Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536, as the second wife of King Henry VIII. The circumstances of her marriage and of her execution by beheading for treason and other charges made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that marked the start of the English Reformation. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard; she was maid of honour to Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Henry needed to annul his marriage to Catherine to marry Anne. When Pope Clement VII would not annul the marriage, Henry and his advisers began the breaking of the Catholic Church's power in England. Henry and Anne formally married on 25 January 1533. Anne was crowned Queen of England on 1 June 1533. On 7 September, she gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I. Anne subsequently had three miscarriages and by March 1536, Henry was courting Jane Seymour. In order to marry Seymour, Henry had to find reasons to end the marriage to Anne.
Henry VIII had Anne investigated for high treason in April 1536. She was convicted on 15 May and beheaded four days later. After her daughter, Elizabeth, was crowned as Queen in 1558, Anne became venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation.