The new show finds striking similarities between the Queen and her sister, and Anne and Mary Boleyn

In the picture is the current Queen (on the right) with her Corgis and her mother and sister, Princess Margaret (on the left) who apparently share striking similarities with Mary and Anne Boleyn.

Two royal sisters were never less similar: one reserved and one's own, the other controversy animated and forever courting.

Sometimes, the reckless abandonment of the youngest shook the palace life with scandal and even threatened the monarchy.

But who were these sisters, our current queen and her irrepressible sister, Princess Margaret? Or the dazzling lover of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and her modest sister Mary?

A new documentary series, A Tale Of Two Sisters, argues that the description fits both pairs.

In the picture is the current Queen (on the right) with her Corgis and her mother and sister, Princess Margaret (on the left) who apparently share striking similarities with Mary and Anne Boleyn.

In the picture is the current Queen (on the right) with her Corgis and her mother and sister, Princess Margaret (on the left) who apparently share striking similarities with Mary and Anne Boleyn.

Five hundred years ago, Mary and Anne Boleyn were chosen as lovers by the same man: King Henry VIII. But while old Mary was simply an adventure, Anne changed English history.

Maria was a beauty who had also been a lover of King Francis I of France. She knew her place, however, she retired for years to family property at Hever Castle in Kent when the scandal began to buzz around her.

Although Mary is painted like a hollow head, historian professor Kate Williams says this is unfair: "Many girls had many more lovers than her."

Anne was different. Even though she had lived in the biggest courts in Europe, she told Henry that she was still a virgin, and that maybe she was telling the truth.

Although less conventionally pretty than her sister, Anne exuded sexual attractiveness, and her intellect was a rival even to the astute counselors of the King, Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell. Henry was so in love that there were rumors that she was a witch.

The series argues that Ana Bolena remained in stature similar to our current Queen

The series argues that Ana Bolena remained in stature similar to our current Queen

The series argues that Ana Bolena remained in stature similar to our current Queen

But although Anne became queen, she could never give him the son she longed for … and she paid for it with her head.

Her cautious sister Mary avoided the ax by living as a recluse with her husband, the humble soldier William Stafford. It was a game of love, almost unknown among the upper classes at that time.

Four centuries later, another loving encounter would cause chaos in the House of Windsor. The life of Elizabeth and Margaret was very different.

Her father, King George VI, liked to say: "Lilibet is my pride and Margaret is my joy." Nobody dared to discipline the brazen and outgoing Margaret.

When the King died in 1952, Margaret fell into a love affair with the much older Captain Peter Townsend, a divorced with two children. When the press learned, the palace officials, fearing that the monarchy would not survive shame, raised objections until the romance broke down.

And Mary (in the photo) was compared to the "irresponsible" sister of the Queen, Margaret, in the new series

And Mary (in the photo) was compared to the "irresponsible" sister of the Queen, Margaret, in the new series

And Mary (in the photo) was compared to the "irresponsible" sister of the Queen, Margaret, in the new series

The princess never completely forgave her sister.

And so it was for Anne and Mary, who distanced themselves at the end. Ana's daughter, Elizabeth, became a queen, but died without children.

Mary's children inherited Boleyn's fortune (his father Thomas was a rich diplomat and courtier) and prospered, and his descendants were married to the great aristocratic families. One was Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who would marry the future King George VI.

In other words, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret can trace their ancestry back not to Anne Boleyn, but to her much more sensible sister.

A story of two sisters, Wednesday, 8 p.m., yesterday's channel.

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