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  • 2001-10-29T16:00:00-08:00 on Channel 4
  • 87 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary

Raised by aristocratic parents and schooled in the Netherlands in the court of Archduchess Margaret, Anne long aspired to play a significant role in the English court. Chic and flirtatious, Anne became a lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine, where she quickly caught the attention of the king. But she refused to become Henry's mistress, insisting instead that the king marry her. As the king lobbied for permission to end his marriage to Catherine, the English public -- who adored the queen -- came to view Anne as a gold digger and heretic. Though Rome failed to grant the annulment, a new book, "The Obedience of a Christian Man," asserted that the king -- and not the Pope -- should maintain authority over the Church of England. Henry declared himself Supreme Head On Earth of the church, was excommunicated by Rome and finally married Anne Boleyn, thus sparking the religious upheaval that converted England from a Catholic nation into a Protestant one. Amid the turmoil, Anne's sharp tongue and refusal to play the role of obedient wife continued to make the masses uneasy. When she too failed to produce a male heir -- only a daughter, Elizabeth -- Henry began to seek another wife. Casting Anne as a seductress, he masterminded accusations of incest and adultery. After a trial at which her own uncle presided, she was sentenced to death by beheading.

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