Prince Henry of Wales, better known as Prince Harry, will marry Meghan Markle on the same date as his namesake, King Henry VIII, executed his wife, Anne Boleyn.
The date is, of course, a purely incidental occurrence, but nonetheless, an amusing one to followers of history.
Queen Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I. She met her fate in the Tower of London on May 19th, 1536.
After several years of marriage to King Henry, in 1536 Anne Boleyn was arrested on charges of adultery with five men including her brother, Lord George Rochford. Anne Boleyn was put to a trial, which was presided over by her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, where she was accused of adultery and surprisingly, witchcraft.
Queen Anne was subsequently charged and sent to the Tower of London.
The fall of Anne Boleyn was swift, from being arrested on 2nd May 1536, it took a mere 17 days before she was beheaded. On 19th May, Anne was led from her quarters to Tower Green where she was spared the axe and granted the ‘mercy’ of the beheading by a French swordsman. Rather than using her final moments to deny her guilt, Anne Boleyn praised King Henry VIII stating that “a more merciful prince was there never.”
Queen Anne was the first English Queen to be publicly executed.
The May 19th wedding has also caused controversy on social media. Within minutes of Kensington Palace announcing the date, people complained that it clashes with the FA Cup Final.
The BBC is scheduled to air the competition live, however, it is unknown whether the plans will change to take account of the wedding.
Kensington Palace announced this afternoon that the couple will wed on Saturday 19th May.
The confirmation of the exact date follows the announcement in November that the couple will marry in St George’s Chapel located in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The choice of venue means the wedding will be a much smaller affair than that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011 when they got married at Westminster Abbey.