Mary Boleyn/Carey/Stafford: The main character of the story, told from her point of view. Mary is portrayed as an innocent, sexually naïve, young girl who, forced by her family, engages in an affair with Henry VIII under the influence of her sister Anne and her brother George. The novel begins when Mary is fourteen, and ends just days after Anne's execution.
Anne Boleyn: Anne is Mary's elder, more ambitious, sister (although research suggests that she was the younger of the two girls). Anne makes her first appearance at the beginning of the story when she is fifteen. At first, she is instructed to guide Mary in seducing Henry, but later steals Henry's affections when she aims to overthrow Catherine as queen. Anne is portrayed as coldhearted and selfish, but will occasionally show affection to Mary and her family.
George Boleyn: George is the eldest Boleyn child, and the duke of Rochford. He is shown as caring and supportive to Mary, particularly when she is forced to stop her affair with Stafford. It is implied that he is sexually attracted to Anne, and is conducting an affair with Francis Weston. At the end of the book, George is executed, along with the others accused of committing adultery with Anne.
Henry VIII: King of England, Henry first beds Mary, but is diverted by Anne, who refuses him sexual favors, unless he makes her Queen. Though well-meaning, Henry is shown to be easily persuaded by Anne, and quick-tempered.
William Carey: Mary's first husband, he dies half-way through the story from an outbreak of the sweating sickness.
William Stafford: Mary's second husband who pursues Mary, and on the voyage to France, the two begin an affair. Later in the novel they are married in secret, and have one daughter together, Anne (named in honor of the Queen). William genuinely loved Mary, and her two elder children, and was willing to help her retrieve her son Henry from Anne's wardship. At the end of the novel, she and William leave for the country with the three children.