Chapter One: Secured, all the same


My Spanish Pomegranate went into birth in the twilight hours of the 17th of February 1516, while the rest of the court and I eagerly awaited news of her birth and her survival, for I could not bear to lose her, but alas, in the small hours of the 18th of February, I was awoken to the joyous news that not only did I have a daughter, but a bonnie boy, a son and heir."

‎‎‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎--Henry VIII "Book of Tudors"


The two new Tudor roses were baptised just two days after their anticipated birth on the 20th of February 1516 at the Church of Obedient Friars at Greenwich, with as much pomp as a religious ceremony would allow, being christened as Henry (who was also proclaimed Duke of Cornwall and Earl of Chester), for the King and the King's father, and Mary for both the King and the Queen's sisters, The Duchess of Suffolk and the Queen of Portugal, both of whom were asked to be godmothers to the Princess of England while the Prince's godparents were the Queen's sister Joanna, the Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Margaret Pole, the Duke of Suffolk and the Duke of Burgundy. Only Joanna I of Castile and her son the Duke of Burgundy used proxies, as they were far away in Spain and Burgundy, although their were talks of Charles of Burgundy coming to England to meet his cousins but these plans did not go through, and instead he sent a proxy like his mother, aswell as gifts for the young Prince and Princess.

The celebrations that went on to succeed the baptism of the twins were to be described as "no less than spectacular - a lavish display of kingship and dynasty" but the numerous foreign ambassadors of Europe who all wrote back to their masters of the occasion, noting that the King wished for absolutely no expense to be spared and that his heir and Princess should be given an extravagant entrance to the world, when really the entire event was really just to showcase his own greatness. Celebrations would include, one of the greatest firework displays since that of the King's parents marriage in 1486, where fireworks were also used, which did not fail to attract many courtier and commoners alike who all marvelled at this display of excellence and all became a little more proud of their King and country, lighting bonfires, holding large parties, firing shots from the Tower, joyful hymns being sung in Church, a great joust, great feasts and gifts being received from nobles, commoners and even foreign rulers who where all as delighted as the King and Queen that England had an heir, and a Princess who all of them would soon be begging to have her hand in marriage and for a great alliance with Henry's England. These celebrations would go on to last no less than almost two weeks.


In the following month of March, Queen Maria of Portugal wrote to her sister the Queen of England about her current pregnancy, telling her in a letter dated from the 2nd of March that "I have had nothing but an appetite for apples", which was believed to be a sign of carrying a girl, a girl which "could one day sit on the English throne beside her cousin, Prince Henry.". Catherine of Aragon was overjoyed at the possibility of a Portuguese niece marrying her son, especially as it would keep England allied with Iberia rather than the friendship with France that would come if her son married one of those dreadful French girls, Louise or Elisabeth, even if the latter was the King's own niece.

Catherine's hopes for what could be a Portuguese match for her beloved son seemed to be thwarted when Cardinal Wolsey urged Henry to entertainment the possibility of a double alliance with the Valois in France in hopes of washing away any tensions between the French and the English by marrying the Duke of Cornwall to either Renee, Louise or Elisabeth of France and Princess Mary to a future dauphin of France.

These plans were interrupted in the early days of April when Prince Henry took ill, suffering from a high fever, a persistent cough and trouble breathing. King Henry arranged for some of the most renowned physicians in the closer half of the continent, taking every measure to ensure the Prince recovers including keeping him confined to soup and broth, keeping him locked up in a boiling chamber all day and even going as far to bleed him. Queen Catherine is noted to have been particularly worried for her son, spending hours a day praying while weeping and starving herself until he recovered to punish herself, memories of her first son still fresh. Although the fever quickly receded, it was finally discovered that he had contracted tuberculosis and would likely have it for life. This would become just one small part of the Prince's life-long sickliness.

King Henry decided to keep the Prince close by in London with his sister so he could keep close watch over his upbringing and be near if he ever took ill again, hopefully only until he was old and strong enough to go to Ludlow, where he would take up his future role as Prince of Wales which was customary for a future King of England to gain experience in ruling. After the Prince's recovery, the King and court decided to celebrate with a joust, as well as raising the allowance of both the Prince and Princess' small households and continuing plans for the double alliance with France, who were more than happy to oblige, especially if it further distanced them from those bloody Habsburgs.



1516 would prove to be a much more dynastic year for England, a year where King Henry could focus on his family an revel in the fact that he finally had a male heir, even if he was a sickly heir, as well as a daughter who could be useful treaty bait for Henry and could be used to build alliances and connections. That much would prove to be true in the final months of the year when not only did Francis I have a daughter in October meaning the double alliance with France was further delayed, which was a great relief for Queen Catherine and the Habsburgs, but a huge disappointment for King Henry, but the French also began to entertain the idea that Renee of France marry the King of Scots, thus allowing the agent Auld Alliance to blossom and continue to grow, which was a very bad thing for England.

As the year drew to a close, Prince Henry fell ill again, but it was not only the Prince who was sick, but also his father and namesake, King Henry. This was overwhelmingly worrying for the English and King Henry who - perhaps in the least selfish act in his entire life - affectionately remarked that "I would rather the Prince survive over I, for he is the future of England and I may not get another son from the Queen." which was a casual sign Henry was beginning to lose hope for more children, despite just welcoming two.

All of England watched King Henry and his son under a looking glass over the yuletide, awaiting the events that the next year could hold in the new year.


a refreshed and better version of this timeline, also written by me.
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Chapter Two: Actually, I hate the French (or do I?)

As he was a fit and healthy young man, King Henry's body was easily able to rid itself of the sickness that plagued him over the new year, with his son following suit shortly after. This, for Henry, was a sure sign from God that this year would be a sort of mini Golden Age for England. That much would later be confirmed in Henry's eyes when the Queen shared the news with him that she was pregnant once more, implying Henry and England could be blessed by God himself with more sons, a fact Henry did not fail to mention at the banquet organised to announce the Queen's pregnancy to the world which took place at Greenwich Palace.

The new year would also present Europe with a shift in alliances, with King Henry, being inspired by the ascension of Duke Charles of Burgundy to the Spanish throne, began to dream of even more glory, that glory being himself as King of France in more than name, as the true and only King of France, as he believed to be his birthright. Henry thought of a grand alliance between the Habsburgs and the Tudors, or more accurately, a joint invasion of France which would put him on the throne, give Burgundy Proper back to the Habsburgs and destroy the Valois, an alliance which would be solidified by his daughter's marriage to the Emperor, a man sixteen years her senior and his son's marriage to the Infanta Maria of Portugal who was born in September of 1516, bringing Portugal into this glorious alliance too.

Although Charles I of Spain would indeed entertain the idea of marrying his English cousin, he wasn't really too keen on allowing the King of England to rule over France as well, he feared he might come to rival the power of the Habsburgs, but nonetheless, he liked the idea of finally regaining the land his ancestors had been fighting for over the past decades. In light of these talks, the seventeen year old King of Spain and Duke of Burgundy would dock at Dover just in time for the twin's birthday and would stay for a period of two weeks, in which he would join in with the birthday celebrations as well as negotiate this grand alliance.



Catherine of Aragon was delighted by her nephew's presence in England, telling him that she felt very lonely in England aside from her children, despite having a loving husband and the love of the people. During his stay in England, Catherine would regularly dine with him and help him with his Spanish, a language he very poorly spoke, despite being King of Spain.Shortly before his departure, King Charles I of Spain and King Henry VIII of England reached an agreement, Mary of England was to marry the Habsburg King on her fourteenth birthday, blossoming a beautiful alliance between Spain, Burgundy, England, and the Holy Roman Empire. The pair were officially betrothed on 24th of February, Charles' own birthday, just days before Charles departed again from Dover and continued his voyage to Spain, but was blown back by the usual Channel storm to the Netherlands, where he would remain for a few months before finally arriving in Spain in September.

The household of Princess Mary became even larger and richer than it had planned to be, as technically, she was now Queen of Spain and Duchess of Burgundy and she was going to be treated as one, for one day she would sit where Queen Isabella and Mary of Burgundy had sat. In honour of the Princess' betrothal, King Henry made the decision to have his son invested as Prince of Wales and sent to Ludlow during the summer under the tutelage of Lady Margaret Pole, but had to be returned to London in the winter due to the sheer coldness that was present in the Welsh Marshes. Because of this, it was decided Prince Henry would only visit Ludlow in the warmer months, as it was better for his health.

In March, Queen Maria of Portugal was announced to be in God's hands, deceased, dead. The news devastated her sister the Queen, who told her sister Joanna in a 1520 letter that "she cried enough tears to sink a ship when our beloved sister passed into God's hands.".

Prior to this, in May, xenophobic riots broke out in London where Londoners would attack foreigners ranging from "Flemish cobblers" to "French Royal Courtiers". The man believed to have in sighted the riots, a preacher named Dr. Bell, had previously made an anti-foreigner speech just a fortnight previously on Easter Tuesday, calling on all Englishmen to "cherish and defend themselves, and to hurt and grieve aliens from the common weal." which would be the cause of rumours spread over the next two weeks of rioting in the coming May day, which proved to be true. King Henry was awoken in the middle of night while staying in Richmond and informed of the chaos ensuing in London, and promptly sent forces under the command of the Duke of Norfolk to calm down the riots and arrest rioters. The prisoners were pardoned by Henry VIII under the influence of his wife, Catherine of Aragon, who appealed to him to spare them for the sake of their wives and children. This May day would go on to be nicknamed "Evil May Day".

In October, the 31st to be exact, a scholar by the name of Martin Luther nailed a piece of paper to the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany containing "95 Revolutionary Opinions" which was believed by many to be the begging of the so-called "Reformation".

Over yuletide, news reached the King and Queen that their most beloved niece Infanta Maria of Portugal had died, ending any possibility of a Portuguese match for the Prince of Wales as the other Infanta's were already fourteen and thirteen, far too old for the one year old Prince of Wales. Because of this news, King Henry was urged to look for another potential match for his son, but he refused, telling his advisors that he would wait until there were more options in the future.

As the world moved into it's next orbit of the sun, it would prove to be a rather shallow year for the Tudors and England, with one of the only major events being the Pope preaching for a Crusade in March, followed by the appointment of Cardinal Wolsey as Papal Legate to England on the 17th of May, growing his power further. The Queen's niece Eleanor was sent to Portugal in Early 1518 to marry Prince John, the heir to the Portuguese Throne, but instead found herself saying her wedding lines to his father, King Manuel I of Portugal, the former spouse of two of Eleanor's aunts and a man almost thirty years her senior, on the 16th of July. Eleanor was said to be crushed by her marriage, as she is said to have grown a great love for Prince John, who was similarly devastated with his brides marriage to his father.



On November the 8th, Queen Catherine would give birth to a healthy baby girl, certainly larger and stronger then her older siblings, she was affectionately christened Elizabeth for her grandmothers and baptised at the Church of Obedient Friars, as her elder brother and sister were. While Henry had hoped for another son, he still was very happy with his daughter and the possibility of yet another alliance for the Tudors. In a letter to Henry VIII from Margaret Pole, she notes that the Princess Elizabeth has a striking resemblance to her Lady Aunt, the Duchess of Suffolk, a woman who was still called the most beautiful Princess in Europe.

In April 1519, Queen Catherine of Aragon would announce another pregnancy, but would also be discovered to be ill, and her health to be rapidly deteriorating. She managed to endure it for the meantime, and although nobody wished to speak it aloud (nor was it allowed to speak it), everybody believed that the Queen wouldn't survive the duration of her current pregnancy, despite the King taking every measure to ensure it. She would miscarry in October, it would be her final pregnancy.

In June, Charles I of Spain was elected Holy Roman Emperor by the Imperial Electors in Frankfurt, this was shortly followed by a join invasion of France by Henry VIII and the brand new Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. While Charles' forces came in through the south from Spain and from the North through the Habsburg Netherlands, Henry's forces came in through Calais and the two monarchs were earning many triumphs and by winter, the English, lead by Charles Brandon and the Duke of Norfolk were already making attempts to besiege Paris, despite failing numerous times as the conditions of the weather worsened.

At St. James Palace, on the 7th of March 1520, Queen Catherine of Aragon expired after battling an illness believed to be breast cancer for over a year. Her life had been filled with tragedies, triumphs, glory, happiness and sadness but alas, she died at the age of 32, leaving England and her family, full of grief. According to a letter written from Maria de Salinas to her family in Spain, her last words were to her son, Prince Henry, telling him to remember where he came from, that he was a son of Spain as much as he was a son of England. Henry made the decision to appoint his sister Mary, the Duchess of Suffolk as Regent while he was still away in France, fighting despite his true love's death. Furthermore, he banned all festivities and willed his entire court to wear the traditional colours of mourning for an entire year.

In the end, the war seemed to be for nothing to the English, Charles V signed a treaty with the French King which granted him the remainder of the Burgundian estates and prohibited all French involvement in Italy and Navarre, a treaty Henry wasn't so sure Francis would stay loyal to. But alas, Henry was forced to make his peace too as the war was becoming a massive strain on the English Treasury and resources. The Treaty of the Golden cloth would be signed during a rather lavish event taking place in Calais in June, the treaty was rather favourable to the English however, with England keeping Calais as well as gaining some towns and fortresses of little importance along the French court as well as a betrothal between the French Princess Madeleine and Prince Henry, as well as the betrothal of Princess Elizabeth of England to the Dauphin. The Princess Madeleine was selected for Prince Henry due to the death of Elisabeth of France in 1519.

Henry VIII of England (28th of June 1491 - ) married Catherine of Aragon (16th of December 1485 - 7th of March 1520) in 1509
  1. Stillborn daughter (31st of January 1510)
  2. Henry, Duke of Cornwall (1st of January 1511 - 22nd of February 1511)
  3. Stillborn son (17th of September 1513)
  4. Stillborn son (November/December 1514)
  5. Henry Tudor, Prince of Wales (18th of February 1516 - ) betrothed to Madeleine of France (10th of August 1520 - )
  6. Mary Tudor, Princess of England (18th of February 1516 - ) betrothed to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (24th of February 1500 - )
  7. Elizabeth Tudor, Princess of England (8th of November 1518 - ) betrothed to Francis of Valois, Dauphin of France (28th of February 1519 - )
  8. Miscarriage (October 1519)
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Chapter Three: An Eagle Queen
Although the English court would be officially out of mourning by March of 1521, when festivities and colourful clothing began to spike in popularity again, the King still wore black and remained constantly in a somber mood, refusing to do what had previously been his favourite pastimes such as jousting or eating in large amounts. He was also rather withdrawn from politics, and his sister Mary would often find herself managing politics while he stayed in his bed all day and sobbed.

The death of Catherine of Aragon was also a rather large blow to her children, especially Henry and Mary, who were said to have been very unhinged following her funeral, often throwing temper tantrums and refusing to eat on certain occasions. In a letter from Margaret Pole to the Duchess of Suffolk, she wrote that the Prince and Princess' needed their father above all during these times, and urged her to encourage him to visit his children.

However, Henry's advisors were beginning to lose their sympathy, it had been a year since the Queen's death, and he was still not showing any signs of moving on, or even getting out of bed. They began advising him to select a new bride so that not only would England have a Queen again, but also so that the Tudor dynasty could be further secured as the only living Tudor males were the King and his sickly son.

Of course, eventually Henry did realise that England needed him and began occasionally involving himself in politics and indulging in his favourite activities over the next few months until he was almost back to normal, even if it took "It's what Catherine would have wanted"'s along the way. However, Henry's attitude on remarrying would not change, despite the perfect possible bride for him, the Emperor's sister Eleanor, being widowed and available to marry in December of 1521.

It would take a health scare from the Prince Henry in April 1522 that would finally be enough for Henry to consider remarrying and in May, he wrote to the Emperor of a possible marriage to his sister who he had once been engaged to before his father's death. Emperor Charles would agree to the marriage, and on the 29th of October, after a few months of planning, Eleanor was forced to remarry to the English King.



The retinue of ships that carried the 24-year-old Archduchess in-tow would arrive at Southampton on the 1st of November 1522, where she would become acquainted with the Duchess of Suffolk, the King's sister, and the twin's Mary and Henry, who had all been sent ahead to welcome the Archduchess upon her arrival into England. The original plan was that Henry would ride out to Southampton and take his bride back to London, but a change of plans meant that Eleanor and her retinue left for London a week after their arrival.

The formal wedding and celebrations took place on the 12th of November, just days before Eleanor's birthday, and end on the 16th. Her coronation as Queen Consort of England would occur on the 28th of November and would be nowhere near as grand as was expected, with the entire ordeal feeling rather rushed and made Eleanor feel quite disrespected.

It mattered very little what Eleanor thought on her marriage however, and while she wasn't too impressed with her husband, she developed a certain fondness for her step-children, and she would very quickly become a maternal figure to them, even if it took a while in the cases of Mary and Henry.
Interesting shake up of the Tudor period. Lets hope Henry VIII stays fit and healthy for longer and his heir grows less sicky.

Is Henry still siring bastards as well?