When looking back on one’s life, we all see warning signs that we should have saw before. I am no exception to that rule and every day I ponder my life and wonder why things happened the way that they did. From my humble beginnings as one of “those greedy Boleyn’s” to the Queen of England and back to nothing again, all of these things are played in my head each day. But the times when I was most happy, are few and far between.
In 1532, my Henry, the King of England was divorcing his wife; this much I knew to be true. I did not know when and I wanted it soon. He sent her away to another palace and sent his daughter Mary to yet another palace. With those two out of the way I was free to act as Queen of the court. Yuletide was always my favorite time of the year and the events of this year made the season even better. My family and friends were on the rise and Katharine’s were on the decline. As “Queen” I was able to plan balls and masques and seeing as Yuletide was my favorite time of the year, I had a grand masque planned. It took weeks of planning and Henry was more than willing to spend the money that I needed to make my masque a success. I, the Marquess of Pembroke, was on my way to winning hearts and winning the crown.
I wore a wine colored gown of velvet, it was so dark that it couldn’t help but make my skin seem smoother and a creamier white, while at the same time setting off my dark hair and eyes. Henry and I took our places at the head table. Toasts were made and the people were merry. “We have much to rejoice about my love”, Henry told me. I leaned in close to his ear and made sure to speak in a whisper that no one but he alone would hear. “We have something else to rejoice about my lord, I have skipped my courses and believe myself to be with child”. He let out a whoop and the entire court looked our way. “We shall find out next month if God has blessed us with a prince your Grace”. With that said he stood up and led me to the dance floor. I thought at that point things couldn’t get better but I was wrong.
In January of 1533 I skipped my courses again; I immediately proceeded to Henry’s chambers and dismissed everyone. Henry’s reaction to my pregnancy was a loud whoop and he lifted me in his arms kissing me. He put me down and immediately began telling me that the most goodliest prince was in my belly. Arrangements were made and I was married to Henry on January 25, 1533. I alone was Henry’s true wife and this boy in my belly was his lawful son. It was then that I believed I was the most happy. Once again I thought things couldn’t get better.
I was crowned on the 12th of April. I was Queen of England and everyone could see that the future king was in my belly and would be the savior of the Tudor dynasty but instead those ungrateful wretches called out for Katharine, Shouted HA at the initials of Henry and me, and looked on with disdain. I had never felt more disgusted at that moment. They should be rejoicing that their queen has gotten pregnant so quickly and that child would be proof that this marriage was smiled upon by God.
I had failed, September the month of my confinement came and instead of the so longed for Son, I gave birth to a daughter. We named her Elizabeth after our mothers and I knew if I could not produce a son in a few more tries that I would become just as that woman had. I would not let myself be degraded and tossed aside as my predecessor had. I held on to my position tightly hoping that my next pregnancy would be a boy.
The birth of that daughter became my downfall. Boys followed her but none ever made it far enough to be born to term, all of my precious boys were born early, I had lost the battle. In the end I was beheaded May 19, 1536. My life ended but I could not leave the place that has made me the most happy.
Every day I wait at Whitehall for that magical night to happen again. I replay donning my gown and sitting at that food laden table. I tell Henry the words he longs to hear and he is happy. We dance and rejoice and the rest of the world does not know why. I wish that I could have had the goodliest prince that the Tudor dynasty has ever seen but I did not. I fast forward to my coronation but it never makes me as happy as that Yuletide did. So when my one night of blissful happiness is over, I turn away and embrace my daughter, sad for the life she suffered just because she was a girl.