The Prince of the Roses - A Tudor TL

She did her best! If Charles weren't around jumping around in Europe all the damn time, it might have gone better for her. And don't worry about Charles, he won't have a miserable life in my tl.

actually Charles was unable to have more children with Isabella because he was forced to constantly run around trying to resolve crises in his possessions, I think that to make him more peaceful at least in his first years of reign, these 3 things would be useful : that Maximilian can be crowned emperor by the Pope ( Otl there was a plan by Leo to have the ceremony in Trento ) so that the 1519 election is not as terribly open ( 1 ) as Otl, since Charles would rightfully be considered Maximilian's heir, as Rex Romanorum ( which allows him greater influence in the empire immediately )

the second is better cooperation between the papacy and the Empire regarding the Reformation, so we must avoid Clement and his nonsense, it would be enough to keep Leo alive, who died at just 48 years old, and he actually wanted to face Luther face to face in Worms ( but unfortunately died ) and dismantling his ideas in front of everyone ( in German, since he knew how to speak it a little ) is that at least since 1517, he had proven himself to be a decent pope ( especially when compared to Clement ) furthermore this also guarantees better cooperation even in Italy

finally Ferdinand should be strengthened in his position in Austria ( keeping Wurttemberg would already be excellent ) as well as a previous campaign of subjugation of Guelders by Charles ( which was annexed to Burgundy only in around 1548 ), but also a trip to Austria / meeting the imperial princes with his grandfather, to make himself known to the nobility of the place, should help in simplifying his government ( at least before going to Spain, so I Ferdinand II lives slightly longer, but it would be bad, or Max actually dies a year after Otl, so as to apply the same thing to Ferdi too, I push for the second option )

furthermore, avoiding the revolt of the comuneros would be very useful ( but it can be partly mitigated by his marrying Isabella first ) for the rest, unfortunately he inherited most of the problems, given that bad relations with France exist on both sides of his family, ditto for the war against the Turks ( which actually increased after he inherited Spain , given that Ferdinand II had campaigned to weaken Ottoman control in North Africa before his death ), even temporarily weakening France, so as to make it incapable of doing harm for a few years, can help a lot in allowing Charles to spend some more time with his family / in peace

I apologize for the huge amount of text, however by changing one of these points, you can allow Charles to avoid one of his 10 trips Otl since he actually began to reign as an adult Sovereign

even maybe giving him a regulation on eating meat, so as not to suffer from gout can help him live longer ( although considering who we are talking about it is paradoxaly more likely that he would get along with Luther than take food off his plate 😅😂, knowing how greedy he was )

1 ) although I would find it extremely funny that Henry still tries to run for the imperial title as Otl, especially if he somehow ends up gaining some possessions ( albeit tiny ) in the HRE, in exchange for his help to the Emperor ( be it Max or later Charles )
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I will take all those points in considerations. I promise you, we're gonna see a much different empire in this TL.

I'm happy to hear it, even if Carlo's problems can be grouped for simplification into 3 large categories (all connected to each other)

the first can be defined as internal administration, given that Otl, due to the multiple problems it faced, was unable to work to lay the foundations for a supra-state legal structure in its domains, in particular in Spain (where Aragon had managed to defend sword negotiates his privileges, unfortunately weighing everything on the shoulders of Castile) and in the Netherlands (where Charles' first centralizing policies were really started only after 1545 and were carried forward by Philip II but everything came to an abrupt halt with the revolt of 1566 (it must be remembered that it began as a movement against these policies, which after Alba's wicked actions also became religiously motivated) while trying to improve Maximilian's already initiated administrative reforms in the Reich means having to deal with the second point in question

the problems of a religious nature, which are mainly based on two things: the first is the French obstructionism to Charles' policy regarding the convocation of an ecumenical council by the pope (both through threats and within the curia itself), the second instead is the Reformation itself, which after 1528 Charles himself understands that it is no longer willing to come to terms with Rome (with the latter being equally unavailable, due to the sack of the city by the landsknechts), furthermore there it is the problem of the imperial princes who exploit it to their advantage, so Charles must first break the armed wing of the Reformation (aka the princes) and then face a simplification of the imperial government, but to do this he must also deal with their international protectors alias France and the Ottomans, who individually are already a dangerous threat to the security of his dominions, let alone if they collaborate with each other, the latter is his third concern, defense in several different areas ( whether they be the colonies, Italy, Burgundy, Spain, the original Habsburg possessions, North Africa )

if you want of course, I might have an interesting suggestion for the development of the empire, if so I will write it to you below later, Even funnier, Henry may have a role in it
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if you want of course, I might have an interesting suggestion for the development of the empire, if so I will write it to you below later, Even funnier, Henry may have a role in it
Feel free to pm me if you have ideas, but I already have my own idea of what will happen with the Hapsburgs and the Empire.
Chapter 2 - A Hapsburg disaster in 1517
Chapter 2 – A Hapsburg disaster in 1517

England was a great realm to inherit, for the little Duke of Cornwall, but as far as royal inheritance, it paled compared to the collection of realms of Charles of Austria, Duke of Burgundy held in his hands. The Low Countries, compromised of the great duchies of Flanders, Brabant, Luxembourg, and the countries of Holland, Zeeland, Artois, Hainault and more, was a extremely prestigious and rich realm in their own right, they were also the dual kingdoms of Castile and Aragon in the Iberian peninsula, the Crowns of Naples and Navarre, and the potential to inherit the Austrian lands and the empire being in the hands of his grandfather, Emperor Maximilian. The Hapsburgs had come into all those realms by two marriages, of Maximilian to Mary of Burgundy and his son, Philip the Handsome to Joanna of Castile, the third child of the Catholic Monarchs, and their unexpected heiress due to her elder siblings’ disastrous deaths. As Ferdinand II of Aragon had died in 1516, Charles was now king of Spain and would make preparations for his departure to Castile in September of 1517. The journey would go over sea to quickly reach the kingdoms that were already contesting the king they had never seen and did not wish to see either. With him came his sister Eleanor, the eldest of Philip and Joanna’s children. She was to accompany him to Spain, where hopefully she would marry John, Crown Prince of Portugal. If that marriage succeeded, it would bind the neighboring kingdoms together one more, for peace and prosperity’s sake.

None of this would come to pass. Spain’s wish to not see themselves being ruled by a foreign king came true, as the ships carrying Charles and Eleanor would never reach the shores of Castile. The last sighting of the ships came as they entered the Bay of Biscay, only to find themselves in the middle of very stormy sea, with waves being as tall as towers coming crashing down upon them. Despite the skills of the sailors and the prayers desperately to the Virgin and the saints, the royal siblings were forever lost at sea, with neither them or their ships ever seeing land. This misfortunate shipwrecking would change not only the fortunes of Spain, but also the other lands of Charles and the empire itself, and shocked the rest of Europe to their core.

Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, governor of Castile and regent for Charles in his absence, found out about the incident while preparing to depart to meet his new sovereign. Rather than to venture to Asturias, where the new king had been anticipated to land, he remained in Valladolid to keep himself updated of the disaster that might have taken place. His first act was to send trusted men to bring Ferdinand of Austria to his custody, as the infante was next in line for the throne and if what had happened was true, then the next king of Spain. Ferdinand arrived quickly and without troubles, even as rumours had already spread. With him came the dowager queen of Aragon, Germaine of Foix, adding more support to Cisneros. Keeping Ferdinand safe and secure would become the main priority at the moment and if it would kill him, he would live to see Ferdinand come into his own right as monarch. For the next months, as chaos would reign, Ferdinand would be sheltered by the protection of the implacable and ferocious cardinal as the crowns of his grandparents now belonged to him.

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Portrait of Ferdinand VI of Castile and III of Aragon in 1520

Cisneros reached out to Aragon, where Alonso de Aragón served as regent after his father’s death. The archbishop of Zaragoza and Valencia was the bastard son of the late King Ferdinand and thus young Ferdinand’s half-uncle. Alfonso reassured him that no one would contest Ferdinand’s claim to Aragon and that Cisneros would have all the support he could muster in Aragon, he also took the opportunity to contact Alfonso de Aragón y Portugal, an important nobleman with royal blood from Aragon to add to Ferdinand’s support, something that the Count of Ampurias readily offered. Another ally that readily came to Cisneros aid was the mighty Duke of Alba, Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Enríquez, who had been close to the Catholic Monarchs and a stalwart ally of the Crown. With the Duke of Alba came other support from the nobility, including some members of the important Mendoza family, such as Diego Hurtado de Mendoza to the Cardinal’s side. To many of the old families of Castile, being governed by foreigners had been a awful prospect and the return of a Spanish ruler to the throne was seen as a divine blessing.

Cisneros called the Courtes of Castile a month after the news of Charles of Austria’s fate had become public and they gathered in Valladolid, where he and Ferdinand still resided. Cisneros had to yield some minor concessions from the Crown during those days, but the bulk of royal power would be preserved for the young king. The courtes readily accepted Ferdinand as the next king of Castile and Leon and the fourteen-year-old boy swore his oath to the Courtes, rising as King Ferdinand VI. As he was a few years away from his majority, Cisneros was once more confirmed as regent and protector of Castile for the time being.

In late October the ambassador of Portugal requested a meeting with Cisneros and Ferdinand, and weeks later an envoy crossed into Castile, sent by orders of King Manuel. Ferdinand and his court would meet them in Salamanca. Portugal had followed the drama in Castile closely since September and Manuel had for years had ambitions to reconnect his kingdom with their bigger neighbour, as his two late wives had been Castilian infantas. His first spouse was the eldest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, Isabella of Aragon, briefly Princess of Asturias until her death in 1498. Their only son, Miguel da Paz, had for two years been heir to both thrones until he died in Granada. Following Miguel’s passing, Manuel had married her sister, Maria of Aragon and by her he had eight living children until she passed away in the spring of 1517. His eldest daughter, Infanta Isabella was now the same age as King Ferdinand and a most proper match for him according to many. Not only would an Avis marriage ground the Hapsburg born Ferdinand in Spain, but the rich king of Portugal would certainly send a grand dowry with his daughter and it would bring peace one more between the neighbouring kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula as well. The Courtes, Duke of Alba and Cisneros were all in favour of that match and Ferdinand seemed interested in his beautiful and cultured bride to be. Isabella herself had been devastated by the death of Charles, as she had held high ambition to wed a man likely to be a future emperor, but she had come to delight in the prospect of becoming Queen of Spain and the young couple had already begun to write letters to each other.

The negotiations for a marriage between Ferdinand and Isabella began in earnest in December of 1517.

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Margaret of Austria, Governor of the Hapsburg Low Countries

Spain and Portugal were far from the only kingdom being affected by the death of Charles and Eleanor. Nowhere was the resonance as strong as in the Hapsburg Netherlands itself, whom had just lost their young ruler for the third time since 1481. Mary of Burgundy, or Mary the Rich, the sole daughter of Duke Charles the Bold, whose death in Nancy in 1477 had brought the Burgundian realms into the Hapsburgs inheritance by the marriage to then Archduke Maximilian of Austria, had died in a riding accident at the age of twenty-five, leaving her four-year-old son, Philip of Burgundy as ruler. A turbulent time would follow as Maximilian contested with both a hostile France and his rebellious subjects for control until the 1490s. Philip in his turn died in Spain in 1506, leaving his own son, six-year-old Charles as Duke, under the government of his sister, Margaret of Austria. She had maintained the control of the Low Countries for over a decade until Charles came into his own right. As he had set of towards claiming his Spanish inheritance, she had been trusted with the government once more and now she had found out that the young nephew she had pretty much raised to rule her late mother’s realms had died and so had Eleanor, her beloved niece.

Charles death provoked a succession crisis in the Low Countries: By blood the rightful Duke was Philip’s second son, Ferdinand of Austria, now King of Spain. But this was strongly opposed by nearly all in the dutchy, whom did not want a Spanish king ruling over them whatsoever. While Margaret quickly wrote him to come claim the Dutchy and bring Spanish support, the reality was that Ferdinand was in no position to do so. Not only did Cisneros still held the regency and would never allow him to travel to Flanders, but the Courtes was adamantly opposed to let their young monarch spend money and manpower for a foreign adventure, when other matters concerned Castile and Aragon more. Cisneros had no interest or intention to spend his effort to claim the Netherlands for Spain, as he felt it had caused Castile nothing but troubles.

The other claimant to the dutchy was Isabella of Austria, Queen of Denmark. The second daughter of Philip and Joanna had married King Christian II in 1514, at that time being third in the line after Charles, Ferdinand and Eleanor. The now seventeen-year-old Isabella found herself being a better prospect for the new Dutchess of Burgundy, something that would be eagerly supported by her husband and many in the Low Countries. Not only was Denmark a preferable partner to the Dutch subjects, but she had a husband more amenable to their interest. Another point of favour was her state, as Isabella was pregnant at this time. If she had a son, her position would be even stronger, as it would take a few years before her brother had heirs of his own.

The Estates General gathered in Malines as the request of Margaret to prevent further disaster. Despite the rightful claims of Ferdinand, many in the estates called for Isabella to be recognised as the rightful lady of the Netherlands before her brother. Not only did the question of the succession divide the Low Countries, a wave of turmoil broke out over the realms, starting in Flanders and the cities of Ghent, Ypres and Bruges, the most powerful cities in the County, but quickly spread to Artois, Hainault and Guelders. Anti-Hapsburg sentiment rose and many demanded that the Great Privilege of 1477 be reinstated once more. In the months to come, an increased populace called for the right of Isabella to be established and Ferdinand had become even more sidelined. The Duke of Guelders declared the full independence of Guelders, Groningen and Frisia, thus coming out on the victorious side of the long conflict between Guelders and the Flemish.

Internal division turned out to not be the only threat to the Low Countries, as external factors became more pressing. France proved to be the biggest threat, as their relationship with the Valois-Burgundians and the Hapsburgs had been extremely turbulent for several decades. Now, sensing a huge weakness in the duchy that had long been a thorn in their side, they went on attack.

The worst news of all came from Austria in the middle of December. The emperor had died. Broken down over the successive deaths of his wife, son and grandson and granddaughter, Maximilian succumbed to grief and passed away on the 7th in Vienna. Not only had Margaret lost her father, she had lost a crucial ally in the Emperor and Austria itself and the Empire that had been carefully structured and managed for several decades by the tenacious work of Frederick III, Maximilian, Philip and Margaret had been completely swept away in storming depths in the Bay of Biscay in 1517.


Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and the last Hapsburg Emperor

Author's Note: I'm so sorry, you all. This is what happened:

*my rational brain* Now lets not make too many butterflies in this timeline, lets keep the focus on England and not create huge disasters in the rest of Europe.

*my evil brain* But don't you just want to set shit on fire and watch it burn?

And this is the result.
Oh dayum, wonder how this is going to play out. Poor Margaret, I wonder how she's going to react to a Duke Christian of Burgundy?
Oh dayum, wonder how this is going to play out. Poor Margaret, I wonder how she's going to react to a Duke Christian of Burgundy?
That is the question many people holds in 1517. What is gonna happen now. Poor Margaret, she has a huge problem on her hands. And what will happen to Christian and Isabella is interesting.
That is the question many people holds in 1517. What is gonna happen now. Poor Margaret, she has a huge problem on her hands. And what will happen to Christian and Isabella is interesting.
Hope Isabel a great reign in Burgundy, christian success in maintaining the kalmaer union and better look with children for both.
Hope Isabel a great reign in Burgundy, christian success in maintaining the kalmaer union and better look with children for both.
Isabella is currently around seven months pregnant, and I have plans for that child. As for the Kalmar Union, I'm not making any promises.
You always pull the rug from under me, that's why you're one of the best. But my boy, look what you did to my boy charles...
I want planning to kill Charles when i started, but I want my Ferdinand and Isabella: Electric Boogaloo, so this is how I went about it.
Isabella is currently around seven months pregnant, and I have plans for that child. As for the Kalmar Union, I'm not making any promises.
Got it. Wish them both the best.
I want planning to kill Charles when i started, but I want my Ferdinand and Isabella: Electric Boogaloo, so this is how I went about it.
Great job.

And suggestion fro the next HRE:

Grandson of Frederick III through his daughter Kunigunde, 24 at the time of his uncle's death.