Portrait of Anne Boleyn.
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Go Through this timeline to find every known fact in a short glimpse.
1501 (or possibly 1507): The birth
Anne is born at Blickling, Norfolk, to Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Elizabeth (daughter of Thomas Howard, later second Duke of Norfolk). Historians debate whether Anne was born in 1501 or 1507; the former is more plausible.
1513: The first post
Anne is appointed a maid-of-honour at the court of Margaret, archduchess of Austria; she later leaves to serve Mary, queen of France, wife of Louis XII (and Henry VIII’s sister). After Louis’ death, Anne remains at the court of the new French queen, Claude, for seven years.
1521: The repatriation
Anne is recalled to England by her father.
1 March 1522: The court appearance
Anne makes her first recorded appearance at Henry VIII’s court, playing the part of Perseverance in a Shrove Tuesday pageant. At that time, Henry was having an affair with Anne’s sister, Mary.
c1526: The object of love
Henry VIII falls in love with Anne. A letter from him, dated to 1527, states that for more than one year Henry had been “struck by the dart of love” and asks Anne to “give herself body and heart to him”.
1532/33: The royal wedding
Anne marries Henry. The official wedding is held in January 1533, but they are probably married secretly at Dover in October 1532. Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon is not annulled until May 1533.
7 September 1533: The birth
Anne gives birth to a daughter, Elizabeth.
29 January 1536: The miscarriage
Anne miscarries a male foetus.
2 May 1536: The accusations
Anne is arrested and taken to the Tower, along with her brother George Boleyn, Lord Rochford.
19 May 1536: The execution
Anne is beheaded on Tower Green within the Tower of London.
This article was first published in the April 2013 issue of BBC History Magazine
Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn in TV series The Tudors.