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Sir William Kingston

Sir William Kingston is Constable of the Tower of London in episodes 2.09-2.10 of The Tudors; he is therefore the jailer of Queen Anne Boleyn, after she is arrested and sent to the Tower.

When Anne first arrives in episode 2.09, she asks Kingston if she will be thrown in a dungeon.  Kingston coolly replies no, that 'her chambers' have been prepared for her, as she is still the Queen of England.  Both horrified that she is staying in the same suite of rooms as before her coronation and relieved she won't be put in the cells, Anne collapses; Kingston has to help her to her chambers- which, though still clearly a prison, are quite comfortable by almost any standard.  Kingston refuses to agree or disagree with the Queen's verbal insistance that she is innocent.

In the Season Finale, Kingston talks with Anne's one remaining ally, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer.  He says that, though Anne was initially hysterical about her conviction, she has since calmed down and seems to have accepted her death sentence.  After Cranmer apologetically tells her that her marriage to King Henry has been nullified (thus bastardizing their daughter Elizabeth) Anne asks Kingston to remain and hear her final confession; she swears on the damnation of her soul that she was never unfaithful to Henry, but nonetheless is resigned to her fate.  Moved, Cranmer tells Kingston to tell the King of Anne's confession.

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Kingston apologizes to Anne Boleyn for the postponement of her execution

Kingston later begins to show some sympathy for Anne, partly because her execution is repeatedly postponed due to the executioner being late.  He can see that she is attempting to prepare herself in order to die with dignity, and the delays shake her resolve; his attempts to reassure her that her death will be quick and painless are met with nervous, morbid humor from Anne, whose brave front is beginning to give way to terror again.  When the executioner- a French master swordsman- finally arrives, Kingston is disgusted by his cavalier attitude towards Anne's impending death, and insists that he make sure she dies without suffering.

At the end of the episode, Kingston finally escorts Anne- trailed by her three handmaidens and dressed in fine clothes- to the scaffold.  He stands to the side and watches with admiration and respect as she gives a brave final speech, then goes to her death with all the dignity of a Queen.

QuotesEdit

  • Anne Boleyn: "Mr Kingston... I hear you say I will not die before noon, and I am sorry to hear it... for I thought to be dead by then and past my pain."
  • William Kingston: "Madam, there will be no pain.  The blow will be so subtle."
  • Anne Boleyn: "Yes, I heard the executioner was very good. (chuckles) And, in any case, I have only a little neck. (laughs nervously)
  • "My lady... it is time."

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