Albion Rising: A Henry Frederick Timeline

I really love these chapters where there’s a lot of focus on the royal family. It’s nice to see them humanized. And I’m glad that Liz and Fred are getting on <3
Chapter 101: Toast

Chapter 101: Toast

November, 1612

James smiled as he looked around the great hall of the Palace of Whitehall. He was happy, incredibly happy. His daughter was to be formally betrothed to the Elector Palatinate, or rather she had been officially betrothed to the Elector in a ceremony today. This thing he was in now was the feast to celebrate. He was happy because he’d successfully achieved his first main goal. He had married his son to a prominent Catholic Princess and his daughter to the prominent Protestant Prince. Now they could get to work continuing his policy as a peacemaker.

An additional benefit was that his daughter seemed to get on quite nicely with the Elector. He glanced to his right and felt his smile widen as he saw them exchanging words and jokes, his daughter blushing at something the Elector had said. That was good, it was important that they got along. Very important.

He looked down at the food that had been served and found that he didn’t quite have the hunger to eat all of it. Instead, he grabbed his cup, and stood up. Someone, perhaps one of his groomsmen rang a bell and the entire hall fell silent.

James looked around the hall, seeing everyone’s eyes on him, he then turned to face his daughter and future son in law, and in perfect French said. “Your Serene Highness, dearest daughter, my lord and ladies, it is my honour to welcome you here today, for the feast in honour of the Elector Palatinate and my daughter’s betrothal.” He turned to face the entire hall.

“As a father it is my duty to arrange a good marriage for my daughter, and as a King it is my duty to ensure that that marriage is beneficial to the realm. I am pleased to say that in this marriage I have found that perfect combination.” He turned back to face his daughter and the Elector.

“It is clear to me that you make one another happy, and that is something I am immensely grateful for. I know you are perfect for one another.”

He turned back to the hall and raised his cup. “To His Serene Highness the Elector and Her Highness the Princess!”

The words were said back to him, he then downed his drink, and sat down.

The Elector stood up then. The man wasn’t as muscular as Henry, but he had the beginnings of what looked to be a solid gain, that was good. The man looked at him then and said, also in French. “Your Majesty, I thank you for your warm words, and for trusting me with Princess Elizabeth. I promise you that I shall treat her as the Princess that she is, she will want for nothing.” James nodded approvingly.

“I also wish to make clear that I see this friendship between our two Kingdoms as one that can stand the test of time. We are linked together in marriage and a shared religion.” The Elector said. He raised his cup then. “God Save the King and Princess Elizabeth.”

James’ cup was already filled when he took it and downed the drink in honour of the toast. The Elector sat back down, and James then asked him. “A very good toast, Your Serene Highness. Might I ask, how you have found your stay in Britain so far?”

The Elector smiled. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, Your Majesty. There has been a lot of activity, a lot of things to see and of course getting to know my betrothed more is always good.” James nodded and noted how Elizabeth’s smiled at the man’s words. It was the sort of smile that James had seen Henry give Anna Maria before.

“Good.” James replied. “Is there anything else you would like to see before you depart?” The Elector had to leave for the Palatinate at the end of the month, supposedly there was some urgent business that required his immediate attention.

“Yes, there is, Your Majesty.” The Elector said.

Intrigued, James asked. “And what might that be?”

“I would very much like to see the raising of the new flag, Your Majesty.” The Elector said, referring to the raising of the flag of the new United Kingdom that James had had planned for the end of the month. The flag in question combined the best of the designs that had been proposed, the crosses of St George and St Andrew were represented, and Ireland was represented through the darker blue on the bottom of the flag. It was the perfect compromise, with the Royal Coat of Arms represented on the flag for his own personal standard-and for use in the future for government buildings.

“I am sure that that can be arranged.” James answered, indeed, he had hoped that the man would want to attend the flag raising, given its significance.

“Thank you, Your Majesty.” The Elector said.

James nodded and then turned to his left, allowing his daughter and her betrothed to talk. He looked at his wife, and asked her. “Are you well?” Anne had barely said a word the entire feast, and she wasn’t eating, which was rare for her.

Anne mumbled something then cleared her throat. “I am, thank you.”

“Are you sure?” James asked. “You’ve barely touched your food.”

“I am fine.” Anne said, in a tone that suggested she was anything but.

“If you say so.” James said, deciding not to get involved in whatever melodrama was affecting his wife.

Just as he was about to continue eating, Anne spoke. “Have you given any thought to what I said?”

James looked at her and asked. “About what?”

“About Rochester.” Anne said.

James groaned, he didn’t want to talk about this, not now. Thankfully he was saved by someone calling for him. He turned and saw one of his groomsmen standing there. “What is it?” He demanded.

The groomsman stepped forward and whispered. “Word from Edinburgh, Your Majesty.”

James’ heart quickened. “And?”

“Her Highness the Princess of Wales has successfully delivered a baby girl, Their Highnesses have named her Anne, Your Majesty.” The groomsman said.

“Excellent.” James said, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a few coins and handed them to the groomsman. “Thank you, now go and enjoy.” He watched the groomsman go and then turned and looked at Anne and smiled. This was excellent news.
Chapter 102: Mary

Chapter 102: Mary

November, 1612

“Your Highness!” Mrs Robinson exclaimed as Mary ran away, she knew she’d regret doing this, but well, she wanted to be free, she didn’t want to be in the room just now. She ran past the guards, thanking her stars that the Queen had ordered them to give her free rein after her illness. She pushed the doors and ended up in the gardens.

She took a deep breath and then turned slightly at the sound of footsteps, she snorted and ran on. Mrs Robinson wasn’t that quick, and Mary knew if she kept going for a little while, the woman wouldn’t be able to find her, so she kept going. She turned right, then left, then right again, moving through the passageways, ignoring the courtiers who started whispering. She hated them, the insects that they were.

Mary stopped when she came to a little hedge that blocked out the light, there was a little opening for her and she moved into it, shimmying down and up and then resting there, against the small plant that was there. She knew it would dirty her dress, but she didn’t care. She wanted some peace.

Peace. Pah, that was something she didn’t know. Mary didn’t know why she felt like this, but ever since Elizabeth’s betrothal feast, Mary had been scared. Something about being the only girl in the family had terrified her. it had created all sorts of nightmares and she didn’t want to think about that.

Mary sighed, she should probably go back to Mrs Robinson now, she didn’t want the woman to get in trouble. At least not because of what Mary had done, really Mrs Robinson was a nice lady, slightly old and perhaps not the sharpest, but she was nice and she put up with a lot. Mary started to move when she heard a rustle and stopped.

“Mary? Are you there?” A voice called out.

Mary considered remaining silent, she didn’t want her sister seeing her like this.

“Mary?” Elizabeth called out again, something like panic in her voice.

Mary sighed, she didn’t want Elizabeth to worry either. She shifted and then pushed her way out of the bush, blowing some leaves away. “I’m here.” She replied.

Elizabeth turned, her cheeks were rosy. “Why did you run?” Elizabeth immediately asked.

Mary shifted, embarrassed, if she told Elizabeth the truth, her sister would think she was nothing more than a baby and she didn’t want that. But Elizabeth was giving her a look that suggested she wouldn’t let the matter drop until Mary answered her, and so she sighed and said. “I…I didn’t want to be in there anymore.”

“Why?” Elizabeth asked.

“Because it doesn’t feel like home!” Mary said then, her voice going high.

“What do you mean?” Elizabeth asked frowning.

“Well, you’re going soon, and Charles and Robert are boys. Mother never does anything that we do, it doesn’t feel like home.” Mary said, hoping that her explanation made sense, she’d never tried to put it into words before.

“Oh, Mary, sweetheart.” Elizabeth said, crouching down to look Mary in the eye. “I’m not going just yet.”

“But you are going.” Mary said.

“I know, Mary, but I am here until March.” Elizabeth replied soothingly. “We still have plenty of time to do lots of activities together, and I can make sure that Mrs Robinson knows what to do once I am gone.”

“You will?” Mary asked, her eyes wide. Mrs Robinson didn’t seem the type to do those sorts of things, but Elizabeth had a habit of getting people to do the things she wanted them to do.

“Yes, of course, anything for you, sweetheart.” Elizabeth replied.

Mary rushed forward and hugged Elizabeth then. “Thank you!” She squealed.

Elizabeth chuckled. “Of course.” There was a brief pause and then her elder sister asked. “Now why were you hiding in that bush?”

Mary blushed and pulled back to look at her sister properly. “Sometimes I come here to hide and think when Robert’s being too much.”

“Oh?” Elizabeth replied. “And what do you think about when you come here?”

“I think about a lot of things.” Mary said. “Like how I want to go sailing when I am old enough to. Like how I want to be able to see the world, and how I want to do so many other things.”

Elizabeth nodded and asked. “Have you asked Robert if he’ll take you on his ship?”

Mary nodded. “I did, he said ships weren’t for women.”

Elizabeth snorted. “Well, you’re not going to let him get in the way of your desire, are you?”

“I don’t know how to convince him.” Mary said, it was true, she’d thought of everything and hadn’t been able to find a solution.

“You don’t need Robert, you can go to Henry, he’ll be sure to give you what you want.” Elizabeth said.

“He will?” Mary replied uncertainly, she didn’t know, Henry was so much older than her and he scared her a little.

“He will.” Elizabeth said, she rose to her full height then and said. “Especially if I come with you when you ask him.”

“You will?” Mary asked surprised.

“Of course, what else are older sisters for?” Elizabeth replied. Elizabeth extended her hand then and Mary took it happily. “Come now, let’s go back and find Mrs Robinson.”

Reluctantly, Mary walked with Elizabeth, taking the pathways and feeling slightly better. At least Elizabeth wasn’t mad at her, that was what mattered. She could handle Mrs Robinson being mad at her, Mrs Robinson was harmless in the grand scheme of things really.

“Here we are.” Elizabeth said. “Mrs Robinson.”

The elderly Mrs Robinson turned and hurried toward them. “Your Highnesses!”

“It’s fine, Mrs Robinson.” Elizabeth said soothingly. “She just needed some air, didn’t you, Mary?”

Mary looked at Elizabeth and took the hint, she looked at Mrs Robinson and said. “I am sorry for running away, Mrs Robinson, it won’t happen again.”

Mrs Robinson nodded and then said. “Come, the Queen has asked that you both attend her.” Mary looked at Elizabeth wondering what that could be about, but then walked in with Elizabeth as she moved into the Palace.
Good news from Scotland and Mary being fun- glad she is well, hope she gets her boat.

Not sure on that flag description…

Wonder why James wasn't eating well at the feast? Wonder why Anne wasn’t either…. Worry about Henry and Anne?
Good news from Scotland and Mary being fun- glad she is well, hope she gets her boat.

Not sure on that flag description…

Wonder why James wasn't eating well at the feast? Wonder why Anne wasn’t either…. Worry about Henry and Anne?
Oh she’ll likely cause a lot of stink for her boat.

Chapter 103: Holy Roman Emperor

Chapter 103: Holy Roman Emperor

December, 1612

Matthias repressed a groan. His body was aching, his mind was aching. Everything was aching. Old age was catching up with him, combined with the stress from wearing Charlemagne’s crown and he wasn’t sure just how long he’d be able to keep going for. The only thing that stopped him from caving in and throwing in the towel was the fact that he needed to leave something for his son. Only that was granting him any sort of rest.

He took a moment and then looked at his chief advisor and asked. “Well, Klesl, what word do you have for me?” Matthias had asked his chief advisor to look into causing discord within the Protestant Union, mainly as part of Matthias’ plans to try and keep the peace within the Empire.

Klesl smacked his lips together and then answered. “I have some good news and some bad news, Sire.”

“Start with the bad news first.” Matthias said.

“The efforts of the Protestant Union to formulate a cohesive strategy are slowly coming together. Led by the Elector Palatinate and his chancellor.” Klesl said.

“And what strategy are they moving toward?” Matthias asked. As long as it wasn’t outright warfare, Matthias didn’t care.

“A move to coordinate their policies within the Empire and their interactions with you, Sire.” Klesl said.

Matthias frowned. “In what manner?”

“The manner is not yet clear, but suffice it to say that it looks to be for a weakening of Imperial authority, Sire.” Klesl said.

Matthias sighed. The damned Princes and their damned desires to weaken the authority of his office. Did they not understand that they were weakening the Empire by pursuing such policies? He took another breath and then asked. “And what is the good news?”

“The good news is that the Elector of Saxony has refused to join the Union. The whispering campaign that Your Imperial Majesty instituted has worked, Sire.” Klesl said.

“Excellent.” Matthias replied. He had met the Elector of Saxony once, during the vote that had conferred the Imperial Mantle onto him, and he had liked him.

“Needless to say this has caused some consternation amongst the Union, and the Elector of Brandenburg has begun a whispering campaign of his own against Saxony.” Klesl added.

“Saying what?” Matthias asked. He had also met Brandenburg at the vote, and had despised him from then on in.

“That Saxony is not a committed Protestant, that he will venture back to Catholicism, all the usual things that those type of people say.” Klesl said.

“And what impact has this had?” Matthias asked, he knew that Saxony would likely shrug such a thing off, but others might perk up at it.

“None. Nobody takes Brandenburg seriously.” Klesl said.

Matthias laughed. That was good news. “Very well.”

A moment passed and then another, then Matthias said. “I have given some thought to your suggestion about Bohemia.” Klesl had suggested using covert methods such as a pamphlet campaign to undermine the Protestants within the Kingdom. Matthias had initially been against it, but after going over it, he had changed his mind. What harm could it do? Especially if it was done anonymously.

“Oh? Please do go on, Your Imperial Majesty.” Klesl said eagerly.

“I am in favour of it, so long as it is done anonymously and there is no possible way that they could trace anything back to the Crown.” Matthias said. He knew what the Bohemians were like and he truly did not want to experience their wrath.

“Of course, Sire.” Klesl said. “I shall ensure that it is anonymous.”

“Good.” Matthias replied. “What will the range be?”

“If we get it right, it could well cover the entire Kingdom, Sire.” Klesl said.

“And you are sure that it will have the desired impact?” Matthias asked.

“I am, Sire. I do not think that there is such a commitment to heresy as the Protestant leaders would have Your Imperial Majesty believe.” Klesl said.

Matthias exhaled. “Very well, you have my permission to begin printing the pamphlets immediately.”

“Sire.” Klesl replied, making a note and then handing it over to a servant.

“There was one final thing that I wished to discuss with you, Klesl.” Matthias said, remembering what his wife had said and deciding to get this out of the way.

“Sire?” Klesl replied.

“The marriage of my eldest son and heir Maximilian.” Matthias said. “Who would you consider to be the most likely candidates?” It was important to him that his son be married to someone who was of the appropriate age and background so that his son’s position was secured after Matthias had gone.

“Well, Sire, normally I would suggest Spain as per normal Imperial policy, but they lack a bride who is of the right age.” Klesl said. “Therefore, there are two main considerations I would think.” Klesl shifted and then said. “The daughter of His Imperial Highness the Archduke Ferdinand, and Nicole of Lorraine.”

Matthias considered this and then said. “Lorraine would unnecessarily antagonise France, so it must be Ferdinand’s daughter.” He just hoped that the girl would not turn out like her father. Ferdinand was many things but pleasant he was not.

“Shall I get to making the arrangements, Sire?” Klesl asked.

“Draft out a preliminary contract but do not present anything until the children are slightly older.” Matthias said. He didn’t want Ferdinand getting any ideas after all.

“Of course, Sire.” Klesl replied bowing in agreement.

“Another thing.” Matthias said, the thought coming to him. “Has there been any word from Albert?” He’d written to his brother a few months ago to discuss the Imperial Succession, as Matthias was not vain enough to believe that he would live to see his son become a man, and thus wanted his brother to prepare for his eventual ascension.

“There has been one letter, Sire.” Klesl said. “It arrived earlier today.”

“And what does it say?” Matthias asked.

“Simply an acknowledgement of what Your Imperial Majesty had stated and a statement that His Imperial Highness will discuss the matter in due course.” Klesl replied.

Matthias grunted in frustration that was typical of his brother. “Very well, leave it.”