Love is in the air…. So don’t forget Valentine’s Day on 14th February if you want to keep your head!
We’re obsessed by the scandalous courtship of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, all whilst he was married to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and engaging in an extra marital affair with Mary Boleyn, Anne’s elder sister! How did he find the time!? We’ve been delving in to the racy love letters the amorous King wrote to Anne, who initially resisted his charms as she refused to be merely his mistress, but only made him more determined to claim her as his own, “bewitched by her character, intelligence and charm” **:
Letters from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn:
“… stricken with the dart of love…” *
“… I will take you for my only mistress, casting off all others besides you out of my thoughts and affections, and serve you only…” *
“… My heart and I surrender ourselves into your hands.” *
“… wishing myself (especially an evening) in my sweetheart’s arms, who’s pretty dukkys I trust shortly to kiss.” *
Well, someone was certainly keen! None of Anne’s replies were ever found, so we don’t know how she felt about his advances… But luckily for Henry his creative penmanship and sheer will power finally resulted in their marriage, achieved only by Henry braking from the Church of Rome, divorcing his first wife and changing the very faith of England to be with her. Anne gave birth to arguably the most notorious Queen of England, Elizabeth I, but tragically, “after only 1,000 days of marriage, Henry would order Anne’s execution on charges of adultery, incest and conspiring on the King’s death.” ** It's unclear if any of these claims were true, but seems more likely that they were not, and possibly a result of Henry's desire for a male heir to the throne, which his first two marriages had so far failed to produce...
Why not sip a Six Wives G&T, whilst you read about the trials and tribulations of the lusty monarch, safe in the knowledge that your love life is (hopefully) much less complicated and ill fated!
And don’t forget to buy a bottle of Hampton Court Gin for the gin lover in your life this Valentine’s Day, and look out for our gorgeous Valentine’s cocktails, coming soon.