An Imperial Match: Anne Boleyn marries Charles V

Yes, that is it! Will Anne be having a son called Juan?
Because that would mean there is Joao in Portugal, John in England and Juan in Spain.
I think one of the Protestant Kings is called John as well.
I can say for sure that we will have a Juan at some point in this story.
 
30th of November, 1522. New
Copenhagen, Denmark. 30th of November, 1522.

The little Dowager Queen was a pale figure in the corridors of Copenhagen Castle in Denmark as she walked about, dressed in all black, still mourning her lost husband and son. Many did not know what to do with her now that Frederick I had ascended to the throne, passing over her two young daughters in the succession. Some neglected her, feeling that she had lost her power and influence, while others attempted to extend a hand of friendship to her, thinking she would be grateful to anyone that could help the cause of her dear Dorothea.

Those that did were ignored. Elizabeth of Austria needed no one but herself.

And alone she was when Frederick of Denmark came to see her, sitting on an armchair by the hearth, her beautiful red hair bound up under a black cap. She didn’t look at him when he enters, or even when her maid announced his presence, failing to acknowledge him in any way. She doesn’t stand up to curtsy to him, continuing to sit in her chair, staring at the burning embers in her hearth.

For a moment, he thought she had gone mad as her mother did, that grief took away her reason, but, suddenly, Elizabeth looked at him with her wide and teary blue eyes, staring right at him. He knew then that she had her wits about her still.

He dismissed her maid and sat on the chair opposite hers, so they could speak in private. As he looked at her, he remembered the day she came to Denmark, just fourteen years old and already in love with Christian’s portrait. She was a clever child, eager to please. Happy. It was fascinating to see her, how unbothered she was by Sigbrit Willoms. He felt the full weight of his years seeing her as a woman grown, a widowed Queen and a mother to two princesses.

“Elizabeth…” he started, feeling that their bonds of kinship would forgive his informality. He spoke to her in her native German, hoping to reach her through the language, if not through his words, “I want us to be friends.”

“You are not my friend,” she replied in Danish. The common language was strange to him and it took a while for him to understand her words, as it had been many years since he last spoke it, “You are a traitor. A traitor to me and to my beloved Christian.”

“Christian saw reason in his last days,” said Frederick, still speaking German, “His will named me as heir.”

“A false will,” she argued, “Made by evil hands. My Christian would never neglect his daughter so. The crown on your head does not belong to you, sir.”

He forgave her disrespect. She was still young, just twenty-one, and with two young fatherless daughters to raise. And she was a woman. Women were not known for their grasp on sense and reason.

“Maybe not,” he said in his broken Danish, “But it is mine now. Mine until death and I wish to see my last years in peace.” She didn’t respond to him, only turning away her bloodshot eyes. Frederick sighed, “I have a proposition for you.”

That gained her attention. She looked at him and frowned, “What could you possibly want with a widow like me?”

“I have no use for a widowed Queen and grieving mother. I do have use for your Dorothea. I have begun the process of naming Hans as my heir, and he will be in need of a wife and Queen when he ascends.”

“Hans is but a baby,” she said, remembering the son he had that was born only a year before when he wed for a second time to ensure the continuation of the Oldenburg line, “And Christian…”

“Christian understands the price for peace,” Frederick said, “In return for giving up the throne, he will be given Schleswig-Holstein-Haderslev as his own.” He shook his head, “If you accept my offer, your Dorothea will be queen. Her son will rule one day.”

“Queen,” she said, almost spitting the word, “Queen consort, you mean.”

He nodded, “We all have to make sacrifices in the name of the greater good.” He shook his head again, tired of this conversation, “I have some years left in me yet, Elizabeth. Perhaps enough years to see Hans become a man, perhaps not. But know this: I would have backed Dorothea’s right to ascend were she older and without the threat of a long regency. But the nobles were anxious and commanded that I take the crown, even before Christian’s will was read.” He sighed, “Things would have never gone your way, Elizabeth.”

She hesitated, clearly surprised by his words, and looked away, biting her lower lip. She reminded him of his own daughter, another Dorothea. Both were too stubborn for their own good, but, in the end, they always accept that things would go his way, not theirs.

“And Christina?” she asked, voice low, “What will happen to her?”

“Christina will be educated and treated as befitting her rank,” answered Frederick, “When the time comes for her to be wed, I will find her a husband worthy of her who benefits Denmark, and will pay for her dowry myself.” He smiled, trying to appear cheerful, “If you wish, after you have found a castle to retire, you may bring her with you. Dorothea will have to remain here, of course, but I don’t see why Christina should not stay with her mother.”

Elizabeth nodded, “I have decided a place to retire.”

“Good,” Frederick said, cheerful for the first time in the night, “Where to?”

“Home,” she answered, “Christina and I will be returning to the Low Countries.”
 
Her brother Hans died in 1532 at about fourteen years old. As the eldest surviving child of the abdicated Christian II, Dorothea had a claim to the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish thrones. Because of this, King Frederick of Denmark suggested that Dorothea marry his youngest son, Prince John, after which he would name John his heir and leave his eldest son and current heir Christian as heir to the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein instead. This was rejected by the Emperor and regent Mary because they did not wish to negotiate with Frederick, whom they regarded as an usurper.
From Dorothea's wikipedia.
 
Copenhagen, Denmark. 30th of November, 1522.

The little Dowager Queen was a pale figure in the corridors of Copenhagen Castle in Denmark as she walked about, dressed in all black, still mourning her lost husband and son. Many did not know what to do with her now that Frederick I had ascended to the throne, passing over her two young daughters in the succession. Some neglected her, feeling that she had lost her power and influence, while others attempted to extend a hand of friendship to her, thinking she would be grateful to anyone that could help the cause of her dear Dorothea.

Those that did were ignored. Elizabeth of Austria needed no one but herself.

And alone she was when Frederick of Denmark came to see her, sitting on an armchair by the hearth, her beautiful red hair bound up under a black cap. She didn’t look at him when he enters, or even when her maid announced his presence, failing to acknowledge him in any way. She doesn’t stand up to curtsy to him, continuing to sit in her chair, staring at the burning embers in her hearth.

For a moment, he thought she had gone mad as her mother did, that grief took away her reason, but, suddenly, Elizabeth looked at him with her wide and teary blue eyes, staring right at him. He knew then that she had her wits about her still.

He dismissed her maid and sat on the chair opposite hers, so they could speak in private. As he looked at her, he remembered the day she came to Denmark, just fourteen years old and already in love with Christian’s portrait. She was a clever child, eager to please. Happy. It was fascinating to see her, how unbothered she was by Sigbrit Willoms. He felt the full weight of his years seeing her as a woman grown, a widowed Queen and a mother to two princesses.

“Elizabeth…” he started, feeling that their bonds of kinship would forgive his informality. He spoke to her in her native German, hoping to reach her through the language, if not through his words, “I want us to be friends.”

“You are not my friend,” she replied in Danish. The common language was strange to him and it took a while for him to understand her words, as it had been many years since he last spoke it, “You are a traitor. A traitor to me and to my beloved Christian.”

“Christian saw reason in his last days,” said Frederick, still speaking German, “His will named me as heir.”

“A false will,” she argued, “Made by evil hands. My Christian would never neglect his daughter so. The crown on your head does not belong to you, sir.”

He forgave her disrespect. She was still young, just twenty-one, and with two young fatherless daughters to raise. And she was a woman. Women were not known for their grasp on sense and reason.

“Maybe not,” he said in his broken Danish, “But it is mine now. Mine until death and I wish to see my last years in peace.” She didn’t respond to him, only turning away her bloodshot eyes. Frederick sighed, “I have a proposition for you.”

That gained her attention. She looked at him and frowned, “What could you possibly want with a widow like me?”

“I have no use for a widowed Queen and grieving mother. I do have use for your Dorothea. I have begun the process of naming Hans as my heir, and he will be in need of a wife and Queen when he ascends.”

“Hans is but a baby,” she said, remembering the son he had that was born only a year before when he wed for a second time to ensure the continuation of the Oldenburg line, “And Christian…”

“Christian understands the price for peace,” Frederick said, “In return for giving up the throne, he will be given Schleswig-Holstein-Haderslev as his own.” He shook his head, “If you accept my offer, your Dorothea will be queen. Her son will rule one day.”

“Queen,” she said, almost spitting the word, “Queen consort, you mean.”

He nodded, “We all have to make sacrifices in the name of the greater good.” He shook his head again, tired of this conversation, “I have some years left in me yet, Elizabeth. Perhaps enough years to see Hans become a man, perhaps not. But know this: I would have backed Dorothea’s right to ascend were she older and without the threat of a long regency. But the nobles were anxious and commanded that I take the crown, even before Christian’s will was read.” He sighed, “Things would have never gone your way, Elizabeth.”

She hesitated, clearly surprised by his words, and looked away, biting her lower lip. She reminded him of his own daughter, another Dorothea. Both were too stubborn for their own good, but, in the end, they always accept that things would go his way, not theirs.

“And Christina?” she asked, voice low, “What will happen to her?”

“Christina will be educated and treated as befitting her rank,” answered Frederick, “When the time comes for her to be wed, I will find her a husband worthy of her who benefits Denmark, and will pay for her dowry myself.” He smiled, trying to appear cheerful, “If you wish, after you have found a castle to retire, you may bring her with you. Dorothea will have to remain here, of course, but I don’t see why Christina should not stay with her mother.”

Elizabeth nodded, “I have decided a place to retire.”

“Good,” Frederick said, cheerful for the first time in the night, “Where to?”

“Home,” she answered, “Christina and I will be returning to the Low Countries.”
Oh dang. Elizabeth of Austria just up and taking Christina to her home. Good on her! And can’t wait to see how Charles reacts to the news that any foothold of power his family had in Denmark is essentially null for the next decade and a half until Dorothea is made Queen Consort.
 
Fabulous as always! I liked Elizabeth speaking Danish, it was a great subtle move. I’m really excited to see how she and Christina do in the Low Countries.
 
I enjoyed this chapter. This is not how I expected things to go, but it works very nicely.

Now hopefully, Elizabeth will uphold her end of the deal and not do anything stupid to jeopardise her daughter's future - which, given her Hapsburg pride, might not be outside the realms of possiblity...
 
There is a major problem with this deal: Norway.
Despite Denmark being a sorta elective monarchy (in reality it would always be a son/brother/close relative of the former king who'd succeed him) where such a deal proposed by Frederik might just be barely plausible (although I can't imagine OTL Christian III agreeing to this), Norway is a hereditary monarchy where the king's eldest son would automatically succeed him. Disregarding the Norwegian traditions in such a way is a huge negative PR move, and given that Denmark has just recently lost Sweden, it seems unlikely that they would piss off the Norwegians in such a way. A better solution could be that Christian has another wife ttl, who is able to have children earlier, meaning that she already could have given birth to a son in the early 1520s. This son of Christian could then marry Dorothea. A potential atl wife of Christian could be Anna of Brunswick (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_of_Brunswick-Lüneburg_(1502–1568))

Otherwise I like the idea of uniting the two royal lines, since it did create some rumblings OTL that Christina and Dorothea could have a stronger claim than Frederick I's descendants :)
 
There is a major problem with this deal: Norway.
Despite Denmark being a sorta elective monarchy (in reality it would always be a son/brother/close relative of the former king who'd succeed him) where such a deal proposed by Frederik might just be barely plausible (although I can't imagine OTL Christian III agreeing to this), Norway is a hereditary monarchy where the king's eldest son would automatically succeed him. Disregarding the Norwegian traditions in such a way is a huge negative PR move, and given that Denmark has just recently lost Sweden, it seems unlikely that they would piss off the Norwegians in such a way. A better solution could be that Christian has another wife ttl, who is able to have children earlier, meaning that she already could have given birth to a son in the early 1520s. This son of Christian could then marry Dorothea. A potential atl wife of Christian could be Anna of Brunswick (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_of_Brunswick-Lüneburg_(1502–1568))

Otherwise I like the idea of uniting the two royal lines, since it did create some rumblings OTL that Christina and Dorothea could have a stronger claim than Frederick I's descendants :)
You make sense, but Frederick became King of Norway otl, he just never visited the country, nor was crowned as such.
 
You make sense, but Frederick became King of Norway otl, he just never visited the country, nor was crowned as such.
That is a different scenario. Frederick became king after his brother was deposed. Christian II did have a son OTL who would by normal standards have succeeded him as king automatically, but since he was the deposed king's son there were many Norwegian nobles who disapproved of that and so they mostly accepted Frederick's rule. Frederick's son, Christian, does not have the same stigma as Christian II's son, so there's really no reason for the Norwegians to support going against their hereditary rules, and many Norwegians might even support his rights over his younger brother and Dorothea. Furthermore, when Christian II tried to reconquer his realms in 1531 OTL there were still many Norwegians who did support him. Norway, despite being the lesser partner in the Dano-Norwegian union, was by no means a neglible factor by this point
 
That is a different scenario. Frederick became king after his brother was deposed. Christian II did have a son OTL who would by normal standards have succeeded him as king automatically, but since he was the deposed king's son there were many Norwegian nobles who disapproved of that and so they mostly accepted Frederick's rule. Frederick's son, Christian, does not have the same stigma as Christian II's son, so there's really no reason for the Norwegians to support going against their hereditary rules, and many Norwegians might even support his rights over his younger brother and Dorothea. Furthermore, when Christian II tried to reconquer his realms in 1531 OTL there were still many Norwegians who did support him. Norway, despite being the lesser partner in the Dano-Norwegian union, was by no means a neglible factor by this point
Hum. I'll see what I can do
 
1st of December, 1522. New
Toledo, Castile. 1st of December, 1522.

As the weeks passed and her lessons of Castilian progressed slowly, Anne learned it was a very lonely task to be a queen. Charles had placed her in luscious accommodations and assigned three high-ranking noblewomen to serve her as her ladies-in-waiting, however, none of them could speak English and they were forced to communicate in either Latin or French to understand each other. Though the ladies did not complain, and in fact seemed grateful for their roles in her household, she could not help but feel they resented her.

There were still some who felt Anne had seduced Charles to gain herself a crown, robbing him of the opportunity to have a wife with Iberian blood, and she could not help but wonder if at least one of her ladies was not counted amongst her enemies. Someone who would see her removed from her place and replaced by someone like Isabella of Portugal or Mary of England.

Catalina Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, called Lina, was a granddaughter to Charles’ trusted advisor, the Duke of Alba, and she seemed especially cold to Anne. She treated her with courtesy, and little else. She fulfilled any orders directly and quickly, as if they were the most loathsome tasks to be done and forgotten. By comparison, the Duchess of Santángelo, Elvira Fernández, was certainly kinder, if only by a small margin. The woman was reserved towards Anne, save for when Lina was especially cold. Then the Duchess would offer Anne some small pained smile and attempt polite conversation to ease the tension.

Anne spent most of her days sewing things for her baby or attending mass in silence, never speaking to anyone for fear of offending them. She wondered sometimes if Queen Catherine felt like that, lonely and friendless. Probably not. The Queen had loyal attendants who served her since the days of her marriage to Prince Arthur, such as María de Salinas. She could not imagine someone as Catherine of Aragon feeling as she does at that moment.

Sometimes, she resented Charles for not paying more attention to her, or spending more time with her, but she knows it’s not his fault. He had many things to do, an empire to rule. He could not be expected to attend to her at all times too. Whenever she had such thoughts, she would pray to be a more attentive wife, and for relief of her torment.

She was reading an old poem book, trying to understand the Castillian words when a servant entered her room, saying something in Spanish that she barely catches. Anne turned to Elvira who said, “There is a man outside, Your Majesty. A man called Jorge Bolena, who claims to be your brother.”

“George?” she questioned, standing up, “Send him in.”

George, her brother, stood before her in all his brilliance. His crooked smile was dazzling, the gap in his pearly front teeth endearing as ever. His light brown hair fell in fat lazy curls, ever a subject of annoyance to their father. His blue-grey eyes sparkled with joy as he looked Anne up and down.

“Empress, your brother has come to his rightful place beside his sister.” George intoned in English, bowing grandly, his smile taking on a cheeky turn that made Anne want to laugh for the first time since she began her Castilian education.

She bid him rise and took his face in her hands, tears coming to her eyes. “George, my little George. I can’t believe you’re here. What of England? What of our fat—“ She stopped herself, not wanting to address Thomas, and noticed her brother’s smile fall slightly.

“He didn’t agree with me that our family’s future was here. I come alone, but I think the Boleyn family is home so long as it’s in the presence of our wonderful Annie.” He smiled and touched her stomach, “How are you, sister? I see you have been busy with your Emperor.”

Anne couldn’t stop smiling. She embraced him, pulling him as close as she could with the large belly between them. George laughed as he hugged her back, whispering in her ear about how much he missed her, and she laughed too because she couldn’t believe this. He was there, with her, in Spain. She inhaled his familiar smell of parchment and mint, closing her eyes as she was brought back to their years in England. Oh, this was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

When they stepped away, her eyes caught Lina’s, watching them silently. As far as she knew, her ladies could not speak English, but there was something in her expression that implied otherwise. Wishing for privacy, Anne dismissed her ladies and when they were gone, she asked, holding George’s hand, “How did you get here? Did the King allow you to leave?”

“No, I didn’t even ask him. I paid a merchant to let me into his ship,” he said, “For ten days, I slept amongst the chickens, but it was worth it. It was all worth it just to see you again, sweet sister.”

“Oh, George,” she said, hugging him again, “It’s so good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too,” he answered, “But tell me, sister. How are you? Have the Spaniards been treating you well?”

“They have been treating me like a queen,” said Anne, forgetting about Lina’s coldness and Charles’ distance, “Oh, George. I can’t believe you came.”

“And Charles?” he asked, “Is he a good husband to you?”

She said nothing. She only took his hand and placed it over her belly, where her son, the still unborn Prince of Asturias, was growing. The baby kicked the spot under George’s hand, seeking his warmth, and her brother laughed, smiling.

“He is strong,” said George.

“Of course he is,” Anne said, “He is my son. Why would he not be strong?”
 
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