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Windsor Castle



Engine Court: looking toward the Queen’s Privy Apartments (as they were in Anne’s time) on the first floor. Here Anne spies Katherine looking down on her, as she heads out with Henry on the hunt.

The Norman gateway leading out of Engine Court with Anne rode through with Henry heading out on the hunt.


Which key events feature Windsor Castle in the book?

View the floor plan of Windsor Castle to see where events take place in the book.

Windsor Castle 1st Floor

Volume I:

Spring 1528:

  • The King welcomes Anne back to court after her winter exile at Hever. He holds a grand banquet in her honour in the King’s Privy Chamber. During the course of that evening, Anne picks up her first client at court; she promises to intervene with Cardinal Wolsey over a wardship battle between Sir Thomas Cheney and Sir John Russell and as such, begins to make her mark on the political landscape at court.
  • Nan, Mary Norris and Margery are all appointed to Anne’s household. At the time, we find Joan Champernowe suffering with morning sickness and away from court.
  • Anne comes face to face with Katherine, who declares Anne a whore who is rising above her station. There is a showdown between the two women outside the Chapel Royal. It is the last time that Anne sees Katherine at court.
  • Anne entertains Thomas Heneage at dinner in a move to court the Cardinal’s good graces.


  • The King orders a great picnic at Windsor Manor. Anne dances for the King, and as the couple enjoy merry pastime in each other arms, Henry declares his love for her and Anne in turn realises that, come what may, her heart is likewise set.

Brass from the tomb of Thomas Heneage (later Sir Thomas Heneage), later Groom of the Stool after Sir Henry Norris’ execution in 1536.

The real events in history:

  • On 25th February, 1528 the King laid on a lavish banquet at Windsor, probably to celebrate Anne’s return from Hever and with Anne as guest of honour.
  • Anne did intervene in an issue of wardship between Sir Thomas Cheney and Sir John Russell. Wolsey had been involved, backing Sir John. Ultimately, Anne won the day with the wardship at least temporarily going to Sir Thomas, who became a life long supporter, whilst Sir John Russell her implacable enemy.
  • Sometime in 1528 it seems that Anne was given the first members of her own household. It seems as though George Zouche  was appointed as equerry and his love, Nan Gainsford appointed as one of her ladies.
  • Anne did entertain Thomas Heneage at dinner. Clearly this was meant as a gesture towards his master, Cardinal Wolsey. Anne famously did suggest that it would be nice to receive shrimp and carp from the Cardinal’s fish pools at Hampton Court.
  • A picnic was arranged at in Windsor Great Park; this seems to have been at a place called Manor Lodge. The Manor Lodge that I identified appears to have long been a medieval royal residence. However, whether this was the location of this picnic is not entirely clear to the author.

Sir John Russell became an implacable enemy of Anne’s

Where to go / what to see / where to stand:

  • Visit Engine Court and look up to the windows of what is now the Queen’s Ballroom. These used to be the Queen’s Privy apartments in Anne’s day. Imagine that you are riding pillion with Henry and that your eyes catch sight of a furious Katherine watching you from above.
  • Go into the Waterloo chamber; this used to be an open courtyard with buildings on all sides. Look over to your right as you enter. At first floor level a gallery looking out onto the courtyard would have run along one side. It is in this gallery that Anne meets Katherine outside the Chapel Royal, for a final showdown and exchange of vitriolic words. Anne never sees Katherine again.
  • Go into the current ‘King’s Drawing Room’; this space was once occupied by Henry’s Privy Chamber; take a moment to visualise a great banquet held in Anne’s honour, as she returns to court after her absence of court through the winter of 1527.

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