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Chapter 5 - The new Queen of Castile
Chapter 5 - The new Queen of Castile

Although Queen Isabella of Castile had died in November of 1504, the new Queen Joanna and her husband Philip were in no hurry to head to Spain. It was only late 1505 when Philip and Joanna finally left the Lowlands and set sail for Castile. This was due to Isabella's widower, Ferdinand II of Aragon refusing to accept that he had lost his monarchal status in Castile. He had been able to convince Castile that Joanna was unfit to rule and that he should be made the Guardian and Regent of Castile. Philip refused to accept this and minted coins that referred to himself and Joanna as King and Queen of Castile. So it was that the two set sail for Castile with haste. Though the two were forced to leave their heir, Charles behind in the Lowlands with his siblings. This was because the Burgundian nobles refused to accept Charles as their future ruler if he were not raised there.


A portrait of Charles with his siblings Eleanor and Isabella​

As Philip and Joanna sailed for Castile they were caught in a storm and were shipwrecked in England. There they stayed under the protection of King Henry VII. While there Joanna would spend much time with her sister Catherine and sister in-law Margaret as well as her niece, Elizabeth. Philip would spend some time with his sister and niece, though he spent more time discussing politics with King Henry VII. In particular Henry VII and Philip discussed a potential betrothal between Prince Henry and Eleanor of Austria [1]. After much discussion they settled on a marriage contract and a dowry of 245,000 crowns. The betrothal between Catherine and Prince Henry was officially cancelled and the betrothal between Henry and Eleanor announced.

Margaret of Austria held mixed feelings on the matter. On one hand she would miss Catherine who had been one of her closest companions since she had arrived in England, on the other hand she couldn't wait to be reunited with her niece. Catherine on the other hand was shocked at this move. She had believed it was her destiny to be Queen of England ever since her first husband Arthur died [2]. Catherine would begin to pray and fast even more and once again Margaret had to intervene to prevent Catherine from harming herself. Joanna seemed to have believed she would return to Castile with Catherine as suggested by a contemporary letter by a courtier. However, Joanna would soon be wrong as Ferdinand II and Henry VII fought over what to do with Catherine's dowry [3]. For Ferdinand the betrothal between Prince Henry and Eleanor was a diplomatic disaster, one that he would try to compensate with his Pro-French policy, which included marrying Germaine of Foix, a niece of King Louis XII of France.

Finally in mid February [4] Philip and Joanna would leave England and set sail for Castile The two would finally arrive in late February of 1505. Ferdinand would quickly end his use of the title King of Castile and resigned as Regent after he met with Philip at Villafáfila in March of 1506. Ferdinand agreed to recognise Philip and Joanna's position as King and Queen of Castile and Joanna's place as the Princess of Girona. However, Philip and Ferdinand did agree that Joanna was unfit to rule and should be excluded from governance. Ferdinand would renege on this agreement later that very day and vowed to protect his daughter's rights should he feel they were being infringed upon.

Phil I.jpg

Philip and Joanna who were briefly Co-monarchs of Castile

With that Joanna and Philip were now the Co-Rulers of Castile. They soon travelled to Toledo where they prepared to being their reign. There they were sworn in as King and Queen of Castile. However, the two soon began to fall out of favour with the nobles who saw Philip as governing Castile for Joanna and embarking on policies that didn't hold any Castilian interests, Soon tragedy struck. In May Philip fell seriously ill, perhaps having been poisoned by Ferdinand II. Philip would die on May 27th after a long battle. Joanna was broken by this and broke into tears, allegedly crying for days on end. The council and nobles were quick to take advantage of this and declared Joanna insane and unfit to rule. The Archbishop of Toledo became Regent. The Cortés later ruled that Ferdinand II of Aragon was to be reinstated as Co-Monarch of Castile. With this any hope of Joanna ruling her own right ceased.

Meanwhile back in Burgundy the House of Habsburg was thrown into crisis. The 6-year-old Charles became the Duke of Burgundy and would require a Regent for at least 10 years. Maximilian, the Grandfather of Charles was unpopular in the Lowlands and so could never hope to lead the Regency, as did any other potential candidates. Margaret of Austria, who would've been the most amiable candidate was England while Kuningunde of Austria was busy serving as Regent for her son Duke William IV of Bavaria.

This left Charles and his siblings in the hands of the Burgundian nobles. Maximilian refused to accept this and demanded that his Grandson be sent to Vienna so that he could grow up under his tutelage. The Burgundians bluntly refused and set up a Regency council of their own. The lead Regent was Count John V of Nassau, who quickly began making plans for the young boy's education. Maximilian was enraged at this and he would try and fail to diplomatically pressure John into steeping down from the Regency. Maximilian would eventually acknowledge the fact he was not going to influence the Regency and moved on. John was quick to appoint Adrian of Melechen as Charles's tutor. He also made sure Charles's siblings Isabella and Mary were given Dutch tutors, though Eleanor would keep her current tutors since she was in the middle of being educated.


[1] This wasn't my original idea, but after some thinking I decided it was more likely to happen here.
[2] She actually thought this in otl, not sure if it was after Arthur's dead.
[3] I imagine something like this would happen.
[4] They leave earlier thanks to Margaret and because of better relations.

Let me know if I got anything wrong here with the Spanish and Burgundian stuff. Feedback and Criticism is welcomed!
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Ooh very interesting, I wonder what will happen to Catherine here? Perhaps she can marry the Duke of Savoy at some point, or if Anne of Brittany drops dead earlier she can marry Louis XII, excellent chapter!
Ooh very interesting, I wonder what will happen to Catherine here? Perhaps she can marry the Duke of Savoy at some point, or if Anne of Brittany drops dead earlier she can marry Louis XII, excellent chapter!
Thank you! I can confirm Louis will be making an appearance soon! As for Catherine I have a match for her, I just need to do research to find out how that match will go.
Chapter 6 - The Birth of a Dauphin

Chapter 6 - The Birth of a Dauphin

Louis XII is perhaps one of France's most interesting Kings. He lead France through three of the Italian Wars, which are a key part of his legacy [1]. He also went years upon years without an heir. Louis XII had married Anne, Duchess of Brittany in 1499, after divorcing his first wife Joan of France [2]. Anne had been the dowager Queen of France through Louis's cousin Charles VIII of France. As of 1506, Louis and Anne had only one surviving child, Claude, a daughter who could only inherit Brittany due to France following Salic Law. Louis's current heir was his distant cousin Francis, the Count of Angouleme. Wanting to keep Brittany out of foreign hands, Louis was considering betrothing Claude to Francis, which would also help serve as a way to keep France and Brittany united.


A portrait of King Louis XII, circa 1514
However, in early 1506 it became clear that Anne of Brittany was pregnant with child. Louis desperately hoped for a son, wanting to see the survival of the House of Valois-Orleans secured. As such, Louis spent hours a day praying for a son. Francis's Mother Louise was concerned however, as Louis's heir, Francis had become a favourite of the King. She feared that Louis having a son would cause Francis to lose his position of prominence. Though there was still a chance Francis could be married to Claude, even if Louis had an heir, as the marriage contract between Louis and Anne stated a second son or daughter would inherit Brittany ahead of the eldest son.


A Portrait of Anne of Brittany

After much wait and anticipation, Anne would enter labour on September 19th. The next day Anne would give birth to a son [3]. The boy was named Charles, after his paternal Grandfather and Louis's predecessor Charles VIII. The boy would be baptised on September 26th. The next day on September 27th, Charles was officially made the Dauphin of France. Anne was delighted at the birth of her son and would pray for another one.

Louis would also celebrate the birth and would hold a joust in celebration. During the joust a notable guest of Louis, John Stewart, Duke of Albany died. Albany was a Scottish lord in exile after his Father committed treason. Albany died when he fell from his horse and broke his neck. He was survived by his wife, and ten year old cousin, Anne de la Tour d'Auvergne, Countess of Auvergne.


A sketch of John, Duke of Albany and Anne, Countess of Auveregne
Anne would enter mourning and would remain at the court of King Louis XII for months. Louis, following the birth of Charles was confident that he would sire another son, which would prevent foreign powers from taking control of Brittany. Louis began talking Anne de la Tours d'Auvergne into remarrying to Francis of Angouleme. Anne did find Francis quite attractive and so agreed to marry Francis, though Louis would've probably made her marry Francis even if she didn't want to. The wedding would take place in February of 1507 at Paris, though the ceremony was quite small would only a few nobles attending.

Louis XII would take comfort in the fact that he had not only secured the survival of the House of Valois-Orleans, but the survival of the wider House of Valois as well.


[1] Foreshadowing?
[2] Didn't want to go into too much detail but basically she was the daughter of Louis's distant cousin who was the King and was only married to Louis based on the assumption that they couldn't have children (which was true, since Joan was a hunchback and quite sickly IIRC).
[3] Just released this is the birthday of Arthur Tudor, 20 years later! So yes, this is the reincarnation of Arthur.

Feedback and Criticism is welcomed!

Oh, I really like this, especially with the Francis-Anne match, as it's a good way to keep him prominent and find Anne another husband. Hopefully, the little Dauphin Charles lives to succeed his parents... Excellent update!
Oh, I really like this, especially with the Francis-Anne match, as it's a good way to keep him prominent and find Anne another husband. Hopefully, the little Dauphin Charles lives to succeed his parents... Excellent update!
Thank you! I also like the Anne and Francis match too, she’s a very likely bride for Francis if he isn’t the heir to a France and if Anne is free. I have plans for Francis and his sister Marguerite too...
Chapter 7 - The Second and Third Pregnancy of Queen Margaret

Chapter 7 - The Second and Third Pregnancy of Queen Margaret​

It would be in August of 1506, when Henry VII of England and Ferdinand II of Aragon finally reached an agreement on what to do with Catherine's dowry. Henry VII would keep the half he had already received while Ferdinand would keep his half. With this Catherine and her maid staff would prepare to leave England and return to Spain. Only a handful of days before Catherine was to return to Spain, Queen Margaret fell pregnant with child. Henry VII once again prayed for a son.

Catherine of Aragon would also give Margaret her best wishes and promised to pray for the baby. Catherine would come to sorely miss Margaret, who had been a true friend for her and helped make her time in England less miserable than it could've been. Though it would not stop Catherine from referring her time in England as "A time built off blood" [1]. Catherine and Margaret would become famed letter writers and would maintain a close friendship for the rest of their lives. So when Catherine finally left England, Margaret would double down on her friendship with Lady Margaret Bryan.

Around this time Margaret became friends with the up and coming English diplomat, Thomas Boleyn and his wife Elizabeth Howard. Thomas had been recently made the Ambassador to the Lowlands and had met Margaret at a feast with King Henry VII. Thomas would end up becoming a favourite of both King Henry VII and Queen Margaret. Margaret would also become found of the couple's daughter, Anne Boleyn who at the time was only 2 years old [2]. Anne was bright, young, curious, well mannered and playful. Margaret would in an act of kindness, make Anne a part of Princess Elizabeth's household. This was an extreme act of kindness, especially due to Anne being of a much lower class than Elizabeth's. Lady Anne and Princess Elizabeth, would as a result become life long friends.

As Margaret's pregnancy progressed both herself and Henry grew excited for another child of their union. Unfortunately tragedy would strike in January of 1507, when Margaret would suffer a miscarriage. Margaret was devastated by the loss of her child and would enter a state of mourning. Henry VII too was devastated and would comfort his wife. Prince Henry, Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth all mourned the loss of their sibling. Eventually Margaret would recover, though one of her contemporaries said, "Her Majesty, the Queen, was quite saddened by the sudden loss of her child. When she eventually ceased mourning, she remained in a somber mood for many days and nights".

As court life began to return to normal, Henry VII once again began fretting about his succession. Henry VII would write to John of Nassau requesting the date of the marriage between Prince Henry and Eleanor of Austria to be moved from 1513 to 1512. This seems to suggest that Henry VII knew he was running out of time and wished to see his son and heir marry. Henry VII also began to write to Emperor Maximilian hoping to improve relations with the aging Emperor and to double down on the Tudor-Habsburg alliance.

Queen Margaret would quickly bounce back from her miscarriage and in June of 1507, she fell pregnant once more. Here she took great care of herself and spent 3 hours a day praying and went to confession every week. She also began to share Bishop John Fisher as a confessor with her Mother in-law Margaret Beaufort. Though the two Margarets did often disagree on certain issues, they also held a mutual respect of each other. As such their relationship is best described as them being frenemies.


A Portrait of Margaret Beaufort in prayer​

In August of 1507 news from Scotland arrived at the Tudor Court. Princess Margaret Tudor and King James IV of Scotland had shared their first child together. A girl, whom they lovingly named Margaret, after her Mother, Maternal Great Grandmother and step Grandmother. Queen Margaret of England wrote to her stepdaughter and congratulated her on the birth. In an act of good faith, Margaret Tudor named Queen Margaret the Godmother of Princess Margaret of Scotland [3]. Henry VII was delighted at his eldest daughter's successful pregnancy and hoped it would help secure the Anglo-Scot alliance.


An engraving of Princess Margaret Tudor and a Portrait of King James IV of Scotland​

Henry VII began looking abroad for a potential match for the 2-year-old Princess Elizabeth in October. The two main candidates where Prince John of Portugal and Prince Charles of France. Margaret was quick however, to shoot down the potential French match, as she held an anti-French sentiment towards the French after being scorned by King Charles VIII of France. Henry VII would discuss a betrothal between Princess Elizabeth and Prince John with King Manuel of Portugal. However, negotiations would stall and later cease, as King Manuel enquired with John of Nassau about a betrothal between Prince John and Isabella of Austria.

Finally, in February of 1508, Margaret's pregnancy came to an end. She would enter labour on February 11th, the same day Henry VII's first wife Elizabeth died in childbirth [4]. Henry VII feared that the same would happen again and feared for the worst that day. Fortunately, Margaret would survive her labour and better yet, she delivered a strong and healthy son, one who weighed more than most other babies. Henry VII rejoiced at the news as did Margaret Beaufort and the boy's siblings. The boy was named John, after the Saint, Henry VII's maternal Grandfather and Margaret's first husband.

The boy would be baptised on February 25th at Westminster Abbey. The boy was soon created the Duke of Somerset. Prince John's Godparents were Emperor Maximilian of the Holy Roman Empire, King James IV of Scotland and Kunigunde of Bavaria. Quickly many gifts from English vassals and from John's Godparents were sent to London to celebrate the boy's birth. The boy would become beloved by the Royal Family and the people. Henry VII quickly arranged the boy to receive an education befitting of a King in order to make sure John would be prepared to rule in the event of Prince Henry's untimely death.

Prince John.jpg

A Portrait of Prince John as a young child, circa 1509​


[1] A reference to an otl quote where Catherine called her marriage to Arthur "A marriage built off blood".
[2] I am going with 1504 as the birth year for Anne here.
[3] There are too many Margarets here.
[4] Should've had this be Princess Elizabeth's birthday, damnit.

Feedback and criticism welcomed!!!