During his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon , Henry conducted an affair with Mary Boleyn , Catherine's lady-in-waiting . There has been speculation that Mary's two children, Henry and Catherine Carey , were fathered by Henry, but this has never been proved, and the King never acknowledged them as he did Henry FitzRoy.  In 1525, as Henry grew more impatient with Catherine's inability to produce the male heir he desired,   he became enamoured of Mary Boleyn's sister, Anne , then a charismatic young woman of 25 in the Queen's entourage.  Anne, however, resisted his attempts to seduce her, and refused to become his mistress as her sister Mary Boleyn had.  [nb 1] It was in this context that Henry considered his three options for finding a dynastic successor and hence resolving what came to be described at court as the King's "great matter" . These options were legitimising Henry FitzRoy, which would take the intervention of the pope and would be open to challenge; marrying off Mary as soon as possible and hoping for a grandson to inherit directly, but Mary was considered unlikely to conceive before Henry's death; or somehow rejecting Catherine and marrying someone else of child-bearing age. Probably seeing the possibility of marrying Anne, the third was ultimately the most attractive possibility to the 34-year-old Henry,  and it soon became the King's absorbing desire to annul his marriage to the now 40-year-old Catherine.  It was a decision that would lead Henry to reject papal authority and initiate the English Reformation .