Needless to say, when Anne went into labor, the King was alerted and was probably very excited to greet his new son. However, when he entered Anne's bedchamber and discovered he had sired another daughter, he was extremely disappointed. After hearing that the child was in "perfect health," he reportedly told Anne, "If we can have a healthy daughter, then we can have a healthy son." At this point, an 's' was added to those birth announcements. Although Anne felt as if she had failed the King (and it is assumed that she began fearing her fate at this point), she immediately loved her daughter and named her Elizabeth, after both of the child's grandmothers, Henry's mother, Elizabeth of York, & Anne's mother, Elizabeth Howard. Unfortunately for Elizabeth's half-sister, Mary, who was 17 at the time of Elizabeth's birth, Elizabeth became the official heiress to the throne, as Mary's mother had been divorced and their marriage had been deemed invalid. Mary became a bastard and was stripped of her titles as soon as Elizabeth entered this world, and although that certainly was cause for jealousy of her newborn sister, it is said that Mary was very fond of Elizabeth when she was a baby, and she frequently cared for her.
So, although this was an unhappy day in Tudor England, it is a wonderful day to reflect on, now that we know who Elizabeth came to be! If only King Henry had been able to know that his disappointing youngest daughter would become the greatest monarch England has ever known - although he probably would have been jealous and had her executed for that - (jk!). In the next several days, we'll talk about Elizabeth's christening and then her childhood, as well as how her parents felt about her as she grew. These should be some fun blog posts so stay tuned!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GLORIANA!