Before a coronation for my young son, I am inspected to be certain I am not with child by the midwives. Of course, there is no way I could be, having just birthed the Duke of York before the king’s death. Nonetheless, tradition is tradition. I am inspected by the midwives. I hear them chatter amongst themselves, saying that I poisoned the king. Of course, I did not. Jousting accidents occur, it is known. Finally, I speak.
“Thank you. Now, ladies, you know, do you not, that King Henry VIII declared me Regent in his last will and testament for the young Prince of Wales? Now King Edward VI?” I say. The midwife turns white as a sheet.
“Lady Anne…” she says.
“I am Queen Anne. I have been Henry’s wife since three years ago, and I am now regent for my boy. You know, do you not, that to speak against me is treason?” I say.
“Your Majesty!” the midwife says. “I…”
“I will show you mercy this time.” I say. “But if I hear you say that I poisoned my husband, King Henry VIII, ever again….”
I let the statement drop. It is still debated what will be done with Henry Norris, as his lance is the weapon that killed the king. He is now in the Tower, awaiting judgment. It was none of my doing, and it shall be none of my affair. I will allow him to be tried in the Tower of London.
I must now begin planning both Henry’s funeral and my son’s coronation. As a gesture of goodwill to show I am a woman of mercy and not the hateful witch who poisoned the princess dowager and the Lady Mary, I pay for a suitable monument to them both. I cannot acknowledge Katharine as queen or Mary as princess, for to do so would be to render my own children illegitimate, but I do name them as Katharine of Aragon and Mary Tudor, a loving mother and her daughter. I also do agree to Katharine’s request that she and Mary be buried together. There is no harm in that. They are both dead , after all. Silently, I pray they find peace in Heaven. I am less certain if Henry will be there.
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