Ah, my friends–gather ’round. It is time for the tale of a tragic queen.
The first mention of the second wife of the infamous King Henry VIII came from the movie Steel Magnolias when I was a child; Olympia Dukakis and Shirley MacLaine were talking about this person named Anne Boleyn–with six fingers on one hand! What? Bemusement reigned. But the image of deformity persisted.
I took a colloquium on Queen Elizabeth I (if you really wanna get me going on the subject, ask me if I think she died a virgin or not) during my senior year of college; The Tudors began its run on Showtime, and we perused it (privately, as it was extremely provocative–but hey, I discovered Henry Cavill) as part of our study. And thus Anne Boleyn surfaced again. As I learned more of her history, another image began to emerge–one of a woman who wanted the best for herself and would not sacrifice her dignity for nothing less. She resisted Henry VIII at the beginning; she did not want to be any man’s mistress, even a king’s. And no matter how she handled herself in the beginning, she still lost her life–for whatever reason you choose, whether you believe Henry VIII simply wanted to get rid of her, or if she really was unfaithful–that tragic day in May 1536.
So, to me, the story of Queen Anne is a cautionary tale. One that might not have such visceral consequences in this day and age but can still be relatable on some simple terms.
Every girl has a charm
That she holds dear
She believes there’s no harm
Letting someone near
But to be close enough to touch
Takes a man of certain mettle
Can’t let just anyone
Give her the urge to settle
To them, virtue is a tease
Coveted like the rarest jewel
And when they get what they please
Their gentle caress turns cruel
You think it’s safe to let go
While someone’s plotting your overthrow
The stage is set, whispers are coarse
Loyalties are divided down the line
She screams till she’s hoarse
They’ve condemned for the wrong crime
She lost her head in the mix
Despite her good intentions
She lost everything in the end
Sort of like Anne Boleyn