Anne Boleyn viewers repulsed after being reminded of Tudor's execution

‘This is making me feel sick’: Anne Boleyn viewers are left repulsed by ‘barbaric’ execution because they are reminded of Tudor’s tragic fate in final episode of controversial mini-series

  • Fans took to Twitter to voice their shock as they were reminded of the moment the doomed Tudor was brutally beheaded
  • The scenes saw Anne brought to the podium to be executed in front of a watching public 
  • The doomed monarch accepted her fate after being found guilty of adultery by her husband Henry VIII as part of his plot to marry Jane Seymour
  • However viewers were spared any gruesome aftermath as the camera cut away at the exact moment the sword sliced her throat 
  • Historically Anne famously delivered a speech ahead of her death, but the monologue did not feature in the mini-series 
  • The show kicked off on Tuesday, with much controversy over the decision to cast black actress Jodie Turner-Smith in the role although she has won huge praise
  • Aside from the ‘barbaric’ nature of the last episode, the series was widely-praised and Jodie’s portrayal was deemed: ‘marvelous with regal, natural ease’

Anne Boleyn viewers were left aghast during the show’s finale on Thursday evening because they were reminded of the moment the doomed Tudor was brutally executed.

Fans took to Twitter to voice their shock over the scenes despite being spared the gruesome aftermath, as they watched Anne step onto the podium before pleading for mercy, with the camera cutting away as they heard the sword slice her throat.

One user penned that the scenes made them ‘feel sick’ as the mini-series drew to a close after showing the heartbreaking final five months in the life of Henry VIII’s second wife.

There had already been much fanfare surrounding the series due to the decision to cast black actress Jodie Turner-Smith in the role, yet she has won widespread praise for her performance. 

Shock: Anne Boleyn viewers were left aghast during the show’s finale on Thursday evening because they were reminded of the moment the doomed Tudor was brutally beheaded

While the tragic nature of the final episode left fans in shock, with many stunned such a historic figure could meet such a fate, the whole episode was praised by viewers, and some of whom stated they had grown emotional. 

In the heartbreaking scene, Anne was found guilty of adultery when it was alleged that she had broken her matrimonial vows leading to her being found guilty of planning the murder of the King. 

She was then sentenced to death, leading to the scenes in which she kneeled in front of a crowd with a white scarf over her eyes.

While some viewers struggled to stomach the scenes, they were spared any bloody aftermath, as the camera cut to the crowd at the second the sword sliced Anne’s head, which could be heard landing on the ground with a thud. 

Fans took to Twitter to write: ‘#AnneBoleyn this is making me feel sick. They were so barbaric. Poor Anne… Also the poor guys who were accused of being her lovers. The lute boy… Beheaded. Mad mad mad #AnneBoleyn.’

Ouch: Fans took to Twitter to voice their shock over the scenes, which saw Anne brought to the podium to be executed in front of a watching public after pleading for mercy from God

Alarming: Viewers were spared any gruesome aftermath, as the camera cut away at the exact second the camera sliced Anne’s throat

‘I am aware it’s going to be a stretch for some people’: Last month, Jodie reflected on being the first black actress to be cast as Anne Boleyn in Channel 5’s three-part drama

In glowing reviews of the series, other viewers penned: ‘It was a fantastic finale. I felt quite emotional watching it . What an awful end to her marriage and life…  

Anne Boleyn’s final words before her execution

‘Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. 

‘I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. 

‘And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best.

‘And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.’

‘It’s great that she still gets remembered so much today . #AnneBoleyn #innocent well done to #jodieturnersmith portrayal of such an iconic person…

‘just finished. her end breaks me every single time. my goodness @MissJodie i’m flawed by you, you portrayed anne marvellously with regal, natural ease… 

‘There have been some powerhouse performances of Anne Boleyn and you can add @MissJodie to that list. Hugely affecting in that final episode… 

‘Superb final episode of #AnneBoleyn. Jodie Turner-Smith was excellent as Anne. However, it was a bit odd that they omitted the scaffold/execution speech… would love to see how Jodie would have interpreted & delivered it… 

‘Just finished watching the final episode of #[email protected]_tv  @MissJodie played the role with such dignity. It’s a shame it wasn’t a longer series where we got to see her happier days. How about a prequel set at the French court?’

Anne’s execution is a moment that has gone down in British history, with the doomed Queen delivering a now-iconic speech before her death.

However the monologue did not appear in the Channel 5 mini-series, instead replaced by the inner reflections of Anne as she made her way to the podium where she would face her death. 

She famously declared: ‘Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. 

‘I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. 

Shocking: Anne was then sentenced to death, leading to the scenes in which kneeled in front of a crowd with a white scarf over her eyes before she met her end

‘And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.’

As she was blindfolded and knelt at the block, Anne repeated several times: ‘May God have mercy on my soul, Jesus have mercy on my soul, to God I give my soul.’

It was also unusual see such an execution carried out with a sword, as most beheadings were usually done with an axe.

Historians have suggested that Henry requested a French swordsman as Anne spent a significant amount of time in the country, it was the item of choice for such killings in the country. 

The launch of the show on Tuesday stunned fans when Jodie shared a tender kiss with love rival Jane Seymour, played by Lola Petticrew, during the first episode.

High praise: Other viewers penned: ‘It was a fantastic finale. I felt quite emotional watching it . What an awful end to her marriage and life’

The opening installment also involved racy sex scenes between Anne and Henry VIII, played by Mark Stanley, with one moment seeing the doomed queen strangle her husband before putting on a passionate display.

During the first episode, it sees a pregnant Anne blindsided by the realisation that Henry has an eye on one of her ladies, Jane Seymour, who eventually goes on to succeed her as the Queen of England. 

The three-part drama re-imagines the final months of the doomed queen and the opening scene reads: ‘England 1536, Anne Boleyn has been Queen for two and a half years. 

Heartbreaking: The eerie moment was skillfully shown by Jodie, as Anne pleaded for mercy from God as the sword came to her neck

First episode: The launch of the show on Tuesday stunned fans when Jodie shared a tender kiss with love rival Jane Seymour, played by Lola Petticrew, during the first episode

‘She has one daughter, Elizabeth, but Henry is desperate for a son. Anne has miscarried twice, now she is pregnant again, less than 24 hours after the last queen’s death. 

‘Henry and Anne are throwing a party. Anne is the most powerful woman in England, she has just five months to live.’

Prior to Anne’s kiss with Jane, the doomed queen is seen sending a warning as she says loudly in ear shot: ‘Just be sure Jane doesn’t get any ideas in her head, she’s a spiteful little b***h at times….’

Racy! The opening instalment also involved racy sex scenes between Anne, played by Jodie, 34, and Henry VIII, played by Mark Stanley, with one moment seeing the doomed queen strangle her husband before putting on a passionate display 

Prior to the first episode, Jodie teased what viewers can expect from the series, she said: ‘I would describe Anne as fierce, passionate and opinionated, all characteristics that for a woman, especially in the British court, would have been very threatening to the men around her. 

‘When we meet Anne she’s really riding high; Katherine of Aragon was put aside for her and has just died, Anne is pregnant with what she is thinking is a son and she already has one healthy child with Henry. So in many ways, she feels untouchable and [is] at the height of her feminine power when we meet her.’ 

Prior to the finale, Jodie criticised the Royal Family’s treatment of Meghan Markle.

Opinion: Prior to the finale, Jodie criticised the Royal Family ‘s treatment of Meghan Markle

Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII’s second wife whose historical significance is often overlooked due to her brutal death

Though perhaps best known in English history for the brutal way in which she met her end, Anne Boleyn’s mark on the country’s history is far more significant.

Anne Boleyn 

Born the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, in 1501, she first came into the eye-sight of Henry VIII in 1522 when she secured a post at court as maid of honour to the king’s first Catherine of Aragon.

It was not until 1526 that Henry began his pursuit of Anne – a pursuit which was initially resisted.

Her refusal to be a mistress sparked Henry to approach the then-Pope to have his marriage annulled.

When it became clear this would not be allowed, Henry began his drive to break the power of the Catholic Church in England – what later became known as the English Reformation.

Henry and Anne formally married in January 1533 – a move which resulted in the Pope excommunicating Henry and him consequently taking control of the Church of England.  

But it was ultimately not a happy marriage after Boleyn failed to produce a male heir. 

In order to marry again he needed a reason to end his marriage to Anne and she was investigated for high treason and sent to the Tower of London.

Her beheading in the tower of London followed the miscarriage of a male child, and increasing clashes with Thomas Cromwell who is blamed for orchestrating the charges against her after engineering the break from the Catholic Church. 

Court rumours also suggested that Boleyn’s forthright manner and intelligence angered courtiers. She was politically astute and allied with Protestant reformers of the church, including Cromwell before he turned on her.  

And her execution immediately followed the death of Henry VIII’s first wife Catherine of Aragon. That event legally freed Henry to pursue marriage with Boleyn’s lady-in-waiting Jane Seymour, if his current wife were to die.   

She was convicted on 15 May 1536 and beheaded four days later. 

Henry began courting Jane Seymour in 1536. 

Anne did leave one more mark on English history though, her daughter, Elizabeth, who was crowned as queen in 1558.

During her daughter’s reign, Anne became venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation.

The actress, 34, hit out at the Royals for not ‘protecting’ the Duchess of Sussex and said they didn’t ’embrace her fully’ during an appearance on Wednesday’s edition of Good Morning Britain.

Speaking to Richard Arnold, Jodie, who is currently starring as Anne Boleyn in a Channel 5 series, said: ‘There’s a lot of resistance to new things that can push that institution forward in a way that more represents the world today. 

‘I think they could have looked at this marriage and that relationship as a way to evolve

‘They could have embraced it and embraced her fully, and protected her. And protected their son in a way that made him feel like he didn’t need to leave.’

In March, Meghan and Prince Harry had a bombshell interview Oprah Winfrey, in which the Duchess admitted she ‘couldn’t be left alone’ and told her husband she ‘didn’t want to be alive anymore’.

She also claimed the Buckingham Palace HR department ignored her plea for help because she wasn’t a ‘paid employee’.

Describing how she considered ending her life believing it ‘was better for everyone’, Meghan said: ‘I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. 

‘And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. I remember how he just cradled me. I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that ‘I’ve never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere’. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution’.

She said that after confiding in her husband, she was forced to go to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event in January 2019, claiming photos from that night ‘haunt me’. 

She told Oprah she later reached out to one of the best friends of Diana, Princess of Wales, because she felt unsupported by the palace.

She said: ‘When I joined that family, that was the last time I saw my passport, my driving licence, my keys – all of that gets turned over’. Meghan said Harry had ‘saved my life’ by agreeing to move to Los Angeles.

Meghan also accused the Royal Family of having ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white. 

She claimed that a relative of Harry asked him ‘how dark’ their unborn child would be with the Duchess claiming Archie being mixed-race was a ‘problem’ for the royals after Oprah asked her if they were worried their son would be ‘too brown’.

The former Suits star said she would not name the person because it would be ‘too damaging’ for them. But she confirmed that the duke was asked the question – ‘how dark his skin might be when he’s born’ – ‘by family’.

She then said Archie may have been denied the title of prince because he is mixed-race, but has never been told. Harry was also asked to identify the culprit but said he didn’t feel ‘comfortable’ discussing it.

In the most extraordinary royal interview since Diana spoke to the BBC’s Martin Bashir in 1995, Meghan said her sister-in-law Kate made her cry in a row over dresses for the flowergirls, including Princess Charlotte, before her Windsor wedding. 

She said: ‘She (Kate) was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised. And she bought me flowers’.

Harry also laid into his own family, claiming their ‘lack of support and understanding’, the couple’s mental health problems and fears ‘history repeating itself’ with Meghan like his mother Diana, who died in 1997.

Thoughts: The actress, 34, hit out at the Royals for not ‘protecting’ the Duchess of Sussex and said they didn’t ’embrace her fully’ during an appearance on Wednesday’s edition of Good Morning Britain  (Prince Harry and Meghan in 2018)

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