Henry VIII "I Would Not Be A Queen, For All The World"
by William Shakespeare

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"I Would Not Be A Queen, For All The World"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Anne Bullen, Maid of Honour to Queen Katharine, comes under the favorable glance of King Henry, who dances with her at a masked ball. Since meeting her, the king is increasingly worried about his marriage to Katharine, which, because she was the widow of his brother Arthur, he and Cardinal Wolsey consider to be unholy. Anne Bullen and an old lady discuss the impending divorce of the king from Katharine. Anne protests she would not like to be a queen. The old lady refuses to believe her.

No, not for all the riches under heaven.
'Tis strange; a three pence bowed would hire me,
Old as I am, to queen it. But I pray you,
What think you of a duchess? Have you limbs
To bear that load of title?
Not in truth.
Then you are weakly made.
. . .
How you do talk.
I swear again, I would not be a queen,
For all the world.