I watched a programme on television last night about Prince Charles and Camilla. It was a few years old, but it made me think about comparisons between Camilla and Anne Boleyn.
The programme was talking of how royal mistresses were encouraged not to seek above their station, to expect to always stay in the background.
It is debateable whether Anne was a physical mistress of Henry VIII before late 1532, but she was most definately an emotional mistress of his, for a few years previous to that. She had taken the place of his wife in his life and at court was seen as Queen in all but name.
I feel we must mention her sister, Mary. Anne had seen her being used by the King and thrown away when he became bored with her, or perhaps when she became pregnant, opinions differ. Once he had set his sights on her, Anne maybe decided that she was not going to be used in this way. To escape from his affections was not really an option that was open to her, so to take everything that she could from a relationship was the only real avenue open to her. I do not feel that she began the chase aiming to be Queen, I think that idea developed over the three years leading up to their marriage. Whether it came from her or the King, I am not sure.
Camilla was in a courtship with Charles in the 70’s, before he was sent off to sea with the Navy, as was expected of the Prince of Wales. They were a good match and some felt they would marry on his return. The programme that I watched said that she did not expect to marry him, but further research puts that comment in doubt. There had been talk of a match with Andrew Parker-Bowles before her relationship with Charles had begun, but that seems to have been forgotten after Charles showed interest in her. There was also a rumour that he went to sea leaving her pregnant, and she was married to Parker-Bowles in order to give that child a father and cover up the fact, though this can be disproved as her son was not born until three years later. That would be a long pregnancy !!
In the event, she married while Charles was away with the Royal Navy and he was forced to seek a new wife on his return, enter Princess Diana !
Neither Anne nor Camilla enjoyed the love of the general public, at least not to the extent of either of their partners ex-wives. Whether Camilla will reach the role of Queen is yet to be seen, though there are large swathes of society that think she should not. (There are also large parts of society who do not feel that Charles should be King and that the monarchy will only survive if William follows his grandmother, but that is another story.)
According to record, there were celebrations at the downfall of Anne from her role of Queen, though that turned to displeasure in some areas when she was executed for what many see as trumped up charges. If Henry had simply put her aside or into a convent, he would not have upset the people with her death, but he did what he felt he needed to do at the time. (Not that I think Camilla is for the chop anytime soon, I hasten to add !)
Back to the point, if you look at the lives of these women, there are obvious similarities. The mistress who aimed high and achieved the marriage of a King/heir, the dislike of the public, etc. For someone who believes in re-incarnation, are they possibly one and the same person?????????