My reconstruction of The Moost Happi portrait medal
The physical appearance of Anne Boleyn, the controversial wife of Henry VIII, has been the subject of frenzied speculation and dispute for almost 500 years. The long-overlooked Moost Happi medal (the only undisputed surviving portrait of Anne made during her lifetime) is a vital piece of evidence.
The medal could only have been sculpted by royal approval, and shows not just Anne’s features but her strength of character; it is a masterstroke of political propaganda.
Anne’s outfit is recorded in the medal with painstaking detail. Though posthumously she is more commonly associated with a French Hood, her chosen Gable Hood and necklace is very significant. Depicted in numerous portraits of Henry VIII’s other wives, the outfit was clearly an important part of the Queen’s Wardrobe.
The Moost Happi medal is more than a celebration of Anne’s fertile state, as indicated by her raised bosom; the wearing of this particular Gable Hood proclaims Anne (not Katherine of Aragon) as the rightful Queen – and therefore the legitimacy of Anne’s offspring to the English throne.
For more information read my Research & Reconstruction Process (2012) and Thoughts on the Medal’s Significance (2020). Scroll down for links to books, articles, podcasts & television appearances.
‘Through meticulous research Lucy Churchill has created an authentic replica of the medal of Anne Boleyn, as it would have looked originally. A must for anyone interested in Anne Boleyn’
‘Lucy Churchill’s brilliant achievement has brought us as close to the real Anne Boleyn as we shall ever be able to get.’
Eric Ives, OBE
‘Lucy Churchill’s reconstruction of The Moost Happi portrait medal is the best image we are ever likely to have of Anne Boleyn’
David Starkey, CBE
‘Lucy Churchill’s skill and craft has recreated a real woman, not a romantic heroine. This is Anne as her century saw her’.
The 1534 medal is the closest we get to the ‘real’ Anne Boleyn, and it’s wonderful to have it reconstructed in all its glory. Lucy has done a wonderful job at bringing it to life.”
“Lucy Churchill’s astonishing reconstruction of The Moost Happi portrait
medal is one of my most treasured possessions. It’s unquestionably the
most true-to-life image of Anne Boleyn that we have.”
Ever since Lucy Churchill and I worked on a piece together on “What did Anne Boleyn Really Look Like?” I’ve been entranced with her work reviving the real Anne through this magnificent medal. A copy of the medal sit’s proudly on my favourite bookshelp, a testament to the endurance of history over fiction. I’m so pleased to see this extraordinary work receiving the attention it deserves!”
“Lucy Churchill’s stunning recreation of The Moost Happpi medal portrait of Anne Boleyn – the only contemporary likeness of her to survive – has brought into stark relief the face of a Queen in her most triumphant days. Churchill has skilfully recovered the face of a woman who captivated a kingdom and who beguiles us still.”
“Lucy Churchill’s reconstruction of Anne Boleyn’s 1534 ‘Most Happy’ medal is a welcomed and needed addition to studies about her portraiture. A must for anyone on ‘Team Anne’!”