Anne Boleyn – once described as a brilliant, pure, and injured woman – was crowned Queen of England on this day in 1533.
Henry VIII’s stormy marriage to her, and her execution by beheading, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation.
Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, and was educated in the Netherlands and France, largely as a maid of honour to Queen Claude of France.
Henry VIII had Anne investigated for high treason in 1536 – she was later arrested and dispatched to the Tower of London and beheaded soon after.
Boleyn became one of those historical figures which seemed destined to form the centres of endless controversy.