In a scene from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone we can see a portrait of Anne Boleyn on one of the walls of Hogwarts, the school of magic and sorcery where the young wizard studies.
The presence of this painting is a wink, a small tribute from the film’s creators to Anne Boleyn, as she was accused of witchcraft in 1536 and beheaded that same year.
According to legend, the ghost of her beheaded body appears frequently in the Tower of London, where she was held until the day of her execution.
Who was Anne Boleyn?
Anne Boleyn was the second of the six wives of Henry VIII, and her death is due to a plot that the king himself organized with the help of some illustrious advisers such as Thomas Cromwell. Thus, the queen consort was accused of:
- Witch, for having seduced the king with the help of the evil one. In addition, she had a malformation in one of her hands, making it appear that she had six fingers, a sign that at the time was associated with witchcraft.
- Incest, for sleeping with hers, her own brother, which they both always denied.
- Adultery, for cheating on the king with several men, although only one admitted this fact … after he was tortured.
- Treason, for conspiring for the king’s death.
After a dubious legal process, she was sentenced to death and beheaded. As a “detail” that the king had with her, the beheading of her was with a sword instead of with an ax (sometimes, with an ax one did not kill on the first attempt). The day after her execution, the king announced his engagement to Jane Seymour, who would be his third wife.