[livejournal.com profile] writers_muses 113.6 - Savoir Faire

Dec. 14th, 2009 02:53 pm
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It is said that my mother was not so much very beautiful but rather that she was charming and and had an undeniable savoir faire.And it was by this that she seduced and charmed her way into my father's heart - and then promptly laughed herself right out of it again. They say Ann Boleyn was a witch and that by her dark arts she was able to hold off my father for six years while he rent asunder the entire fabric of England's government in order to appease her. When at last he had freed himself and England from Papal control, my father the King, married my mother and made her his Queen. It was said he had to marry her for their passion could no longer wait for a crown to be granted to Ann Boleyn. If my father had not, I would have been born a bastard rather than merely being suspected as being conceived out of wedlock.

So, by those who hated my mother, she had been accused of sorcery. Also levelled at her was the charge that she had done all of these things in her service to the Antichrist. And yet if she were such a fearsome witch, it is apparent that she failed miserably to use those very same dark arts to make me Prince rather than a Princess. Would my mother have still gone to the block had I been born male? I sometimes wonder. Would the Great Harry, my father the King have still cast my mother aside for Jane Seymour and the promise of the birth of my brother, Edward? Poor Edward who was doomed to die a King before he even had the chance to become a man.

But neither my brother Edward, nor my sister Mary were blessed neither as people nor as sovereigns with savoir faire. They were constantly plagued by ministers and others who would constantly manipulate them through political intrigues. These would propel them and those around them in directions that perhaps neither would have imagined or hoped and these people did it by preying upon their weaknesses and their fears. Neither one of them had the wit nor the resolve to stand up to such machinations and as a result they both died unfulfilled in one way or another. Mary was cursed with being declared a bastard as often as I was, and was forced to wait upon the progeny of the woman and her father that caused she and her mother to be cast aside. She paid me in full measure for the slights of her childhood by the jealousies of her adulthood that she was adored by neither her father nor her husband, Philip of Spain nor ultimately by the people of England. Any adoration heaped upon her, even by her Catholic countrymen was always conditional upon her producing an heir. There was nothing she could ever do to make any of them love her. She died diseased and bitter and I came to pity her as much as ever I did fear her.

It was savoir faire that repeatedly saved my life and kept me out of harm's way. Thomas Seymour had to be repeatedly outwitted even as he married my stepmother the Queen and then pretended to mourn her passing. It was right that he was executed as a traitor, for he was one. And I knew well enough not to answer the summons that was sent supposedly from the King my brother, but was instead to pay court to my Cousin, Jane Gray after Edward's death. I knew that to come would implant germinate the seeds of suspicion of treachery in my sister Mary's mind. Where Edward had been intolerant of Catholics and persecuted them. So Mary would do exactly the opposite. In less than twenty years, England had been forced to change its religion three times. And in spite of my asking for instruction in the Catholic religion, I was always suspect. The daughter of a convicted whore and witch could not at her core be innocent could she? Not even my being officially declared a bastard could keep the suspicion off of me. I knew well enough and I knew it at a very young age that if I wanted to survive, I needed to navigate carefully and know what to do. Even when Mary died, I had to walk a thin line of keeping peace between Catholics and Protestants - in spite of what my ministers and Countrymen would rather that I had done. Earning the love of England and Its People has always required having a sense of that.

Muse: Elizabeth I
Fandom: Historical, 'Elizabeth' & 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age'
Word Count: 762


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