On Sunday, September 1st, in 1532, Anne Boleyn was made the Marquis* (Marchioness or Marquess) of Pembroke by King Henry VIII. Just a few months later, her status would be elevated to that of Queen of England.  

The lavish ceremony was held at Windsor Castle, and it was followed by a sumptuous banquet, where Henry and Anne celebrated her elevation to nobility.  A marquis is one of the most prestigious ranks of nobility, ranking above a count, but lower than a duke.  The title of Marquis was not a normal status for a female.  Females only became marchionesses if their husband was a marquis.  Because Anne was given the status of marquis, that meant that her lands and income were hers, and hers alone.

For the ceremony, Anne dressed in jewels and crimson velvet trimmed with ermine.  She would have undoubtedly looked like a queen with her beautiful loose flowing hair, which was a traditional look for coronations, as well as her elaborate clothing and jewels.  But Anne looking like a queen was no doubt what Henry and Anne wanted, since she was Queen of England in all but name.

Anne’s cousin, Mary Howard, Dorothy Countess of Derby, and Elizabeth Countess of Rutland accompanied Anne at the ceremony. Mary Howard was tasked with carrying the crimson ermine trimmed mantle and the golden coronet that would be placed on Anne’s person during the ceremony.  Mr. Garter bore Anne’s patent of creation.  Anne was taken into the King’s presence by men-at-arms and some noblemen, where she knelt in front of Henry VIII and the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as other nobles, and the French Ambassador.  While kneeling, she listened as Archbishop Stephen Gardiner read out the patent which gave her the noble title of Marquis of Pembroke in her own right and which would pass on to her children.  After the patent was read, Henry VIII crowned her with the gold coronet of a marquis and then he placed a crimson velvet mantle upon her shoulders.  Along with the patent of nobility, Anne was also given ownership of lands that were worth over £1000 per year.  After receiving her two patents, Anne thanked the king and returned to her chamber for a short time.

The lavish ceremony was later followed by a sumptuous banquet as Henry and Anne celebrated Anne’s noble title. She would be Queen in just a few months.

There is the following record of the ceremony In Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII:

” ‘Creacion of lady Anne, doughter to therle of Wilteshier, marquesse of Penbroke.’

Sunday, 1 Sept. 1532, 24 Hen. VIII. The lady was conveyed by noblemen and the officers of arms at Windsor Castle to the King, who was accompanied by the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk and other noblemen, and the ambassador of France. Mr. Garter bore her patent of creation; and lady Mary, daughter to the duke of Norfolk, her mantle of crimson velvet, furred with ermines, and a coronet. The lady Marques, who was “in her hair,” and dressed in a surcoat of crimson velvet, furred with ermines, with strait sleeves, was led by Elizabeth countess of Rutland, and Dorothy countess of Sussex. While she kneeled before the King, Garter delivered her patent, which was read by the bishop of Winchester. The King invested her with the mantle and coronet, and gave her two patents,—one of her creation, the other of 1,000l. a year. She thanked the King, and returned to her chamber.

Gifts given by the lady Marques :—To Mr. Garter, for her apparel, 8l.; to the Office of Arms, 11l. 13s. 4d. The King gave them 5l.

Officers of Arms present :—Garter and Clarencieux, kings; Richmond, Carlisle, and Windsor, heralds; Rougecross, Portcullis, Bluemantle, and Guisnes, pursuivants.”

There is also a record of the valuation of Anne’s lands:

“Valuation of her lands.

Total of the lands of the lady Anne marchioness in Wales, over and above casualties not charged, 710l. 7s. 10¾d., out of which she is charged to pay by the King’s grants yearly, 199l. 5s. 11d., “which the tallage or knowledge money will discharge for the time; and after that, the fines for the sessions and the customs which be not charged in the value will discharge them.”

Sum of the lands in England: Corry Mallett, Soms., Hundesdon, and Estwyke, Herts, “lands late Philip Pary’s, in Hundesdon,” manors of Stansted, Roydon, Fylollyshall, and Cokkeshall, and Weston next Baldoke (value of each stated separately), 313l. 5s. 3¾d. Total for England and Wales by the last gift of the King, 1,023l. 13s. 2¾d.”


Marquis- A marquis is a nobleman that is ranked above a count and earl, but lower than a duke.