Titulus Princeps: Bessie Blount Has A Girl

Probably because it's true. In a way, it's his fault that Tudors were on the English throne for only three generations. Only if at least one of his brothers survived...
I was being sarcastic 🙃
Poor Harry having to see his father in such a state!

Though the presence of the boy might help Henry with the strength he needs to recover…

Whoever plays Henry in the TV version of this moment, of (which there will be a few versions I’m sure), is right into Award territory if they get it just right…
I know, it'd be a big set piece for sure 👍

And yes, Henry will be leaning very hard on Harry in the months and years to come..
 
XV: August 1530
Richmond, August 1530

London was no place for Court. Not in the summer. Everyone knew that. The capital was too hot, too dusty, too dangerous.

But, with King Henry too ill to travel except by litter or barge, there was little anyone could do. The only thing they could do was scatter, spreading themselves through the outskirts of the city so that, with any luck, any plague or other illness would spare at least some of them.

Princess Mary escaped to her favourite manor of Beaulieu, and little Elizabeth was sent to Eltham. Harry was dispatched back to Durham House to join his companions, the Earls of Surrey and Lincoln, and the Hastings and Somerset heirs.

King Henry, meanwhile, went to Chelsea, to recuperate at the home of his old friend, Sir Thomas More. Queen Mary asked to go with him, but he brusquely refused. Piqued, Her Majesty didn’t wait to be told twice. Overnight, she packed up her household and fled to Richmond, where she soon called her family together for a council of war.

“What am I to do? I can’t go on like this. Henry has scarcely spoken to me since the accident, and now we’re not even in the same castle!”

“Whose fault is that?” Her younger brother William scoffed, tossing an apple diffidently from hand to hand, “You’re the one who threw a tantrum when he wouldn’t let you go to Chelsea with him. You could have sweettalked him, but no. You picked up sticks and ran, just like you always did when we were children."

“Oh, William! Use your head!” Mary snapped, “I was hardly going to go where I wasn’t wanted! Henry doesn’t need to recuperate at Chelsea! He’s only gone there because he wants to be close to the Pembroke brat!”

Even the worst of Queen Mary’s critics couldn’t accuse her of being slow-witted. The colour drained from her plump cheeks as a horrible thought occurred to her.

“Christ, what if he wants to legitimise the boy? Wolsey’s not going to say no, and nor will the Howards, not when he’s one of them. Is this what it’s come to? Will we have to go cap in hand to a bastard to keep what’s rightfully ours?! That can’t be right! I’m the Queen, for heaven’s sake! We should be the first family in England!”

“Do?” George Talbot looked up at his daughter, his voice carefully schooled to boredom. He understood Mary’s frustration, of course, but a tiny part of him couldn’t help but think that this was just punishment for her overweening pride. Why couldn’t she get it into her head? Sulks and temper were for mistresses, not wives. Mary ought to be caring for the King as though he were made of glass, not railing at him like a fishwife.

“Do, Madam?” he repeated, as Mary turned her head to him, “Nothing. Nothing at all. Right now, it is best for all of us if we do nothing that might rock the boat, and the sooner you learn that, the better.”

“Nothing!” Mary gaped at her father, cheeks red with anger, “You suggest we do nothing? Are you out of your mind? We can’t -

“The King has become a eunuch!” George shot back, no longer caring that it was lese-majeste of the highest order to interrupt his Queen. Indeed, he itched to shake her. He’d thought his daughter was clever. Was she really so incapable of understanding the new rules which now govern all their lives? Did he really have to spell it out? “He’ll never sire another child; do you understand that? And that means you’re lucky!”

“Lucky!” Mary spat, “Lucky?! When my husband can barely bear to lay eyes on me?”

“Yes, lucky! His Majesty knows he’ll never sire another child. He may not yet want to admit it, but he knows it well enough. And that means he’ll never seek to set you aside in the hope of a son. Your daughter will never run the risk of being branded a bastard, as Princess Mary would have been, had Queen Katherine not died at Ludlow. Any other girl would give her eyeteeth to be where you are right now. Christ on the Cross, Katherine would have done so! So, for once in your life, stop carping like a fishwife and start counting your blessings!”

George was panting by the time he finished. Fury coursed through his veins. His fingers twitched at his side.

Not trusting his self-control to hold much longer, he shoved his chair back violently. It crashed to the floor behind him as he stalked to the door, not waiting to be dismissed.

At the door, a thought occurred to him and he whirled on Mary, fixing her with a glare of ice.

“Just so Your Majesty knows, your husband demanded I disinherit Francis for his part in June’s fiasco. He has banished him to Ireland in perpetuity. So, remember that next time you’re inclined to bemoan your fate. Your brother will never inherit anything he’s been raised to. Never.”



Lisbon, August 1530

“God’s wounds! Is there nothing those old codgers will let me discuss other than my marriage?!”

Luis stalked into his brother Fernando’s rooms, lips pressed tight with barely restrained fury. The younger man arched an eyebrow and set his book aside, “Don’t let Henrique or Afonso hear you cursing like that. You know how they like to flaunt their piety.”

Luis threw his brother a poisonous glare, “I’m King! I’ll bloody well curse if I want to! Joao has barely been dead a year! We’re barely out of mourning. Surely there’s no need for me to rush to the altar? We’re not exactly short of Princes!”

Fernando held up a conciliatory hand, “There might be five of us, brother, but think of it from the Council’s point of view. Henrique and Alfonso are hardly likely to renounce their vows, so, in practical terms, the next generation is going to have to come from you, me, or Duarte. And Duarte’s not even fifteen. After what happened to Joao and Catarina, can you blame them for being at least a little cautious?”

“Well…no...” Luis conceded, although he did so through gritted teeth, clenching a fist in his thick red hair to stop himself punching the wall., “I just wish they’d stop flogging a dead horse. You’ll be wed to Guiomar before the year’s out. I have no doubt you’ll have children. Why can’t the Council be content with that?”

“Is it really such a dead horse, though?” Fernando arched an eyebrow, shooting his brother a pointed look, “Is there really no woman you can see seated at your side as Queen? None at all?”

At Fernando’s words, a vision swam unbidden before Luis’s eyes. A young woman, clad in mourning black, with his mother’s sapphire eyes, and masses of demurely coiled strawberry-blonde hair, garnished with rubies the colour and size of pomegranates.

He felt the heat rush to his cheeks and loins and coughed, quickly turning away before Fernando could see. After all, with only a year between them, the brothers were as close as equals as it was possible for a King and his subject to be. Fernando would never let him live it down if he realised Luis had been dreaming about their young English cousin Maria.

“Now that you mention it…” he trailed off and swiftly changed the subject, “But look at the time! I’m late to dine with the Braganzas! I promised Jaime we’d discussed Duarte’s marriage to young Isabel this afternoon!”

With that serving as his hurried farewell, Luis scurried out of the room before Fernando could press him.

His behaviour wasn’t kingly, he knew, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. For some reason, any thought of Cousin Maria unmanned him completely. He felt like nothing so much as a green, lovesick schoolboy every time she crossed his mind. Which was ridiculous; he’d never even met the girl!

All he had was fourteen months of letters and a miniature she had sent him for Christmas. That wasn’t enough to fall in love.

Was it?
 
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Yes, Mary will be a blissful Queen, I promise :)
I have just one request (and you owe me this, since you skipped it in Queen Twice Over!), which I will DM you about.
Also, nice chapters - it would have been nice I'd been notified about them being updated though, Alt!History...
 
I have just one request (and you owe me this, since you skipped it in Queen Twice Over!), which I will DM you about.
Also, nice chapters - it would have been nice I'd been notified about them being updated though, Alt!History...
They might not all appear on-screen, but you can have your babies 😅
 
Boleyn Family Tree (1530)
Okay, so the next chapter is half-written, but have a Boleyn family tree to tide you over until I can finish it.

Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Ormonde (b.1477) m.1499 Lady Elizabeth Howard (b.1480)

1) Mary Carey, Viscountess Hunsdon (b.1500) m. Sir William Carey, Viscount Hunsdon (b.1495) (a) exm King Henry VIII (b)
  • 1b Harry Fitzroy, Duke of Pembroke and Richmond (b.1521)
  • 2a Catherine Carey (b.1523)
  • 3a Alice Carey (b.1527)
  • 4a Edward Carey (b.1529)
2) George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford (b.1504) m. Jane Seymour, Viscountess Rochford(b.1508)
  • Thomas Boleyn (b.1525)
  • Dorothy Boleyn (b.1526)
  • Margery Boleyn (b.1528)
3) Anne Percy, Countess of Northumberland (b.1507) m. Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland (b.1503)
  • Margaret Percy (b.1525)
  • Algernon Percy (b. and d. 1525)
  • Francis Percy (b.1528)
  • Anne Percy (b.1530)
 
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