut tells me that the Nidd Hall portrait (#14), which has been compared to her image on a damaged coin, is the real Anne. The final image posted here (#20) which is a sketch by Holbein the Yonger, I believe, could also be a close resemblance.
Just for fun I’ve numbered the images – tell me which one(s) you think may be the real Anne.