Anne Boleyn gives birth to baby girl who later becomes Queen Elizabeth I
After her coronation, Anne settled into a quiet routine at the King's favorite residence, Greenwich Palace, to prepare for the birth of her baby.
The child was born slightly premature on 7 September 1533. Between three and four in the afternoon, Anne gave birth to a girl, who was christened Elizabeth, probably in honour of Henry's mother, Elizabeth of York.
The infant princess was given a splendid christening, but Anne feared that Catherine's daughter, Mary, now stripped of her title of princess and labelled a bastard, posed a threat to Elizabeth's position. Henry soothed his wife's fears by separating Mary from her many servants and sending her to Hatfield House, where Princess Elizabeth would be living with her own magnificent staff of servants, and where the country air was thought better for the baby's health. Anne frequently visited her daughter at Hatfield and other residences.
The new queen had a larger staff of servants than Catherine. There were over 250 servants to tend to her personal needs, everyone from priests to stable-boys. There were over 60 maids-of-honour who served her and accompanied her to social events. She also employed several priests who acted as her confessors, chaplains, and religious advisers. One of these was Matthew Parker, who would become one of the chief architects of Anglican thought during the reign of Anne's daughter Elizabeth I.
Anne had strong opinions about religion. She tried to persuade Henry to give permission for bibles to be published in English. Anne also introduced Henry to the books of Protestant writers such as William Tyndale.
It was very important to Henry that his wife should give birth to a male child. Without a son to take over from him when he died, Henry feared that the Tudor family would lose control of England. Catherine had given birth to six children but five died within a few weeks of being born. Only one child, Mary, survived into adulthood.
Henry hoped that Anne would provide him with a son. He was therefore disappointed when, in September 1533, Anne gave birth to a daughter called Elizabeth. While Henry was furious about having another daughter, the supporters of Catherine were delighted and claimed that it proved God was punishing Henry for his illegal marriage to Anne.
Anne was crowned queen in June 1533. She gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth and also to a stillborn boy. Henry and Anne swiftly fell out. He believed that she had been cursed and his ‘proof’ was the second thumb Anne had growing out of her main one. There were even rumours that she had a third breast. Anne, now in her early 30’s, had a sharp tongue on her and had made enemies at court. Henry had already befriended one of her maids of honour – Jane Seymour.