Chapter 143, March 1525
Ribeira Palace, Kingdom of Portugal, March 1525

She stood in the schoolroom, watching her little daughter learn under her tutor, Joana Vaz, there was no indication that the Dowager Queen of Portugal was to receive monumental news.

“And how did your grandmother, Queen Isabella come to rule Castile?”

Maria de Aviz squinted down at the book on the desk in front of her and rubbed her chin in thought for a moment. A moment later, she replied, a startling confidence to her high pitched voice voice,”Because the other claimant, Joana le la Beltraneja was a bastard. My grandmother, with help from my grandfather, King Ferdinand, and most of all God, beat back the bastard’s forces and cast her to the nunnery where she belongs.”

Joana Vaz nodded eagerly,“Very good Your Highness, you are such a quick learner!”

Catalina saw a satisfied smile creep across her only child’s face, and chimed in,”Indeed, as is only fitting for the future Queen of England.”

The Infanta practically wiggled at her mother’s praise, and it made the woman proud. It was good that Maria enjoyed her lessons, and Catalina would join them whenever she had the chance.



Maria’s lessons had concluded for the day, and after supper the Infanta was fast asleep in her own chambers. Part of Catalina had wished that she could share a suite of rooms with the girl, so that she could be there in case she had a nightmare or anything else, so that she could protect her. Of course, their stations dictated that they sleep separately. So, the Dowager Queen of Portugal was left to prepare for the rest of her night with her ladies, only with one missing among their number.

Though the mourning period following Elvira de Mendoza’s death the previous December had ended, Catalina couldn’t help but feel wistful. The woman had lived just long enough to see the birth of the Princess of Portugal, but would not live to see her grow, to see her wed. Catalina felt determined to do so for her late friend, Elvira was twelve years her senior, so surely, she would live long enough to see Beatriz married.

Sitting as Maria de Salinas helped unclasp one of her bracelets, the Dowager Queen looked into the mirror, noting with some distress that there were more lines on her face. To soothe herself, she merely thought of her mother’s words Beauty without virtue is useless and they struck true. Catalina was growing old yes, but she had her dignity, and a good soul, and that was what truly mattered.

There was a knock on the door, and Maria de Salinas twirled around, a brow arched,”Who is it?”

Her nephew, King Joao entered, a letter in his hand and a pleased expression on his face, it was all the answer they needed.

“What is it Joao?” Catalina asked.

He simply passed the letter over and explained,”Read this and you’ll see…”

Catalina looked over the letter, addressed to her but she was sure that Joao, Catarina and Isabella had also received others.

Tía Catalina,

I write to you from my command tent in Pavia. My brother and I have achieved a great victory over that cur, King Francis. You should have seen the look on Charles’s face when he saw de Lannoy escort Francis over. Lannoy was gentler than that French bastard deserved, but Francis had already taken a stab to the leg, so perhaps it’s for the best. By my own hand, and thanks to God’s providence, I slew two Frenchmen, and Charles five. We gave a good account of ourselves, as did the men. You’ll be pleased to hear that the “White Rose” as the English call him, has also been cut down. With Francis in captivity, I can safely say that this war will soon be over, and I can return home to Isabella. It’s been months since I’ve seen her and our sons, and I miss them terribly.

-By the hand of your dutiful nephew, Ferdinand VI, Rey de España


Catalina of Aragon felt triumphant as she was alone to take this all in, her nephew leaving as quickly as he had entered. Good, the last threat to my daughter’s throne is extinguished.
 
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Every timeline seems to have Francis getting captured at Pavia or something like it. Not that it’s bad. Francis is and was enough of an arrogant bastard that just about every universe he is in feels the need to kick him in the shins every once and a while. I was reading though the previous chapters and Caroljin’s mother has been in Eleanor’s service for a while. I imagine it is quite the contradictory feeling. On the one hand your daughter is made to live in sin but on the other the family massively rises in station. The conversations they must be having. Keep up the good work.
 
Look at maria go! Such a smart girl. And it’s nice to see that Catalina has such a good relationship with Fernando still.
Maria is a very smart girl, thanks to her mother's encouragement she finds her studies to be interesting, even at just four! And you're absoutetly right, Catalina may have moved to Portugal to wed and start a family, but they're still close, Catalina will always be his favorite auntie (ignore the fact that she's like the only one left alive except for Margaret XD).
 
Every timeline seems to have Francis getting captured at Pavia or something like it. Not that it’s bad. Francis is and was enough of an arrogant bastard that just about every universe he is in feels the need to kick him in the shins every once and a while. I was reading though the previous chapters and Caroljin’s mother has been in Eleanor’s service for a while. I imagine it is quite the contradictory feeling. On the one hand your daughter is made to live in sin but on the other the family massively rises in station. The conversations they must be having. Keep up the good work.
Yeah I kinda feel that he deserves it, plus well, it works perfectly with a plot point that I have planned out. The conversations would be very interesting, and I'm hoping that I can flesh out the Van Honing women more in the future, just as long as I remember to do so. Thank you so much, I always enjoy reading your analysis of the chapters!
 
Yeah I kinda feel that he deserves it, plus well, it works perfectly with a plot point that I have planned out. The conversations would be very interesting, and I'm hoping that I can flesh out the Van Honing women more in the future, just as long as I remember to do so. Thank you so much, I always enjoy reading your analysis of the chapters!
Don’t worry about forgetting. I am likely to keep reminding you every other post lol. I guess I am just the type to get hung up on minor characters and mistress drama.
 
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