Was Mary, Queen of Scots/Anne Boleyn r*ped? and other FAQS

With the exception of my loyal followers (hello!) the majority of people who read this blog come from googling specific questions. As the Google searches often remain fundamentally the same with some variation in how the question is asked, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Was Mary, Queen of Scots raped?

If you’ve watched Reign (you have my sympathies) you will have seen Mary, Queen of Scots as the victim of rape, attempted rape, and an English plot specifically to rape her. How much of this has basis in history? As it stands in Reign, absolutely none. Mary was supposedly raped by the man who would become her third husband; the Earl of Bothwell, but during her years in France there is nothing to remotely suggest that she was hounded by potential and actual rapists. You can read more on Mary’s real life here.

Did Henry VIII rape Anne Boleyn?

Historically we have no way of knowing, as the Tudors had little concept of marital rape, unless it involved sodomy. That said, there is no evidence to suggest that Henry raped Anne in the manner that has since become disturbingly popular in historical fiction. There are no sources that so much as hint at violence from Henry towards Anne, sexual or otherwise. You can read more on Anne Boleyn and rape here.

How accurate is The White Queen?

It might just be easier for me to direct you to the various articles I have written on this. If you’re looking for the accuracy of the television series in general, try this. Look here for the real lives of Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort or Anne Neville. Or look here for the story of the Princes in the Tower.

Is there a ghost of Henry VIII?

Despite the numerous, numerous places that could claim to host a ghost of Henry to boost tourism only two places actually do; Windsor and Hampton Court. Anne Boleyn however is supposed to haunt six separate locations, probably because she is far more popular than Henry. For general sightings of Tudor ghosts try this.

Was Elizabeth I really a virgin?

As far as we know, yes. As Queen, Elizabeth would have had very little time to herself even in the bedchamber. There would have been guards at her door, at her ante chamber, at her ante chamber’s door etc etc and that’s not counting the fact that she never slept alone; she always shared her chamber, if not her bed itself with a female attendant. There were rumours that she was romantically involved with numerous men starting with her childhood guardian; Thomas Seymour. Her relationship with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester is legendary, and she was thought to have also loved his stepson Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, and flirted with Walter Raleigh. Whether she actually slept with any of these will never be known but it is unlikely that she would have compromised a potential marriage with a foreign head of state on a fling. If it was proved that she was not a virgin when she married the resulting embarrassment would have been scandalous.

Did Charles II love his children?

Indeed he did, and he showed it. Charles II had fourteen acknowledged children with several mistresses. Though none of these were legitimate (his wife Catherine of Braganza had three miscarriages but no live children) he gave all of his children titles and estates to keep them, and their mothers. For more on the women who bore his children look here.

What was the Kensington System?

The Kensington System was a series of rules implemented by Victoria, Duchess of Kent and the comptroller of her household (and supposed lover) John Conroy, in order to control the former’s daughter; Victoria (later Queen Victoria). The rules were entirely restrictive and oppressive, intending to render the young Victoria entirely dependent on her mother, so that when she became queen the Duchess would retain her position as head of her daughter’s household and dictate policy. The plan backfired as the system only encouraged Victoria’s independence and self reliance, while placing great strain on her relationship with her mother. You can read more about the specifics of the rules here.

Have we tried to raise the Titanic?

No. Such a thing would be impossible, but that hasn’t stopped people theorising. One scientist suggested filling it with ping pong balls to cause it to float. Others have suggested using liquid nitrogen to freeze the water around it, which would allow the Titanic to float. In any case, even if it were possible, the ship would not survive the flotation process. The wreck of the Titanic lay undiscovered at the bottom of the ocean for almost seventy five years and despite early claims that the wreck would be preserved in near perfect condition (barring the damage incurred while sinking) and most notably intact, the reality was proved to be quite different. The ship broke into two pieces below the surface during sinking and has continued to degrade since. Numerous types of bacteria are eating away at the hull and will eventually cause the entire wreck to collapse, a process which is accelerated through the use of submersibles to survey the remains. Assuming the wreck had been found to be intact, it is still doubtful it would ever have been raised, as it is accepted to be a graveyard to the lives lost when it sank.

And for a bit of a laugh, here are some of the more amusing questions people have asked. Verbatim, I can assure you.

  • was mary queen of scots real?
  • where are the princes in the tower now?
  • was the scotland of people happy pleased with execution of with the queen?
  • did charles ii have a penis?
  • was anne boleyn reincarnated?
  • why can’t I see the titanic in a museum?
  • is anne boleyn’s ghost hot?
  • is joan of arc in heaven?
  • why aren’t there any photos of anne neville?

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