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Mary Boleyn’s portrait?

Mary Boleyn...?

In her latest book ‘Mary Boleyn: The Great and Infamous Whore’ Alison Weir points out that the famous portrait of Mary Boleyn may actually be a portrait of Frances Brandon, mother of Jane Grey. On her website, Alison Weir gives an explanation of this theory :

‘I’ve written a whole appendix on the subject of portraits of Mary Boleyn and William Carey. The fact that there are at least six versions of the ‘Mary’ portrait indicates that there was demand for a portrait of the sitter, and she is wearing ermine, a fur restricted to the upper nobility and royalty. So I suspect, given the proliferation of the image, that the sitter was royal. Anyway, the costume is that of the mid-1530s. There would not have been any demand for Mary at that time, given that she was little known and in disgrace (and probably living abroad) from 1534. The sitter bears no resemblance to portraits of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour or Margaret Douglas. She is too young to be Mary Tudor, who died in 1533. Could this be Frances Brandon? A wedding portrait from 1533? There is a resemblance in the nose to Charles Brandon in his ‘marriage’ portrait (yes, I think it is him, having done some digging last night, although I think it’s later than 1515/16.) Even so, that doesn’t quite explain the demand for pictures of Frances – she wasn’t that well known either! It would help if we could identify any clue or reference in the pendant or brooch, or the flowers, but they are too indistinct.[1]

For a very long I’ve been thinking about Mary Boleyn portrait, and something was not right. I agree with Alison Weir in few points :

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