Anne was the second wife of Henry VIII and the mother of Elizabeth I. Henry's desire to divorce his first wife and marry Anne was one of the complex factors which contributed to the English Reformation.
There is some dispute over the year in which Anne was born, with a date between 1501 and 1507 most likely.
When Anne and Henry were secretly married in January 1533 she was already pregnant. She was crowned queen in June. She was never popular beyond the court, partly because she was an advocate of the reformation of the church.
On 2 May 1536, Anne was arrested. She was accused of adultery with her own brother and four commoners - they were all tried and convicted of treason by Anne's uncle, the duke of Norfolk. On 19 May, Anne was beheaded at the Tower of London - the first English queen to be publicly executed. Modern historians view the charges against her, which included adultery and incest, as unconvincing. Following the coronation of her daughter, Elizabeth, as queen, Anne was venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation, particularly through the works of John Foxe. Over the centuries, she has inspired or been mentioned in numerous artistic and cultural works. As a result, she has retained her hold on the popular imagination. Anne has been called "the most influential and important queen consort England has ever had", since she provided the occasion for Henry VIII to divorce Catherine of Aragon, and declare his independence from Rome. Henry married his mistress Jane Seymour soon afterwards.