Friday, 3 July 2015

Anne Boleyn in residence at the Tower of London

The Tower of London is a place I never get tired of.  I visit as often as I can.  I live quite a way from it, but if I lived in London I'd go at least once a month!  One of the things I like about the Tower - and the other royal palaces - are their little 'snap-shots' in time.  I've been lucky enough to 'meet' Edward II, the infamous Judge Jeffreys, Henry VIII, Katherine Parr (as Lady Latimar and Queen) and er, Jane Seymour.  Finally, I got to 'meet' Anne Boleyn!  Anne and her brother George are in residence in the Tower this summer.  The scenario is Anne is at the Tower preparing for her Coronation.  She is accompanied by Thomas Cromwell, Lady Kingston, Francis Weston and her brother George Boleyn.  George and Francis challenge each other for her favour.  The whole show lasts half and hour, and takes place about 3 times a day near the White Tower.  I really enjoyed the performance and had interesting chats with the characters and the people who portray them.  Here are some of my photos.

 Francis Westen awaits the arrival of the new Queen.
(the ravens are sometimes kept in the cage behind)

 George Boleyn greets his sister Anne, whose
arrived at the Tower for her Coronation.
(note the digger behind
helping to build a new
staircase for the White

Lady Kingston chats to Thomas Cromwell  who has come to
oversee preparations for the Coronation. 
Anne and Lady Kingston take their
places to watch George and Francis battle for her favours.

The 'duel' begins.
Both performers 
used a range of weapons. 

Anne is delighted with the show and 'knights' both Francis and George.

The crowd really got involved and it was good fun.  Of course, I couldn't help thinking that Anne, George, Francis and Thomas Cromwell had all been imprisoned in the Tower, executed nearby (Anne on Tower green), and all were buried in the chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula, the other side of the White Tower.
The memorial to those executed within the Tower grounds.


Kasia Ogrodnik said...

Great pics. I remember how you wrote about similar performace centred on Edward II. You said that the actors were really well-informed. Was it the same this tine?

I would love to see such show myself :-)

Kathryn Warner said...

What fun, to see a performance in costume like that! Just fab. Hope to go back to the Tower again sometime!

Anerje said...

Hi Kasia - 'Lady Kingston' was very knowledgeable - she was more a specialist than an actor, and 'George Boleyn' knew all about 16th century weaponry. They really add to the Tower's appeal.

Kathryn - I'm afraid Edward wasn't in residence this time:) I think they are making the Tower a place you'll keep coming back to by changing the exhibitions and 'scenarios'. I was disappointed all reference to the Duke of Clarence in the Byward tower has gone - it's empty!

Gabriele Campbell said...

BTW, are there ghosts in the Tower? With all those executions and prisoners, there should be. *grin*

Anerje said...

Actually, Gabriele, that's a very interesting topic in itself. Talking to the Yeomen warders - the Beefeaters, who live in the Tower, a lot of them put sightings down to Victorian melodrama, and until the 1800s, there was no talk of ghosts at the Tower. But it's so good for tourism:)

Gabriele Campbell said...

That reminds me of a tour of Cawdor Castle back in 1998 where the guide told about some ghost sightings (the castle has the usual White Lady and maybe also Macbeth or King Duncan) but then added that many people visit the castle after a tour of the Speyside distilleries and that he personally had never seen a ghost since he had to stay sober for the tours. :-)