Due to Thomas Boleyn’s charm, Anne was offered a place in Margaret of Austria’s household. She was often referred to as “la petite Boulin”which could be in relation to the fact that she was under 12-years-old; not typical for the Archduchess’ household. She gained much praise during her time with the Archduchess. Anne was pleasant, well-spoken and presentable; not the same Anne that is depicted married to Henry VIII! Anne remained with Margaret of Austria until 1513, when she went to France with Mary Boleyn.
Anne was Maid of Honour to both Queen Mary of France and Queen Claude. During this time, she developed an interest in the religious philosophy and French fashion. When she returned to England, she brought much of the French style back with her and became the “It girl” of the 1520s. She loved her time in France, especially the connections she made.
Her personality was outgoing and perfect for building relationships. The men she met had differing opinions of her looks; however, one thing is for certain that she had a dark complexion. She wasn’t the traditionally English woman in terms of looks. Her hair and eyes were dark; more like someone of Spanish decent. The people of England were fairer in skin and hair. In 1586, Nicholas Sanders commented that Anne Boleyn has a sallow complexion, as if she was jaundice. He also stated that she had six fingers, despite no evidence of this when her body was found in St. Peter ad Vincula. It is worth noting that Nicholas Sanders was a Catholic propagandist and is the least reliable source when it comes to Anne Boleyn’s appearance or personality.
Anne’s education in France came to an end in 1521, when she had to return to England. She had been summoned by her father, around the time that Mary Boleyn was having an affair with Henry VIII of England.