[livejournal.com profile] the_bigshow - 2.1.B.5 Princes of the Universe

Feb. 5th, 2008 10:02 pm
nomanselizabth: (Default)
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Here we are, born to be kings
We're the princes of the universe
Here we belong, fighting to survive
In a world with the darkest powers, heh
And here we are, we're the princes of the universe
Here we belong, fighting for survival
We've come to be the rulers of you all



There was nothing less than the Throne of the World at stake. It may as well be the Universe for as important a prize at it was. The Catholic Church held sway over most of the known world, and most of that was under the control of my brother-in-law Philip, or of France. For so long my own Kingdom and a few others, had fought to maintain our own sovereignty. My father, like most of the crowned heads of Europe, sought to do his own Will as was his right as a God-anointed King. Philip sought to be more.

When my sister Mary died, she left Philip a widower. To say that he waited until her body was cold within Westminster Abbey before Philip's own ministers began urging to make plans to wed me would be untrue. I do believe that when my sister's death was determined to be imminent, they decided that it would be to their king's greatest interest to make certain that he maintained some sort of influence over England. Later I find that he was to have told those closest to him that he would forgo his own personal happiness and convictions and would make a very great sacrifice, for the greater glory of the Church and marry me. This little tidbit was omitted from the proposal that Philip's minister Feria gave when he extended my brother-in-law's proposal of marriage to me. It was some months before the negotiations finally began to fall apart between Spain and myself.

"If your Majesty could give me some legitimate reason why you would refuse my Master's proposal..." Feria looked exasperated. We had been going back and forth for an hour with the negotiations and it was not going well. "King Philip was Consort to your sister and as you well know, interfered very little in the politics of England."

"In spite of all of your fair reasoning, Ambassador Feria, I cannot marry your Master."

"May I ask why?" he ventured, his face looked stricken, for it was he who must deliver this bad news to Philip. It was something that I was certain he was not looking forward to.

I could not say that in so marrying Philip, it would fly in the face that my father, King Henry, had used to divorce my sister's mother, Catherine of Aragon to marry my mother, Ann Boleyn, he had gone against scripture. If I were to marry Philip, I would be therefore illegitimating my own right in the order of succession and underscoring Rome's assertion that I was a bastard. If I did not convert to Catholicism, and married Philip, he could, as my husband, dispose of me, accusing me of heresy and witchcraft, setting himself as King and conquering England without ever having to take to the battlefield.

"Because in his eyes and in the eyes of the Pope, I am a heretic, Sir," I said.

Feria bowed low and gave he a small smile that seemed to turn the corners of his mouth like a great crocodile, "His Majesty the King does not consider you a heretic, Madam, and neither do I."

I took a seat at the great table in my chamber and regarded the Ambassador for a moment, "I am a Protestant, Sir, and I have no intention of changing. Even if his Majesty himself were to be so patient as to my private instruction in the Catholic religion, it is not something I would embrace."

Feria looked mortified. "My Master will not change his religion for all the kingdoms of the world."

I had him now. I had the upper hand, and chose to drive home the point that my counsellors had wanted me to do weeks before. "Then much less would he do it for a woman," I countered, "I have no desire to marry anyone, Ambassador. However, you may inform your Master, my brother-in-law, that we would be quite happy for our two countries to remain friends to the same extent that a marriage between us would have done."

Feria left England and gave the message to Philip who did not seem in the least upset by my decision. He sent correspondence expressing regret that things had not turned out as he had hoped - and then proceeded to make marriage plans to marry another Elizabeth. Elizabeth of Valois, who was originally intended as the bride of his son Carlos, was to become Philip's third wife.

When I saw Feria again, I could not help but aim a pointed barb at his Master. "Philip could not have been so much desirous of a marriage to me if he could not even wait four months."

Feria was nearly apoplectic with rage. Apparently my remarks, half-said in humour were not appreciated. Later I learned that he had penned a letter to Philip declaring that England had fallen under the rule of a woman whom he was convinced had a hundred demons within her. Demons indeed if it could keep Spain's hands off my Kingdom and my people from the Inquisitors rack!

For decades Philip and I traded insult for insult, blow for blow. My gentlemen adventurers in search of the riches of trade would harass Philip's ships and therefore send the profits to England, and Philip would declare them pirates and those sons of England would be exposed to the pyre and the block. Still we fought under the tenuous peace that being 'family' gave to us. In the end Philip declared bankruptcy for the fourth or fifth time, his Armada that he had levelled Spain's vast forests to build was at the bottom of the English channel and England, with her footprint firmly established in the New World and elsewhere was becoming at last an Empire.

A more fitting wedding gift for taking England as my one true Spouse, I could not have ever hoped for.




Muse: Elizabeth I, Queen of England
Fandom: RPF / Historical / 'Elizabeth' and Elizabeth: 'The Golden Age'
Word Count: 1020
crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] the_bigshow

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