I have always been interested in the stories concerning the history of the English royal family. Here are a few connecting stories regarding some of the most popular historical figures in English history.
Who was the “Other Boleyn Girl”
The Other Boleyn Girl was really a fictional book written by Philippa Gregory which was turned into a movie. The book tells the story of Mary Boleyn, the famous English Queen Anne Boleyn’s sister. It portrays Anne as the back stabbing sister who plots to steal Henry VIII from Mary, and Mary as the brave and triumphant woman who previously was ignored and tossed aside. Though some say that the book was pure fiction, some say that it is based in some truth. The only thing that can be said for sure is that there was in fact a Mary Boleyn.
Why was Anne Boleyn killed by King Henry VIII ?
King Henry VIII of England was notorious for his adulterous ways. He had an affair with Anne Boleyn while married to Queen Catherine. When the Catholic church refused to grant Henry an annulment from his wife so that he could marry Anne Boleyn, he went ahead and married her anyway.
When Anne Boleyn wasn’t able to produce a male heir to the thrown (one of the main reasons why Henry VIII wanted a new wife — to bear him a son) Henry VIII grew tired of her and had her beheaded. Ironically her charges included adultery and treason. Henry went on to marry four more women after Anne.
Before her death, Anne gave birth to a girl, Elizabeth.
Why is Queen Elizabeth I of England called “The Virgin Queen”?
Queen Elizabeth I, the daughter of Anne Boleyn, called herself the Virgin Queen because she decided to remain single throughout her life rather than marry as she was expected to do. According to most accounts, Queen Elizabeth I wanted to be seen as chaste and pure, and to use this persona as “The Virgin Queen” for future political maneuvering, which proved to be successful.
One of her greatest successes during her rule was the famed English win against the Spanish Armada.
What was the Spanish Armada?
A lot of us didn’t pay enough attention in history class in high school and elementary school. We heard about the Spanish Armada but only absorbed enough information to pass a quiz. But the Spanish Armada is a pretty interesting event that’s related to English history.
In short, the catholic King of Spain intended to start a holy war against the Queen of England at that time, Queen Elizabeth I, because she was a protestant ruler. In 1588, he sent an armada, or group of 130 ships to England, at a time when he knew that the English military was weak and ill-supplied. Surprisingly, and with the help of a perfectly timed storm, the weak English army was able to hold off the seemingly stronger armada of Spanish ships. This English win is one of the reasons why Queen Elizabeth I went down in history as a legendary ruler.
Though this article covers only a very small segment of England’s past, it is quite a compelling slice of history, chock full of drama, betrayal, and war. It’s no wonder that there are so many movies and books written on this era in English history.