Queen of England Anne Boleyn had Game
I love reading about powerful women in history because it really helps me understand the types of strategies and seduction techniques they used to gain the upper hand.
An ancient woman we can learn from is the former Queen of England Anne Boleyn.
Anne was a strong woman who got her way in a world full of men by using the strategy of being hard to get.
Before her tragic beheading in 1536, Anne had the complete devotion of King Henry VIII, the most unruly, arrogant king in English history.
King Henry was infatuated with Anne. He sent her 17 handwritten love letters, which is important if you keep in mind kings would have hired servants to write for them.
King Henry’s love letters demonstrated Anne's ability to mesmerize a man and create an emotional connection with skill and restraint.
The king had the "unchangeable intention" to make her his bride despite his womanizing character and his current wife.
One letter he wrote reads: "For my part, I will outdo you, if this be possible, rather than reciprocate, in loyalty of heart and my desire to please you.”
When Anne declined to be merely a mistress, King Henry apologized in response:
"Beseeching you also that if I have in any way offended you, you will give me the same absolution for which you ask, assuring you that henceforth my heart will be dedicated to you alone, and wishing greatly that my body was so too."
Not only did he apologize to Anne, but he also wrote of his "great agony" at being unable to decipher her letters to him.
She was mysterious. And King Henry could not resist exploring the unknown.
“In turning over in my mind the contents of your last letters, I have put myself into great agony, not knowing how to interpret them, whether to my disadvantage, as you show in some places, or to my advantage, as I understand them in some others, beseeching you earnestly to let me know expressly your whole mind as to the love between us two. It is absolutely necessary for me to obtain this answer, having been for above a whole year stricken with the dart of love, and not yet sure whether I shall fail of finding a place in your heart and affection, which last point has prevented me for some time past from calling you my mistress...”
She kept him in suspense for an entire year and we complain about the 90-day rule lol.
He didn’t just want her, he craved her. He needed her. An entire year of waiting and he still didn’t give up.
She was not going to be an easy conquest. Anne believed she was a challenge to be won.
She waited until he promised her more than her fair share in committing herself to him.
“But if you please to do the office of a true loyal mistress and friend, and to give up yourself body and heart to me, who will be, and have been, your most loyal servant, (if your rigour does not forbid me) I promise you that not only the name shall be given you, but also that I will take you for my only mistress, casting off all others besides you out of my thoughts and affections, and serve you only.”
She had this great king begging, pleading on bended knee to have her hand and her answer.
He implored: “I beseech you to give an entire answer to this my rude letter that I may know on what and how far I may depend.”
So what captivated the king's attention?
Was it her looks?
In the 15th century, eye-catching features were pale skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. Of these, Anne had none.
She didn’t have porcelain skin, her hair was dark, and so were her eyes. One myth even states she had 6 fingers and had moles and warts all over her face and body. So although she may have been beautiful in her own unique way she didn’t fit into the picture of perfection.
Anne didn’t concentrate on the fact that she wasn’t a striking beauty to 15th century standards. She knew there wasn’t anything she could do about her appearance.
Instead, she went to France and learned how to be the ultimate seductress from French women.
She worked with what she had. She knew having self-respect, being outspoken, and using persuasion were all undeniably stimulating to men.
She was powerful because she understood that looks only get you so far, but self-respect is what makes you stand out.
Her Strategy: Anne believed she was a challenge to be won. She was not an easy conquest.
Her mistake: Her power was used to manipulate, control and dis-empower her man.
Now, it's important you don't confuse asserting your power with taking away a man's power.
If you use your power this way, the man will lose his dominance and manhood, thus losing his trust in you.
In May 1536, the great English seductress was executed on charges of witchcraft, incest, and adultery. These trumped-up charges were never definitively proved. Anne herself swore she was not guilty, proclaiming she was “a faithful and loyal wife” but she did reveal a huge discretion in her relationship with him.
She said she had “not, perhaps, at all times shown him that humility and reverence that his goodness...did deserve.”
In other words, she had been disrespectful, undermining, and controlling towards him. She was rumored to have mocked Henry’s dress sense and style as well as his prowess (or lack thereof) in bed.
For Anne, the assertiveness that attracted Henry in the first place was the very same attribute that led to her beheading.
Instead of using her power to better her relationship, she stripped away his masculinity.
Using your power as a woman is not about dominance or control over the man in your life. It’s about being observant and persuasive and nudging your man to be the best he can be for you.
If you strip a man of his masculinity and opinions, he will lose respect for himself, you, and your relationship.
So, don’t lose your head like Anne.
If you didn’t catch the warning, here it is: don't misinterpret what your “power” means and how to use it.