Anna of Cleves Breaks the News to Wilhelm

by Heather R. Darsie   On 21 July 1540, Anna of Cleves was no longer allowed to hide the truth from her brother Wilhelm about her marriage’s end. Henry had grown impatient waiting for Anna to write her family. Anna waited as long as she could, hoping that Henry would either directly send a letter to Duke Wilhelm in Cleves, or that one of Henry’s … Continue reading Anna of Cleves Breaks the News to Wilhelm

Anna of Cleves Learns her Marriage is Annulled

by Heather R. Darsie On 9 July 1540 while she was at Richmond, Anna was told that her marriage to Henry VIII was unlawful. Her marriage annulled, Anna was no longer Queen Consort of England. “Anna reportedly wailed and screamed when Henry’s representatives came to deliver the news of the annulment. A few days before, Henry covered his tracks by ordering…[for] ‘counsel learned in those … Continue reading Anna of Cleves Learns her Marriage is Annulled

Gloriana’s Rainbow: Elizabeth I and the Rainbow Portrait

by Heather R. Darsie One of the most iconic images of Elizabeth I in full array as Gloriana, the Virgin Empress of the Seas, is the Rainbow Portrait, painted around 1600. Elizabeth turned 67 years old in 1600. She became Queen of England in 1558, and the weight of her responsibilities was surely showing on her face by this point. Elizabeth was a master of … Continue reading Gloriana’s Rainbow: Elizabeth I and the Rainbow Portrait

Happy 504th Birthday, Anna of Cleves!

by Heather R. Darsie On this day of 28 June in 1515, a little baby girl was born in the Holy Roman Empire whose life would be dramatically shaped by international politics. The baby was christened, “Anna,” after her paternal aunt. “Anna” was a family name on her maternal side, as well. Anna of Cleves’ great-grandmother through Maria of Juelich-Berg was Anna of Saxony. Anna … Continue reading Happy 504th Birthday, Anna of Cleves!

Happy 505th Birthday, Anna of Cleves!

by Heather R. Darsie On this day of 28 June in 1515, a little baby girl was born in the Holy Roman Empire whose life would be dramatically shaped by international politics. The baby was christened, “Anna,” after her paternal aunt. “Anna” was a family name on her maternal side, as well. Anna of Cleves’ great-grandmother through Maria of Juelich-Berg was Anna of Saxony. Anna … Continue reading Happy 505th Birthday, Anna of Cleves!

The First Hint of Trouble: An Early Spat Between the Johann II of Cleves and Elector Frederick of Saxony

by Heather R. Darsie This article first appeared on History, the Interesting Bits . Throughout the late 15th and early 16th century, various disputes over territory sprung up across the German-speaking portions of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1517, a new facet of rebellion against the Empire was introduced in Saxony when Martin Luther’s 95 Theses became known. Maximilian I was still the Holy Roman Emperor in … Continue reading The First Hint of Trouble: An Early Spat Between the Johann II of Cleves and Elector Frederick of Saxony

Anna of Cleves’ Maternal Grandparents: Wilhelm IV and III of Jülich-Berg and Sibylle of Brandenburg

by Heather R. Darsie This article first appeared on Sarah Bryson’s website.  In honor of Charles T.  Reice, 1926-2019. Reice served in the US army during World War II, including landing on the beaches of Normandy. He is remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  Wilhelm of Jülich-Berg was born 9 January 1455 to Gerhard of Jülich-Berg, from the Heimbach branch of the Dukes of … Continue reading Anna of Cleves’ Maternal Grandparents: Wilhelm IV and III of Jülich-Berg and Sibylle of Brandenburg

The Curious Case of a Misidentified Portrait of Anne Boleyn

by Heather R. Darsie On 13 April 1929, the Supreme Court of New York heard the curious case of Hahn v. Duveen, in which an art collector  named Mrs. Andree Hahn sued an art dealer named Sir Joseph Duveen for slander. At the heart of the issue was an alleged original painting which Ms. Hahn stated depicted Anne Boleyn and was painted by none other … Continue reading The Curious Case of a Misidentified Portrait of Anne Boleyn

The Poetry of Anne Boleyn: Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Sorrow

by Heather R. Darsie After Anne Boleyn’s startling arrest on 2 May 1536, several other men accused of being her accomplices in treasonous adultery were arrested. Sir Thomas Wyatt himself was arrested, but later released without charges. While he was in the Tower, it is traditionally thought that Wyatt wrote the following poem: Believed to be a late 16th century copy of a portrait of … Continue reading The Poetry of Anne Boleyn: Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Sorrow

The Poetry of Anne Boleyn: Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Anger

by Heather R. Darsie Another poem written by Sir Thomas Wyatt and allegedly about Anne Boleyn shows how upset he was at Anne for losing her. Calling her an old mule and pointing out that she now had a few grey hairs, Wyatt repeatedly calls the subject of the poem a “mule.” Devira Achille, protrait of Anne Boleyn for a lithography project in 2016, via … Continue reading The Poetry of Anne Boleyn: Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Anger