This procession held the same amount of intrigue and celebration as the river procession had, and it only reinforced the notion that England was anxious for their new Queen. Eric Ives suggests in The Life & Death of Anne Boleyn that roughly 200 or 300 people were involved in the procession and he describes it as having moved "slowly passed the waiting crowds, this massive demonstration of solidarity with the King and his new marriage could not have failed to make its point," (p. 176). Houses along the road were strung with cloth of gold and crimson velvet, and carpets and tapestries had been laid out. Of course, everyone in the procession was decked out in their finest, with Anne donning "filmy white and a coronet of gold," (p. 177). We can certainly see, by the amount of people who turned out to watch their new Queen process passed them, that although Anne was not universally popular, she was magnificent, and this celebration only enhanced her image.
I'd like to take this opportunity to debunk two historically inaccurate portrayals of this event - which we see in The Tudors and in Anne of the Thousand Days. In The Tudors, while Anne and Henry are riding in a golden carriage-like vehicle with red velvet seats, blissfully waving to the crowds and happily enjoying the occasion, an assassination on Anne is attempted - subsequently killing one of the other procession riders. Now, there are two things wrong with this picture: 1) There is absolutely no record of an assassination attempt on this day - I think if there was, everyone would know about it! 2) In the show, the man involved in the assassination attempt was none other than William Brereton, who was portrayed in a completely fictional way. (No, he was not actually a staunchly Catholic, murder plotting, hater of Anne Boleyn). While I think it was clever of the writers to add this scene, I hope none of my readers will actually assume that there is anything factual about it!
While these stories in particular are not true, there were some reports of disinterest and disrespect during the procession, although they were not as extreme as we are sometimes told. For example, it was noted that several people refused to doff their caps out of respect for Anne, or to shout out joyfully in her honor. It was also said that the initials of Henry and Anne, which were being carried on large banners, were mocked as "HA HA" - and many laughed and poked fun at the absurdity of it. Of course, it also must be noted that these reports were made by known enemies of the Boleyns, and some stories may have been stretched to sound worse than they really were. We have no evidence of any outward, obvious obstruction of the procession, or of any blatant opposition. We already knew that Anne was not the most popular or well-liked woman in England at this point in her life, but most historians agree that this was overall a happy day in her celebration, despite some reports indicating otherwise. In fact, the present Venetian Ambassador stressed "the very pomp" and the enormous crowds, and remarked on "the utmost order and tranquility of the occasion," (p. 178). Ives suggests that we refer to the crowds - not as openly joyful or angry - but instead as curious. I think this word fits the situation very well. After all, what King Henry had just done to their previous Queen was relatively unheard of, and for a new woman to be filling her shoes so quickly (and so controversially) was a curious thing, to say the least. People wanted to see her, and they wanted to see their King. This procession to Westminster Hall was the perfect occasion to take a peak at the royals, and the one lady that everyone was talking about.