Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by FalconHonour, Nov 28, 2018.
A living-and healthy-son is one hell of a powerful inducement for moving on...
He has finally banished his demons about Marie dying in childbirth like Katherine did, yes.
King of Portugal as Godfather might make for interesting reactions?
Henry's heart does now seem to be healed.
I wonder what his and Katherine's daughter Mary makes of her new baby brother?
Like any five-year-old, she's a very proud big sister, but she doesn't always appreciate how noisy and demanding Lionel can be, how much of the nurses' time he takes up. She (and Margaret Douglas) will make an appearance at the christening.
Portugal? Good choice, the Anglo-Portuguese relations will become stronger and if England will stay Catholic would work even better.
Hopefully Henry will stay more healthy and more collected, he had all reasons to be - a happy family, nobility on its knees, France humiliated...
Sometimes is in moments like this something would going wrong.
Oh, we're not done with the drama yet, not by a long chalk, but a couple of happy chapters won't go amiss every now and again...
Her Majesty the Dowager Queen of France to see you, Madam.”
Mary had been dozing lightly, Lionel in a cradle at the side of her couch when her herald’s polite cough woke her.
She blinked sleepily and sat up, rolling her shoulders as she tried to clear the sleep from her eyes.
“Mary? What brings her here?”
“Her Grace wishes to visit with you and His Highness the Prince of Wales, if you are so agreeable, My Lady Queen.”
Befuddled by sleep as she was, it took Marie a few moments to process what her herald was telling her, and even longer to believe it. Henry’s sister might never have denied her the precedence that was hers by right, but neither had she ever been particularly warm towards her. She’d certainly never sought her out before, not in the way the rest of the Court had begun to do the moment Henry had been open in his affection for her. This was a turn-up for the books.
Still, Marie could think of no real reason to refuse Henry’s beloved younger sister access to her godson.
“Very well, show Her Grace in. But I’ll not make any special allowances for her. She’ll take me as she finds me or not at all, is that clear?”
“Perfectly, Madam,” Marie’s herald nodded and hurried to the door. Moments later, Mary Brandon crossed the threshold of Marie’s room, dipping a slight curtsy as she did so.
“My Lady Suffolk,” Marie returned coolly, though, as she began to shake off her lethargy, she couldn’t help but feel her curiosity as to what Mary was doing in her rooms rising.
Mary seemed to be in no hurry to tell her either. She crossed the room almost tentatively and paused by Lionel’s cradle. She gazed down into the padded oaken bassinet for several seconds, seemingly taking in every inch of Lionel’s swaddled form.
“He’s a bonny lad,” she murmured at last, “Some would say the most beautiful boy in all of England.”
“He’s certainly the most precious.”
“Indeed", Mary smiled, “I’m surprised I don’t see my brother here, actually. I thought he’d be hanging over the boy, counting his every breath.”
“He does. And I love to have Lionel near me, so he is often here too. I believe the midwives and Lady Bryan despair of ever getting either of us into a routine, especially with the King bounding in and out of our rooms whenever the mood takes him.”
Marie hadn’t expected to share such a confidence with her sister-in-law, but she knew as soon as the words left her lips that it had been the right thing to do. Mary tipped her head back, laughing long and loud.
“That sounds like my brother!”
The two women glanced at each other, both sensing the surprising rapport that was hovering gently between them. Hesitantly, as though loath to break it, Mary motioned to the cradle as Lionel snuffled slightly, “May I?”
It was clear what she wanted and Marie shrugged, “I suppose so. As long as he’s not asleep.”
Marie could hear the defensive note in her voice, and flinched at it. Why was she being so protective? Mary was Lionel’s aunt as well as his godmother. Of course she wouldn’t hurt him.
Needing no second urging, Mary cupped her arms around Lionel and brought him up to her chest. Marie watched, wondering how her son would take to this unfamiliar pair of arms. The young Prince snuffled once or twice and then nestled into his aunt, gurgling.
“He’s a little charmer, isn’t he?” Mary murmured, rocking him lightly, “I’m honoured to be his godmother, truly.”
“The King was adamant,” Marie shrugged, “He could think of no one better to be our son’s sponsor at his Confirmation.”
Mary looked at her, reading her body language, for one long moment. Then, to Marie’s surprise, she put Lionel back in the bassinet and sank down on the end of the bed. She reached out, breaking protocol, to put her hand on Marie’s.
“I owe you an apology, sister,” she said softly, “I haven’t treated you as I ought to have treated my brother’s wife and Queen. If I’m honest, I didn’t think you were the right wife for him when he wed you. But I haven’t seen my brother so happy in years. Besides, if nothing else, you have given him the thing he has always wanted. A healthy, squalling son.”
“Not too much of the squalling, I hope, or Lady Bryan may not thank me!” Marie chuckled. Her cheeks reddened. “Thank you, Mary. You needn’t say all of this.”
“Yes, I must. Because I judged you before I truly knew you, because I pushed you into this and then scorned you for going ahead with it in the only way you knew how. That wasn’t fair. That wasn’t fair and I am sorry.”
The older woman’s words hung in the air between them. Not knowing what to say, Marie settled for simply squeezing her sister-in-law’s hand hard.
Mary exhaled lightly and rose, lifting Marie’s hand with her. She kissed the back of it, breathing low, “My Queen.”
Marie couldn’t help but laugh. Mary clearly had the same sense of dramatics as her older brother. Behind the laughter though, was a great sense of relief and gratitude, one that shone in her eyes as she nodded and waved Mary away.
Without protest, Mary went to the door. On the threshold, she curtsied, a deep curtsy this time – one as deep as any she had ever given her brother’s first Queen, Katherine of Aragon.
Now this was good, I do wonder what will become of Bessie Blount and the son she's born Henry
Improved family relations?
Amazing what a little baby can do!
If Marie has her way, he'll be raised as Lionel's companion, to become his closest supporter. I repeat, IF...
Indeed. Hang on to this thought. It will be important further down the line.
I'm thinking there's another Mary...
Who will be delighted to have a Little brother to spoil!
I'm hoping she will have a happier life too.
I also suspect there will be a reconciliation with the Habsburgs too.
I haven't thought about the Hapsburgs, although I do know that, whichever bride I pick for Lionel, it will be a girl who is at least half-Hapsburg...
As for little Maria, yes, she's a very proud big sister! She (and a five-year-old Margaret Douglas) will be making an appearance at the Christening in a couple of chapters time...
Nice update FalconHonour!
Thanks both. Much appreciated!
George slipped out of bed and pulled his doublet and breeches back on, throwing a cloak around his shoulders. He was careful not to wake Kathy as he did so.
He went out to the stables, pleased to see his smuggled order had reached the boys and his horse stood ready. Leading it out into the courtyard, he swung up into the saddle and turned its head for the Tower.
His nephew was to be christened on the morrow, which meant his father in law was to die. George intended to see to it that he did so painfully.
Yes, he’d promised Marie that he wouldn’t resent Kathy for her father’s actions and he didn’t. Not much. But for the Duke of Buckingham himself, he had no mercy whatsoever. He intended to see to it that the executioner at the hands of which his father in law was to die was so drunk that he could barely stand tomorrow, never mind do a clean job with an axe. Buckingham deserved the pain such a mangled death would bring him. For what he’d nearly managed to put George’s family through – for what he had put them through, he deserved that pain.
A few hours, some convivial conversation and several bottles of the strongest mead and Bordeaux wine he could find later, his job was done and he was just sliding back into bed when Kathy woke and turned to him.
“George. You’re freezing. Where have you been?”
“Never mind,” he answered, rolling on to his back and staring up at the ceiling.
“Don’t go to your father’s execution tomorrow,” he said suddenly. He wasn’t so callous as to actually want to make her watch this.
“What? But why?”
“My father’s ordered me to go and we need a Pembroke at the christening. You’ll have to be there in my stead.”
“But it’s my father’s...”
“He wouldn’t want you there. Just do as I ask. Please.”
“But – I don’t understand...”
George rolled over to face her, tired over the argument. He had two choices. He could either cut her off by slapping her or he could cut her off by kissing her. his father would doubtless utilise the first method, but personally, he preferred the idea of the second.
He took her by the shoulders, startling her as he pressed his lips hard against hers.
“Will you hush?” he murmured. “Just trust me. You don’t want to be at your father’s execution tomorrow.”
Before she could argue, he pushed against her mouth with his tongue, eliciting a gasp of surprise.
In a matter of moments, he had taken their relationship further than it had gone in the six weeks since their wedding.
I figured we needed something slightly less saccharine after the last couple of chapters...
Pretty sure you meant first here?
Definitely a savory palate cleanser after that sugary-sweet overload.
Boelyn going in hard there
For Marie Boleyn this is the golden age of her time as Queen, she's born a healthy male heir, however knowing Henry VIII after a couple of years and at least one more child, Henry will get bored of her gentleness and tears and begin wanting a woman who's in it for a good time...
Separate names with a comma.