Rosa Sine Spina: Kitty Howard Is Pregnant in 1541

Hopefully Kitty has a son this time! Otherwise, Henry might start to waver. Elizabeth going to Ireland and meeting Jane Grey and a Dudley is certainly interesting! Hopefully those are fruitful relationships
Well, I had to give Elizabeth *a* Dudley in her life, and Edward's not around for Robert to be raised with, so I decided Mary would do instead. :) Also, I was determined to give Jane a happier life TTL, so here she is...
Henry's going to Ireland? That will be interesting.
Won't it just?
 
Well, I had to give Elizabeth *a* Dudley in her life, and Edward's not around for Robert to be raised with, so I decided Mary would do instead. :) Also, I was determined to give Jane a happier life TTL, so here she is...
Well, given that she knows his sister now, it’s possible that she’ll meet Robert through her
 
Awww how sweet to see that Elizabeth will be looking after her cousin Jane here, it'll be good for Jane to not have to be around her parents.
 
Wish Kitty an easy pregnancy and a son.

Progress in Ireland should be interesting for Henry esp if he goes outside Dublin.

Elizabeth is fun. Poor Jane.
 
Richmond, September 1542

England seems relatively content in the weeks following Henry’s publication of his new Act of Succession and Mary’s marriage to Charlie. It is almost as though, with the Succession legally settled, and the Catholic-leaning Howards moderating the influence of the King’s more radical councillors, the country has subsided, relieved to have peace after the fractiousness of the last decade.

The peace does Henry good too. Freed from the concerns of state, he spends the summer hunting in the New Forest, and the fresh air and exercise revitalise him considerably. Indeed, he is feeling so much better by September that he begins to turn his attention to the newest of his realms. That, of course, is Ireland, which Dublin only acquiesced to settle fully upon him earlier in the year, even though England’s Kings have had a legal right to Ireland since the days of King John.

He begins to toy with the idea of a progress there. After all, he’s never been to Ireland, even though his father made him Lord Lieutenant of the country at the age of three, and his northern visit went so well last year. Why shouldn’t he repeat the experience, this time showing himself to all those loyal Irish Earls and Barons that Lord St Leger had him create recently?

The idea appeals greatly, so much so, in fact, that he broaches the topic with Kitty after supper one night.

“I’ve a mind to go to Dublin for Christmas,” he says idly, stroking Kitty’s curly hair as they sit together on a divan by the fire, “It might be just as well to go and see how Lord St Leger’s new policies are working out.”

“That sounds like a wonderful idea,” Kitty smiles, her eyes flickering closed in contentment at Henry’s caresses, “I’m just not sure I’ll be able to come.”

“Why on earth not?!” Henry exclaims, “You’re my Queen. Where else would you be but at my side?”

“Well, of course, but…” Kitty glances coyly away, “I wasn’t going to say anything yet, because I’m not sure, but I missed my courses this month. If I do turn out to be with child, if I’m not just late, then I doubt the physicians will want me sailing to Dublin at Christmas,” Drawing breath, she holds up a hand to stop Henry interrupting, “But you should absolutely go. It sounds like an excellent idea, and it would reward Lord St Leger for his recent loyalty. Why don’t you take Eliza with you in my place, if it turns out I can’t come? She’s more than old enough to enjoy the trip, and I’m sure she’d learn a great deal from Lady St Leger. Besides, isn’t she a cousin of sorts to the Butlers? It would do her good to meet more family. She’s so stuck in the middle her, with Mary so much older, and Janie so much younger.”

“She’ll need a companion or two,” Henry grumbles, “I’m not amusing her endlessly.”

Despite himself, however, Henry is charmed by the suggestion. He’ll never admit it, not with who her mother is, but he has a soft spot for Eliza. She looks like him, and she’s got the same spirit as his favourite sister Mary. Moreover, despite her spirit, she’s never defied him the way her older sister has.

Besides, Kitty’s right. Eliza’s nine. She’ll no doubt adore a chance to broaden her horizons a little. Mary had already been to France at her age, after all.

“Isn’t young Lady Jane Viscount Grane’s cousin?” Kitty muses, “She could go with you. She’d be good company for Eliza, and I’m sure Lord and Lady Dorset would be thrilled to see her ensconced in the royal nursery. Especially since rumour has it that Her Ladyship is really struggling with this third pregnancy. An emptier house might do Cousin Frances the world of good.”

Henry harrumphs, “You really have thought of everything, haven’t you, my rose?”

Hurt flashes in Kitty’s eyes at his graceless tone, and he checks himself. He mustn’t upset her. Not now.

He lifts her hand to his lips and kisses it.

“I’ll think about it,” he promises, “You just focus on keeping our boy safe in that belly of yours. Heavens knows we’re relying on his being safe and well.”

Kitty’s heart sinks at Henry’s words. She hasn’t even found out whether she is truly with child yet, and yet he’s already sure and certain that she’s going to have a son? She dreads to think how he’ll react if she doesn’t.



Hatfield, September 1542

Hatfield is bustling when Elizabeth returns from her riding lesson with Master Blount.

Of course, Hatfield is always bustling, being as it is the favoured nursery palace of King Henry’s daughters, but even so, it is unusually crowded, with numerous strangers running here, there and everywhere.

At nine years old. Elizabeth prides herself on recognising everyone who belongs, and she counts at least half a dozen people who don’t, just while walking across the courtyard.

“Kat?” she calls, trying not to let her voice shake. She’s a Marchioness now, just like her mother was before her. Marchionesses aren’t allowed to be scared.

“Ah, Lady Wiltshire, there you are!” Kat hurries down the passage towards her, her face creased and frazzled.

Lady Wiltshire.” Now Elizabeth knows something’s up. Kat never calls her by her title. She always follows Mama Katherine’s lead and calls her ‘Eliza’, unless she’s in trouble, in which case it’s ‘Elizabeth’ or ‘My Lady’.

“Kat? What’s going on? Why are all these people here?” Elizabeth hardly notices Master Blount bow himself away, so intent is she upon her Lady Governess. Kat smiles at her and puts an arm around her shoulders, “We were about to send out a search party!”

“I was only in the grounds with Master Blount!” It is with difficulty that Elizabeth stops herself from stamping her foot. Why isn’t Kat answering her question?

Kat chuckles, “Of course you were, silly me. But come along now. There are some people you need to meet.”

“There are?” Elizabeth cocks her head, and Kat nods, “Her Majesty thought you might like some companions to share your lessons with, now that you’re getting a bit older. They may even go to Ireland with you, if His Majesty decides to take you.”

“Papa’s taking me to Ireland?” Distracted by this new information, Elizabeth’s brown eyes shoot wide, and Kat shrugs.

“Maybe. Nothing’s been decided yet. But come along. It’s rude to keep people waiting.”

With that, Kat steers her up the stairs and into the nursery wing.

Jane is crying, that high, rattling whine of discomfort that means she has a wet bottom and wants a cuddle and some fresh smallclothes.

The noise makes Elizabeth grit her teeth, but before she can complain, Cousin Isabel is there, swooping Jane into her arms and clucking sympathetically.

“There, there, Your Highness. I know, I know. Let’s get you nice and clean and then you can go back to sleep. You haven’t slept for nearly long enough.”

Kat exchanges a quick smile with Cousin Isabel and then they sweep past her straight into Elizabeth’s schoolroom.

Two girls are there, one a couple of years older than Elizabeth, the other clearly several years younger. The older of the two has rich curly dark hair that would probably tumble to her hips if it wasn’t braided up out of her eyes. Her eyes, too, are dark, and they flash mischievously up at Elizabeth as she drops into a curtsy.

“Lady Elizabeth.”

“Lady Wiltshire,” Kat corrects, but Elizabeth doesn’t mind. Smiling, she helps the older girl to her feet.

“And you are?”

“Mistress Mary Dudley, Lady Wiltshire,” the older girl answers and Elizabeth nods.

“My older sister’s called Mary. It’s a nice name.”

Formalities over, she rolls her eyes behind Kat’s back at her governess’s sudden insistence on propriety.

Mary Dudley giggles at her behaviour, and Elizabeth has to arrange her face into a picture of innocence as Kat whirls round.

Her governess’s eyes narrow, but she says nothing, only takes hold of Elizabeth’s shoulder and turns her to face the third occupant of the room.

“And this is your cousin, the Lady Jane.”

Jane couldn’t be any more different from Mary if she tried. Fair and petite, even for her age, which is just five, she is painfully shy, clinging to her nurse’s hand as though her life depends upon it, and blushing scarlet when Elizabeth smiles at her.

“Hello, Cousin.”

“H-Hello, L-Lady Wil – Wiltsh-hire,” Jane stammers, shaking so hard she can hardly curtsy when her nurse prods her.

Elizabeth glances her up and down and then, as children of nine are wont to do, dismisses Jane as a silly cry-baby not worth playing with.

She holds out her hand to Mary.

“You must call me Eliza, Mistress Mary. All my friends do, and I can already tell we’re going to be the very best of friends.”
Cool!
I hope kitty has a son if she is pregnant
Hopefully Kitty has a son this time! Otherwise, Henry might start to waver. Elizabeth going to Ireland and meeting Jane Grey and a Dudley is certainly interesting! Hopefully those are fruitful relationships
He might have misteresses but won’t divorce her as Katherine is still quite young and pretty. Either way she won’t be beheaded.
 
Wish Kitty an easy pregnancy and a son.

Progress in Ireland should be interesting for Henry esp if he goes outside Dublin.

Elizabeth is fun. Poor Jane.
Isn't she just? I had so much fun with this chapter.
Cool!
I hope kitty has a son if she is pregnant

He might have misteresses but won’t divorce her as Katherine is still quite young and pretty. Either way she won’t be beheaded.
Well, indeed.
 
XII: Pau, Christmas 1542
I'm at home ill, so you all get the benefit. Just in case any of you wonder what Tom Seymour is getting up to TTL...

“Make way for the Princess Jeanne! Make Way!”

The guards thrust their way through the crowds, rattling their swords in their scabbards to show they mean business. Jeanne follows close behind, steering her lithe grey palfrey through the throngs of cheering people with all the skill of her Valois mother.

At fourteen, Jeanne is a shapely girl, tall and slender with burgeoning curves in all the right places. Her dark gaze is bewitching, and her hair, always worn loose to denote her royal status, is a veritable forest of chestnut curls.

She laughs and waves to the crowd, who cheer raucously and call out her name, for, though Jeanne has been raised at her Uncle Francis’s court, alongside her cousin Marguerite, she has been returning to her father’s principality of Bearn for alternate Christmases and Easters – Christmas one year, Easter the next – since she was five and her parents gave up on having a son to succeed her father. The citizens of Pau know and adore her.

The little cavalcade reaches the main square of Pau, and Jeanne draws rein, heart soaring as she sees her parents descending from the Castle to meet her.

She beams at them and leaps from the saddle, before remembering herself and curtsying to them as deeply and correctly as she would to any monarch, as she always does to her Uncle Francis and his wife Queen Eleanor.

“Your Majesties. How good it is to see you. May I be the first to wish you both the compliments of the season?”

“My dear daughter,” Her father bids her rise, and kisses her on both cheeks, before pulling back and holding her at arm’s length, “It is good to have you back with us again. You look well. Married life clearly suits you.”

Jeanne scoffs, “Not being with my husband is suiting me, Papa. William is still as loathsome as ever.”

“Nevertheless, a married woman you are, and a married woman you shall remain,” her mother interrupts, frowning, “Your Uncle Francis needs the match, remember?”

“If he’d needed the match that badly, he would have used Cousin Marguerite and not me. She’s older,” Jeanne retorts, before softening and leaning in to kiss her mother’s cheek, “Merry Christmas, Maman.”

“Merry Christmas, Jeanne, darling,” Her mother returns the caress, before slipping a maternal arm around Jeanne’s shoulders, “Now, your uncle tells me you’re looking for a new Master of Horse?”

“I am indeed. I had to sack Adolf. I won’t have my husband spying on me, even if he does think I’m his property. I’m going to be a Queen one day. He’s just a Duke, albeit a rich one.”

“Well, perhaps I might be able to help you there,” Jeanne’s mother turns her to face the knot of courtiers milling around behind them, “Our fellow believer the Earl of Hertford has sent his younger brother to us from England. It appears he thinks the boy would be rather safer out of King Henry’s reach, after what happened to poor Prince Edward.”

“Oh?” Jeanne makes a polite noise of inquiry, and her mother beckons a dark-haired man forward.

“May I present Sir Thomas Seymour? Sir Thomas, my daughter, the Princess Jeanne of Navarre.”

Enchantee, Your Highness,” Sir Thomas kisses Jeanne’s hand with all due respect, but his voice shakes with suppressed laughter as he speaks, and there is a dangerous, roguish glint in his eye as he chances a daring peek up at Jeanne before she tells him he can rise.

Jeanne’s stomach swoops, much to her astonishment. As a Princess, even a poor one, she has had more than her fair share of admirers fluttering around her ever since she came of age. None of the young bucks trying to court her, however, have been anything like Sir Thomas.

For one thing, he is significantly older than her, rather than just a few years, and something about him exudes a sort of knavish danger, as though, for all his gentle breeding, there is an untamedness, a wlldness about him. Jeanne likes it. She doesn’t know why she likes it, but she immediately knows that she does.

“Sir Thomas,” she breathes, reaching out to help him to his feet, “I assure you, the honour is mine.”
 
At least your illness has kept you productive! A harsh price to pay though. I hope you feel better soon <3

Also, No no no to having Tom Seymour next to Princess Jeanne… We know he has a weakness for young heiresses
 
Top