Lady Buckingham’s Sincerest Deceit (Z Court)

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Flower garden

Erica had a day to get over the fiasco that should have been a happy party for her but no matter how bad she felt, she knew Bessie had to be heartbroken. Erica invited Bessie to have a picnic with her in the rose garden. Her mouth was watering as she smelled the fresh baked breads, pungent cheeses, game pies, figs and sweet pastries. She was hoping that she could help put a smile on Bessie’s face. She wanted to do all she could to comfort her dear friend.

Elizabeth Blount Z

I walk with my face held high hoping to avoid all the stares and whispers. Since the party, it seems that no matter Bessie walkingwhat,  Henry and I are the topic of discussion at court. I could barely remember my outbreak at the party. But I knew it was unladylike like. Though for some reason or another,  it did not bother me. I meant every word! Lady Norfolk was slowly ruining everything; I knew that if were not for my friendship with Queen Erica, Henry would have had his divorce by now. I smiled at the thought of my dear friend who I felt very bad fo; since her wonderful party had been ruined by my own husband’s manners. I approach the garden and can see her waiting. “Your Majesty,” I say with a curtsy “It was very gracious of you to invite me, a nice picnic away from court. I know it shall be a pleasant outing.

 

Queen Erica of England Z

I kiss Bessie’s cheeks and take her hand as I smile at her. ” I have everything set up for us in the rose gardens. I am famished. I am always hungry. Were you like that with your pregnancies?” I absently pat my stomach; it grows larger by the day. ” Wait till you see this feast. I order us to eat our fill of everything. Especially the desserts, Arthur had my favorite Lingonberries shipped here.

Attachment-1 (3)We sit under the tent as the the servants fill our goblets with the rich, fruity wine and bring in platter after platter of delicacies on gold plates. ” Bessie, I do not know how we are going to take care of the Duchess of Norfolk, but mark my words, she will be taken care of.”

” I cannot help but notice how Gilbert Talboys looks as you. He looks like a love struck puppy. Tell me Bessie, could you ever lay with Henry again after all the pain he has caused? Do you want to stay married to such a man? ”

I wove the dainty roses together in a crown as I waited for her answer, seeing the pain on her beautiful face.

Elizabeth Blount Z

I sigh and look around the garden filled with bright, blooming roses. The thought of my husband’s actions still plague me and I wonder if Henry and I can truly move on. “To be honest, I am not sure. I love my husband and most Bessie Blount 3likely always will. But I am not positive we will ever get passed what the Duchess has done to us. I will fight for my daughter’s inheritance. She will get what she deserves before any of his bastard do.” I try to think of sweet Gilbert. He had helped me back to my chambers after the horrid events. “ Sir Talboys is a friend, a good friend who I trust. I am thankful for his kindness and help.”

 

Anne of Buckingham Z

I had spied the queen and Henry’s poor, suffering wife make their way to a pretty tent in the rose garden from the castle, and now found myself making my way to ‘accidentally’ happen across this little luncheon.unnamed (1)

I breeze past loitering courtiers who narrow their eyes at my presumption. I am not intimidated by two women who do not have a drop of royal blood in their veins. Well English at least, The Swedish think they have royals… This will be a measure of whether the queen is beginning to trust me.

I have my lady-in-waiting Jane cut a posy. We make our way ywith my frequent exclamations of the beauty of the flowers, admiration of the delightful scent punctuating our journey. Another lady enjoying the summer day. As we round the last hedge, I turn from Jane, the posy in my hand and spy the tent and it’s royal occupants.

“My Queen! Princess Elizabeth!” I sink into a deferential curtsy. “I apologise for my interruption. I have so missed the royal rose gardens. They are the finest in the land.” I smile at the pair. Queen Erica has a brow risen at my arrival, and I can still see the sadness on the princess. Poor girl. “Please pardon my interruption.”

Queen Erica of England Z

Attachment-1 (1)Looking at Lady Anne, the hair on my neck rises. Is she here to spy for her niece, the harpy concubine? Or is she here for her brother the Duke of Buckingham and Arthur’s mother. I will happily play her deceitful game.

” What a pleasant interruption Lady Anne, are you hungry? Please join us; there is much too much food for her Grace Princess Elizabeth and myself to finish. ” Giving Bessie a look so she knows what I am up to. I continue my conversation with Lady Anne. ” Does not the pickled herring smell heavenly? I cannot stop craving it.” I pat my protruding belly and flash her a charming smile ,while in my head, I see imagines of snakes devouring each other. I wonder if her skin feels reptilian?

” Come take a seat on the green, feather pillow. It is most comfortable. We were enjoying the warmth from the sun. It is such a beautiful day. Do you not agree?”

Anne of Buckingham Z

“Your Majesty is too kind, I would be honoured to join you.” I thrust the bouquet at Jane who finds a vessel to arrange them in and adds it to the groaning table.Anna buckingham 5

“The Lord blesses us with this paradise, ’tis truly perfect.” I perch on the green cushion and take a dainty bite of the pickled herring. “What a treat for one’s taste buds!” I swallow the delicacy and am surprised by the pleasant taste. “How delicious!” I look at at the royal ladies and smile cheerfully. The queen gives me a doubtful look like she does not know what to make of me. Which is exactly what I want at this court.

“I hope you have been pleased with my service your Majesty. I know it is.. difficult at present with everyone’s loyalties up in the air. I would like to assure you of my never wavering loyalty.” I pick up plum and take a delicate bite.

Queen Erica of England Z

Looking into the eyes of Anne of Buckingham, I see no trace of intensions yet. She is the ultimate courtier, full of smiles which may hold numerous deceptions.

” Lady Anne, please try the custard with lingonberries. I am pleased that you are enjoying food from my home land. You bring up a very important point. Where do your loyalties lay? They can support my brother-in- law and his concubine, your niece Pregnant womanI believe. Or the Dowager Queen and your father. It would not be a stretch for me to believe you perhaps work with them.”

Tracing the scar on my neck absentmindedly, I think about why bother taking a chance with a Buckingham in my service. I must protect my child, patting my stomach as I feel my child move.

” Why should I be assured of your never wavering loyalty?” I look at her sternly and watch how Bessie is processing her. I know that I can trust, Arthur, Clarisa, Gustav, Sven, Bessie and Wolsey, the new Pope. A powerful ally. ” Your family is against me and wants me dead. Why should I believe that you are loyal to me and not spying on me? I asked strait forwardly.

Anne of Buckingham Z

gif to useI cannot help but smile at the queen. I was beginning to think she was quickly sinking amongst the wreckage that the Tudor house was bringing down upon itself.

” That is a fair question your Majesty, it must be a difficult time for you and the king with his brother and mother constantly looking to undermine Arthur’s rule.” It’s not just my family who are running wild – and it doesn’t hurt to remind the queen of that.

I lean forward. ” Your Majesty, to be truthful, I am embarrassed by the behaviour of my family” I speak nothing but the truth here as the women before my exchange a glance at the judgement in my tone. “My father would be rolling in his grave! The Stafford’s are of royal blood ourselves, and this is certainly not the way to uphold the family honour. Not to mention the petulant Prince Henry!” I wave my hand dismissively “Though I expect nothing of the Dowager Queen, the Woodville’s knew not how to behave in their elevated situation.”

I take a sip of wine and consider the queen before me. “Your Majesty, I simply want to see honour restored to the English throne – and I believe that is through you. We are becoming the laughing stock of Europe.”

Queen Erica of England Z

” Do you honestly believe the Europe cares more about the tantrums of England’s spoiled prince, or the strength that the Swedish alliance is bringing to both our Navies? Our king is strong and England’s future now lays safely in my Amanda Seyfried at Press Conference at the Four Seasons Hotelwomb. No matter whose child your niece carries, it will be called a Howard. Norfolk is too proud to let Prince Henry have his bastard. ”

Turning to Bessie, I take her hand.” Prince Henry has a child, and she is Princess Mary. He also has a lawful wife who happens to be my closest friend, Princess Elizabeth.” I smile at Bessie and feel bad that she must be part of this conversation. ” Lady Anne, if you are ashamed of your niece’s wanton behavior, then perhaps you could help us.” I look boldly into her face.
Talk to the duchess, and let us know what her and the prince are planning. Give me something that I can use against the concubine, and I promise you will be well rewarded.” I absently touch the scar on my neck as I wait for her reply. Has her face gone pale, or is it my imagination?

Anne of Buckingham Z

I lean forward slightly, intrigued. My eyes have a little sparkle as I contemplate this mission.

Anna buckingham“Your Majesty, I shall do as you requested.” I turn to the princess. “I apologise if my observations have made you uncomfortable Your Grace. It certainly was not my intention.” The princess gave me a small nod, she looked a little pale. I wonder if she will survive this drama?

iI turn back to the queen. “Your Majesty, never underestimate the power of gossip, including those in foreign courts all looking for an advantage.” I stand, curtsy and smile. “You shall not be disappointed.”

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Written by Queen Erica of England Z, Elizabeth Blount Z, and Anne of Buckingham Z

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