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In February/March 1526, Henry VIII began his pursuit of Anne.She resisted his attempts to seduce her, refusing to become his mistress – which her sister Mary had been.
When it became clear that Pope Clement VII would not annul the marriage, the breaking of the power of the Catholic Church in England began.As a result of this marriage and these excommunications, the first break between the Church of England and Rome took place and the Church of England was brought under the King's control. On 7 September, she gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I.Henry was disappointed to have a daughter rather than a son but hoped a son would follow and professed to love Elizabeth.Anne subsequently had three miscarriages, and by March 1536, Henry was courting Jane Seymour.Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution by beheading, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation.Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, and was educated in the Netherlands and France, largely as a maid of honour to Claude of France.
She returned to England in early 1522, to marry her Irish cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond; the marriage plans were broken up by Cardinal Wolsey, and instead she secured a post at court as maid of honour to Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Early in 1523 Anne was secretly betrothed to Henry Percy, son of the 5th Earl of Northumberland, but the betrothal was broken by Cardinal Wolsey in January 1524 and Anne was sent back home to Hever Castle.
In 1532, Henry granted Anne the Marquessate of Pembroke.
Henry and Anne married on 25 January 1533, after a secret marriage November 14, 1532.
On , newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declared Henry and Catherine's marriage null and void; five days later, he declared Henry and Anne's marriage valid.
Shortly afterwards, the Pope decreed sentences of excommunication against Henry and Cranmer.