“Lágrimas Negras: La Plegaria de Mary Tudor, Reina de Inglaterra”, por Mercy Rivera

February 18, 2017 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Historical Fiction, Queens of World History, Spanish Language Diary Entries by Mercy Rivera

por Mercy Rivera

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Reina Maria Tudor

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Video producido por Mercy Rivera (piratesse4)

 Mercy no posee nada del contenido.

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Fui una vez la perla de este reino, la luz de los ojos del Rey mi padre, y la vida entera de la reina, mi madre. Heredera de sangre noble, de casta fuerte, con ancestros de linaje impecable, y legado precioso, mas aún, a pesar de todo eso, no soy amada por mi reino, ni por mi marido ni por los que me rodean. Yo, la nieta de Isabel y Fernando de Castilla, hija de la noble Catalina de Aragón, hija del león, Enrique VIII, estoy reducida a menos que nada, con una corona que me pesa, que me duele, que me da un inmenso poder pero al mismo tiempo me condena a una soledad extrema. ¿De que me sirve cargarla en mi cabeza si no me puede dar el amor de mi súbditos y de mi rey, de que me sirve si no me puede dar herederos, de que me sirve si solo inspira el miedo de los que pasan por delante de mi? ¿Para esto me esforcé tanto durante mi niñez, para esto es que me mantuve en pie ante todas las amarguras que viví?

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Me miro en el espejo, y no me reconozco. He perdido la lozanía de la juventud, más por causa de las penas que por el paso de los años, me he convertido en una mujer de piedra, fría e indomable. Le he dado mi alma, mi corazón y todo mi ser a Inglaterra como siempre fue mi deber, no me arrepiento, porque he vengado a mi madre, y a mí misma por las injurias del pasado. Desde el momento en que fui unjida y coronada, le devolví el honor a mi casta, recuperé lo que siempre fue mío por derecho, eliminé a mis enemigos y a los enemigos de la Santa Fe Católica, uno por uno cayeron ante las llamas del fuego puro de la justicia de Dios, misma que por mi mano recibieron, poco a poco he destruído la herejía que vino con La Bolena y su estirpe, Inglaterra es una vez más una con Dios y el Santo Padre. He cumplido con un deber sagrado, y aún así, no soy amada. El reino entero murmura, la gente me llama “Maria Sangrienta”, me temen y me odian, no se atreven a decirme de frente lo que gritan a mis espaldas. Soy la Reina, María Primera de Inglaterra, regente sin duda alguna, y no soy amada. Hablan de mi a escondidas. Susurran sobre como la reina envejece y aún no se escucha el llanto del heredero al trono de Inglaterra. ¡Dios, como me torturan, lo peor es que son palabras ciertas, es una verdad que me hiere profundamente! ¿Acaso estoy maldita, acaso Dios me castiga negándome lo que más he querido tener en el mundo? Un hijo, un hijo al cual amar, un hijo que limpie mi alma de tantas amarguras, de tantos pesares y que borre para siempre de mí, ese pasado que tanto me envenena. Un hijo me daría la paz que perdí hace muchos años, me devolvería la alegría de vivir, hasta la misma juventud perdida. Un hijo que sería mi legado más grande, un hijo que continuaría con lo que ya he iniciado. Un hijo, una bendición, una criatura a la que amaría y entregaría todo, sin importar su género, pues jamás cometería el cruel error de mi padre, de rechazar a una hija por el deseo de un heredero varón, yo no cometería nunca esa crueldad con quien sería sangre de mi sangre, carne de mi carne.

Pero estoy vacía, y me niego a creer que no hay oportunidad, ya tuve esa dulce sensación dentro de mí una vez, y fue como si algún maleficio le hubiera hecho desaparecer. Dios sabe cuanto le anhelaba, como pude sentir que florecía la vida misma en mi vientre, no fue engaño, yo se que estaba dentro de mí. Pero por voluntad divina o maligna, no pudo ser, perdí a ese pequeño ser que el amor creó dentro de mis entrañas y mi corazón, sin dolor físico, pero si en mi alma, que nunca pudo entender el por qué de tan cruel burla de este destino mío que se empeña en condenarme a la soledad.

Destino maldito! Destino que cambió mi vida en mis años de niña cuando permitió que Ana Bolena descargara su veneno en mi vida, arrebatándome todo, a mi padre, a mi madre, mi rango y todo lo que yo amaba. Cruel destino que me puso por delante madrastras que poco hicieron por mí, por miedo a enfurecer al tirano de mi padre, al que aveces perdono, y al que aveces odio con todo el corazón, cada vez que pienso en las lágrimas de mi amada madre, y en las mías, Como sufrí en aquellos días, lejos de quien me dio el ser y de todo lo que dulcemente me rodeaba, de la protección que el rango de princesa me otorgaba, como recuerdo el terror de pensar que al día siguiente vería ante mí la sentencia de mi muerte, por la mano de esa perra de Bolena, que me convirtió en bastarda bajo el embrujo que la hizo reina sobre la desgracia de mi madre. Y es por eso que no puedo amar sin dudas a mi hermana como lo manda la ley de Dios, no solo por ser el fruto de la unión que me separó de todo lo que una vez fue enteramente mío, también, porque siempre me sentí menos que ella, si esa es la verdad aunque me pese. Posee una belleza que opaca a la que yo una vez tuve, heredó lo mejor de su madre, tiene ese encanto hechizante que atrae a las masas, los embruja con solo una sonrisa, ¡es por eso que ella no debe ser mi sucesora, no lo puedo permitir! Isabel será lo que una vez fue su madre, una reina hereje, apartará al reino de la obediencia al Santo Padre, de el dulce consuelo de la Madre de Cristo, reinstalará el mal que yo ya he erradicado y no lo puedo permitir! Y aún con todo lo que ya se, no la puedo odiar, no la puedo matar, por sus venas corre la misma sangre que por las mías, admito que recuerdo con cariño los momentos que pasamos juntas cuando la soledad y el desprecio eran nuestra única compañía. Mas como creer ahora en sus palabras de afecto, si estoy segura que su corazón anhela tener sobre su cabeza la corona que yo poseo, estoy segura que su alma es tan ambiciosa como la de su estirpe materna, ella en los huesos también es una Bolena. Isabel, mi hermana y mi rival, mi ruina, y al mismo tiempo la salvación de este reino.

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Isabel, tan joven aún, en cambio yo, a mi me han consumido las penas de tal manera, que los años se pueden considerar inocentes, ante el deterioro tan evidente en mi apariencia. Isabel, la envidio y le temo, la quiero y la desprecio, nos unen y nos separan tantas cosas. Me pregunto, ¿ como ha podido superar los martirios de su soledad, como ha logrado mantenerse fresca y bella a pesar de los miedos que la torturan, por qué a ella le ha bendecido la vida con belleza espléndida a pesar de sus penas, mientras que a mí me ha emparejado con la misma decadencia? No tengo respuestas que me conforten, que me hagan comprender y conformarme, y es por eso que ese amor que le tuve cuando era una niña, denigrada a bastarda como yo, sin madre y sin rango, se ha desvanecido, la rivalidad ha tomado el lugar de ese sentimiento que una vez fue dulce, pero que ya no es más que solo amargura.

Lejos están de mi aquellos recuerdos que dulcemente me consolaban, todo cambió desde los días en que mis padres se mostraban amor a puertas abiertas, tanto que les vi besarse, romper protocolos para brindarse sonrisas, mi padre el Rey, que corría a recibirme en sus brazos y me llamaba “La Perla de su Mundo”. Y mi madre, la hermosa Reina Catalina de Aragón, que guiaba con ternura mis pasos, la que con fervor curaba mis fiebres y me cantaba nanas en la madrugada cuando las pesadillas me aterraban. Dios sabe cuanto extraño su dulce voz, sus consejos, y aquellos regaños, que inspiraban admiración y respeto, pero miedo, eso jamás. Mis padres fueron Reyes, mas yo nunca los vi de esa manera, fueron mis padres, y con ellos fui feliz. Por eso siempre prometía a mi madre que el día que fuera Reina de Inglaterra, haría honores a mi Casta de Castilla y Aragón, haría que la Rosa Tudor marcara por siempre la Corona. Pero Ana Bolena me arrebató todo, y no importa si dicen que mi padre tuvo mil amantes, y un bastardo al que puso por encima de mí, aún con todo aquello yo era la luz de sus ojos, yo lo se. Fue ella y la llegada de Isabel, quienes sellaron mi destino para mal, y todo lo que fui, todo lo que amé, ya nunca más fue mío, y aquella promesa que mil veces le hice a mi madre, ahora mismo se tambalea, se encuentra en peligro de perecer sin ser realmente cumplida.

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Isabel, siento que tristememente en un tiempo no tendré muchas fuerzas para enfrentarte, a veces quisiera olvidar todo, y tenerte conmigo, verte como la hermana que siempre quise a mi lado, más no puedo, ya sea por envidia, por miedo, por desprecio u orgullo, debo mantenerte lejos. Yo se, que los ojos de mi esposo el Rey se han deleitado con tus encantos, los mismos que heredaste de tu madre, bien que eres cuña de su mismo árbol. ¡Me duele y me indigna! Pero en el fondo quisiera ser como tú. Te veo tan llena de vida, mientras que yo me consumo como una llama en medio de la tormenta, sonríes con dulzura, y yo ya no puedo, eres delicada, como lo fui yo en mis años felices, eres ciertamente hija de nuestro padre, hija del león, igual que yo, pero más fuerte, has sobrevivido tus penas sin marchitarte, y es por eso que, aunque me cueste admitirlo, siento que en este reino no habrá reina más amada y recordada que tú. Pues ya no puedo seguir posponiendo lo inevitable, mis fuerzas no son las mismas, y siento que lo que llevo en mi vientre, no es el dulce latir de un hijo, aunque lo deseo con todas mis fuerzas, cada día que pasa me doy cuenta que lo que crece dentro de mi me absorbe la vida, se alimenta de mi de manera ponzoñosa, más no con la dulzura con la que un a criatura de Dios lo hace dentro del vientre materno. Permita Dios y me equivoque, pero si estas dudas se tornan ciertas, tendré que heredarte todo Isabel, pasar mi corona sobre tu cabeza, y al irme de este mundo ver una vez más la perversa sonrisa de tu madre, regocijada en tu triunfo sobre mí.

Lágrimas negras he llorado, lágrimas que encierran rabia, rencor, soledad, amargura y miedo. Lágrimas negras que comencé a derramar desde el día en que me separaron de mi madre, desde el momento en el que el Rey mi padre me lanzó a la sombras para llevar a la luz a su amante en todo su esplendor, mientras que su verdadera reina, se consumía en le verguenza y en la pena de su abandono. Lágrimas negras derramé cuando me degradaron a sirvienta, siguiendo los pasos de mi hermana recién nacida y bajando la cabeza ante aquellos que siempre debieron inclinarse ante mí. Lágrimas negras he llorado sin consuelo, a solas, con el único apoyo de mis recuerdos felices, de aquella niñez que fue cortada tan temprano. Siempre escuché de mis damas decir: que las lágrimas de una princesa, siempre deben ser de alegría, pues el alma de una princesa, siempre debe brillar de felicidad, como el oro con el que fue labrada su corona al nacer. Fácil forjar palabras bellas para alagar a una princesa cuando la gloria le favorece, más cuando ésta cae en desgracia, nadie forja palabras de igual belleza para consolar, y hacer que esas lágrimas negras, tan llenas de agonía, dejen de brotar.

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Lágrimas negras han secado mi alma, se han llevado la juventud de mi rostro, lavaron con su frialdad mi alegría de vivir, ya nunca pude ser de nuevo aquella joven de gran altivez, de presencia cálida que a todos agradaba. Lágrimas negras, lloré cuando al ver mi reflejo en los ojos de mi padre el rey, ya no veía el amor de un padre, si no la rigidez del tirano que solo buscaba mi obediencia y complacencia absoluta, en su mirada fría pude ver mi propio temor, pues me di cuenta que si me mantenía firme en mis convicciones, era claro que no se tocaría el corazón para ordenar mi muerte. A partir de ese momento mi alma se fue marchitando, y así mis sueños e ilusiones igual fueron pereciendo. Pasaba el tiempo y para mí no habia esperanzas, solo la muerte de mi hermano me devolvió lo que siempre debió ser mío en primer lugar, El Trono de Inglaterra.

La dulce victoria de mi llegada al trono fue cálida, yo tenía tanto por hacer, por primera vez me sentí segura, recompensada por tantos años de rechazo y amargura. Pero de nada sirvió, porque la soledad no me abandona, y tampoco la mala fortuna. En las noches siguen brotando lágrimas negras, caen por mi rostro tan frías como el invierno mas duro, porque no hay alegría a pesar de mis logros, no hay amor a pesar de mi deseo, no, no hay amor, pues no lo veo en los ojos de el hombre al que amo, en el que había puesto todas mis esperanzas de felicidad. Me mira con desprecio, y aveces creo que hasta con asco, y no le culpo, ya no soy hermosa, al menos no como una vez lo fuí, pero le amo, ¿acaso no es eso suficiente? No, creo que no lo es, tanto que mi madre amó a mi padre, y aún así fue abandonada. ¿Por qué, Por qué para una reina es tan dificil ser amada por lo que es, por quien es, es que acaso las reinas de Inglaterra tienen prohibido el placer de amar y ser correspondidas, con la misma libertad y pureza que ese sentimiento divino profesa.

Cruel destino el mío que solo ha hecho brotar de mis ojos lágrimas negras. Tan corta fue la dicha en mi vida, y tan larga mi pena. ¿Será que mi estirpe está maldita, a causa de pecados pasados, será este el precio a pagar? Dios sabe que mis actos fueron hechos con el fin de traer a Inglaterra de vuelta a la luz, a la Fe única y verdadera. No me arrepiento de nada, pues lo hice actuando con mi consciencia, hice lo que juré en silencio mi madre y a mí misma. Pero quizás sea mi negativa a perdonar, lo que realmente me esté envenenando por dentro. Puede que esa sea la raíz de todos mis males, pues Dios mismo ha ordenado en Su palabra perdonar, aún a nuestros más fuertes enemigos. Bien pues, tomando en cuenta que dentro de mí, siento un nuevo ardor de vida, elevo al cielo una plegaria, abro mi corazón al perdón, pues si es el precio a pagar por una esperanza de felicidad, de ser amada por mi pueblo como su reina, estoy dispuesta a tragame mi orgullo, y dar el perdón a quienes más daño me hicieron en esta vida.

De rodillas, suplico a Dios y a la dulce Virgen María que escuchen mi clamor, es mi deseo, dejar mi odio atrás, que me den la fuerza que necesito para tragarme mi orgullo, y perdonar a mi padre, a esa mujer, Ana Bolena, que con su lujuria y ambición destruyó mi vida, pido por el alma de ambos, para que reciban el perdón.Te perdono, padre mío, por darme el cruel látigo de tu desprecio después de tantos años de veneración y amor, jamás podrás imaginar el dolor tan inmenso que me hiciste padecer, y si está tu alma finalmente en el cielo, no lo se, aún me siento muy herida como para anhelar que así sea, aunque mi corazón te perdone en mi memoria están ardiendo aún los recuerdos de esos días negros, que tanto marcaron mi existencia. Y ella, Ana Bolena, espero que Dios le haya perdonado todo el mal que causó, tanto a mí como a tantos hombres buenos que sirvieron al Rey con fervor y lealtad. Mi confesor una vez me dijo que ella con la pérdida de su cabeza ya había pagado todas sus maldades, tal vez sea la verdad, y sea hora de olvidarla y dejar de pensar en ella con tanto odio. Pido también por el alma de mi madre, a la que nunca olvido, la que vive en mi corazón y en mis recuerdos, que esté en paz y me ayude desde el cielo a hallar la mía propia. Y más que todo, pido que esto que siento latiendo dentro de mí, sea la esperanza de este reino, y mi redención, mi recompensa a tantos años de miedo y sufrimientos. Que me equivoque en mis malos pensamientos, que sea vida y no desventura o enfermedad lo que dentro de mi viente siento crecer, que sea un heredero, creo merecer esa bendición, ¿verdad?

Deus, animam meam: dimittite me ut plangeret prohibere nigrum lacrimis. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, Amen.

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English Translation:

Black Tears:  The Prayer of Mary Tudor, Queen of England

I once was the pearl of this kingdom, the light of the eyes of the King my father, and the whole life of the queen, my mother. Heir of noble blood, strong caste, with ancestry of impeccable lineage, and precious legacy, but still, in spite of all that, I am not loved by my kingdom, neither by my husband nor by those around me. I, the granddaughter of Isabel and Ferdinand of Castile, daughter of the noble Catherine of Aragon, daughter of the lion, Henry The VIII, I am reduced to nothing, with a crown that is too heavy for me to carry, it hurts me, a crown that gives me an immense power But at the same time condemns me to extreme solitude. What good is it to have it on my head if it can not give me the love of my subjects and my husband, what good is it to me if it can not give me heirs, what good is it if it inspires only the fear of those who cross my path? It is for this that I worked so hard in my early years, it is for this that I kept myself together during all my years of suffering?

I look in the mirror, and I do not recognize myself. I have lost the freshness of youth, more because of the pain than for nature of years, I have become a woman of stone, cold and indomitable. I have given my soul, my heart and my whole being to England as it was always my duty, I do not regret it, because I have avenged my mother, and myself for the insults of the past. From the moment I was anointed and crowned, I returned the honor to my caste, recovered what was always mine by right, I eliminated my enemies and the enemies of the Holy Catholic Faith, one by one fell before the flames of pure fire Of the justice of God, which by my hand they have received, I have gradually destroyed the heresy that came with The Boleyns, its lineage and all their allies, England is once again one with God and the Holy Father. I have fulfilled a sacred duty, and yet, I am not loved. The whole kingdom murmurs, people call me “Bloody Mary”, they fear me and they hate me, they do not dare to tell me on my face what they shout behind my back. I am the Queen, Mary First of England, regent without doubt, and I am not loved. They talk about me on the sly. They whisper about how the queen grows old and the cry of the heir to the throne of England is not yet heard. They torture me, the worst thing is that their words are true, it is a truth that deeply hurts me! Am I cursed?, perhaps God punishes me by denying me what I have wanted most in the world. A son, a son to love, a son who cleans my soul from so many sorrows, from that past that poisons me so much. A son would give me the peace I lost many years ago, would give me back the joy of living, even the lost youth. A son who would be my greatest legacy, a son who would continue with what I have already begun. A son, a blessing, a creature I will love and give everything, regardless of gender, for I would never commit the cruel error of my father, to reject a daughter for the will of a male heir, I would never commit that cruelty with who would be blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh.

But I am empty, and I refuse to believe that there is no chance, I already had that sweet sensation inside me once, and it was as if some curse had made it disappear. God knows how much I longed for a child, how I felt that life itself flourished in my womb, it was not deception, I knew it was inside me. But by divine will or dark evil, could not be, I lost that little being that love created inside my heart without physical pain, why so cruel mockery of This destiny of mine that insists on condemning me to solitude?

Damn destiny! Destiny that changed my life in my childhood when allowed Anne Boleyn to discharge her poison in my life, snatching everything, my father, my mother, my rank and everything I loved. Cruel destiny that put me before stepmothers who did little for me, for fear of infuriating the tyrant of my father, whom I sometimes forgive, and whom I sometimes hate with all my heart, whenever I think of the tears of my beloved mother , And in mine, As I suffered in those days, far from who gave me life and everything that sweetly surrounded me, the protection that the rank of princess granted me, as I remember the terror of thinking that the next day I would see Before me the sentence of my death, by the hand of that bitch of Boleyn, who made me a bastard under the spell that made her reign over my mother’s misfortune. And that is why I can not love my sister as God’s law commands, not only because she is the fruit of the union that separated me from everything that was once entirely mine. Also because I always felt less Than her, that is a fact I can not deny.

She has a beauty that overshadows the one I once had, she inherited the best of her mother, Elizabeth has that enchanting charm that attracts the masses, she bewitches them with just a smile, that is why she should not be my successor, no I can not allow it! Elizabeth will be what her mother once was, a heretic queen, she will remove this kingdom from obedience to the Holy Father, from the sweet consolation of the Mother of Christ, she will reinstall the evil that I have eradicated and I can not allow it! And even with all that I already know, I can not hate her, I can not kill her, her blood is also my blood, I admit that I remember with affection the moments we spent together when loneliness and contempt were our only company. But as I now believe in her words of affection, I am also sure that her heart yearns to have on her head the crown that I possess, I am certain that her soul is as ambitious as that of her maternal race, she in the bones is also a Boleyn . Elizabeth, my sister and my rival, my ruin, and at the same time the salvation of this kingdom.

Elizabeth, so young, yet I have been so consumed with such pains that the years can be considered innocent, in the face of the deterioration so evident in my appearance. Isabel, I envy her and I fear her, I love her, the sorrows unite us and separate us from so many things. I wonder, how she has overcome the martyrdoms of her solitude, how she has managed to keep herself fresh and beautiful despite the fears that torture her, why she has blessed her life with splendid beauty despite her sorrows, and I am in decay? I have no answers that comfort me, that makes me understand and conform, We both were denigrated, called bastards and we both lost all we loved and cared for, and yet, I was the most devastated by bitterness.

Far away are those memories that sweetly comforted me, everything changed from the days when my parents showed their love openly, many times I saw them kissing, breaking protocols to give themselves smiles, my father the King, who ran to receive me in his Arms and called me “The Pearl of his World”. And my mother, the beautiful Queen Catherine of Aragon, who tenderly guided my steps, who fervently cured my fevers and sang me nanas at dawn when the nightmares terrified me. God knows how much I miss her sweet voice, her advice, and those scoldings, which inspired admiration and respect, never fear. My parents were Kings, but I never saw them that way, they were my parents, and with them I was happy. That is why I always promised my mother that on the day that I was Queen of England, I would honor my Caste of Castile and Aragon, I would lead the Tudor Rose to mark forever the Crown. But Anne Boleyn took everything from me, and it does not matter if they say that my father had a thousand lovers, and a bastard whom he put above me, even with all that I was the light of his eyes, I know. It was her and the arrival of Elizabeth, who sealed my destiny, and everything I was, everything I loved, was never mine anymore, and that promise that I made to my mother a thousand times, is now tottering, Is in danger of perishing without actually being fulfilled.

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Elizabeth, I feel that sadly in a while I will not have much strength to face you, sometimes I want to forget everything, and to have you with me, to see you as the sister I always loved at my side, but I can not, either out of envy, out of fear, out of contempt Or pride, I must keep you away. I know that the eyes of my husband the King have delighted in your charms, the same ones you inherited from your mother, well, you are wedge of her own tree. It hurts and makes me angry! But deep down I would like to be like you. I see you so full of life, while I consume like a flame in the midst of the storm, you smile sweetly, and I can not, you are delicate, as I was in my happy years, you are certainly the daughter of our father, Daughter of the lion, just like me, but stronger, you have survived your sorrows without waning, and that is why, although I admit it, I feel that in this kingdom there will be no queen more loved and remembered than you. For I can no longer postpone the inevitable, my strength is not the same, and I feel that what I carry in my womb, is not the sweet touch of a child, although I want it with all my strength, every day that passes I realize That what grows within me absorbs my life, it feeds on me in a poisonous way, but not with the sweetness with which a creature of God does it within the womb. I pray God that I am wrong, but if these doubts become true, I will have to inherit all to Elizabeth, pass my crown on her head, and when I leave this world I will see once again the wicked smile of her mother, rejoicing in the triumph of her daughter over me .

Black tears I cried, tears that contain anger, rancor, loneliness, bitterness and fear. Black tears that I began to spill from the day they separated me from my mother, from the moment the King my father cast me into the shadows to bring to light his mistress in all her splendor, while his true queen , Was consumed in the shame and the pain of his abandonment. Black tears I shed when I was degraded to a servant, following in the footsteps of my newborn sister and lowering my head to those who always had to bow before me. Black tears I cried without consolation, alone, with the only support of my happy memories, of that childhood that was cut so early. I always heard of my ladies saying that the tears of a princess must always be of joy, for the soul of a princess must always shine with happiness, like the gold with which her crown was wrought at birth. It is easy to forge beautiful words to swell a princess when glory favors her, but when she falls in disgrace, no one forges words of equal beauty to comfort, and make those black tears, so full of agony, cease to spring.

Black tears have dried my soul, they have taken away the youth of my face, washed with coldness my joy of living, and I will never again be that young woman of great pride, with a warm presence that pleased everyone. Black tears, I cried when seeing my reflection in the eyes of my father the king, I no longer saw the love of a father, but the rigidity of the tyrant who only sought my obedience and absolute complacency, in his cold gaze I could see my own Fear, for I realized that if I held firm in my convictions, it was clear that he would not touch his heart to order my death. From that moment my soul wilted, and so my dreams and illusions alike were perishing. Time passed and for me there was no hope, only the death of my brother gave back to me what must have always been mine in the first place, The Throne of England.

The sweet victory of my arrival to the throne was warm, I had so much to do, for the first time I felt safe, rewarded by so many years of rejection and bitterness. But it did no good, because loneliness does not abandon me, nor does bad luck. In the nights, black tears continue to come, they fall on my face as cold as the hardest winter, because there is no joy despite my achievements, there is no love despite my desire, no, there is no love, for I do not see it in the Eyes of the man I love, in whom I had put all my hopes of happiness. He looks at me with contempt, and sometimes I think that even with disgust, and I do not blame him, I’m not beautiful anymore, at least not as I once was, but I love him, is not that enough? No, I do not think so, so much so that my mother loved my father, and yet she was abandoned. Why, why is it that for a queen it is so difficult to be loved for what she is, for who she is, is it that the queens of England are forbidden the pleasure of loving and being reciprocated with the same freedom and purity as that divine feeling Professes.

Cruel destiny of mine that only made black tears come out of my eyes. So brief was happiness in my life, and so long my grief. Shall my race be cursed, because of past sins, is this the price to pay? God knows that my actions were done in order to bring England back to the light, to the only true Faith. I do not regret anything, because I did it by acting with my conscience, I did what I swore in silence, for my mother and myself. But maybe it’s my refusal to forgive, which is really poisoning me inside. That may be the root of all my evils, for God himself has commanded in His word to forgive even our strongest enemies. Well, taking into account that within me, I feel a new ardor of life, I raise a prayer to heaven, I open my heart to forgiveness, for if it is the price to pay for a hope of happiness, to be loved by my people as His queen, I am ready to swallow my pride, and give the forgiveness to those who have done the most harm in my life.

On my knees, I beg God and the sweet Virgin Mary to listen to my prayer, it is my desire, to leave my hatred behind, to develop the strength I need to swallow my pride, and to forgive my father, that woman, Anne Boleyn, Who with her lust and ambition destroyed my life, I ask for the soul of both, so that they may receive forgiveness. I forgive you, my father, for giving me the cruel whip of your rejection after so many years of veneration and love, you can never imagine the Pain that you made me suffer, and if your soul is finally in heaven, I do not know, I still feel very hurt to yearn for it to be so, although my heart forgives you, in my memory are still burning the memories of those dark days, that marked so much my existence. And she, Anne Boleyn, I hope that God has forgiven all the evil she caused, both me and so many good men who served the King with fervor and loyalty. My confessor once told me that with the loss of her head she had already paid for all her evil action, perhaps it is the truth, and it is time to forget and stop thinking about her with so much hatred. I also ask for the soul of my mother, whom I never forget, who lives in my heart and in my memories, who is at peace and help me from heaven to find my own. And above all, I ask that what I feel beating within me, may be the hope of this kingdom, and my redemption, my reward for so many years of fear and suffering. I hope that I am wrong in my bad thoughts, that is life and not misfortune or disease what I feel growing, that he is an heir, I think I deserve that blessing, right?

Deus, animam meam: dimittite me ut plangeret prohibere nigrum lacrimis. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, Amen

CHRONICLES OF A RESTLESS SOUL, by Mercy Rivera

May 20, 2016 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Historical Fiction, Queen Anne Boleyn -- All Website Content, The Final Days of Queen Anne Boleyn by Mercy Rivera

Mercy Alicea Rivera Mercy Rivera

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Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers is thrilled to introduce to you historical fiction short story and non-fiction article writer Mercy Rivera.

Mercy Rivera is a founding member of Queenanneboleyn.com and is highly respected as the website’s Queen Anne Boleyn reenactor. A native of Puerto Rico, Mercy also writes Spanish language articles and stories for the website. A woman of many talents, Mercy is a video hobbyist. The videos included with Mercy’s short story Chronicles of a Restless Soul are of her creation.

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Chronicles of a Restless Soul

 

I am trapped in time, trapped in silence, memories, in pain, sadness and agony. I am trapped within the walls of this Tower, below the sky, in the traces of the path of the story of my life.  I see life coming and going every single day…. Sometimes I make myself felt, and sometimes I just act like a cold whisper that makes them remember that one day I was real.

I have been a silent witness of the changes of time… eras came and left, and everything is different– but life is the same. Everyone wishes the same things. I hear them when they speak. Some of them praise me and admire me… others… judge me like the ones who sent me to my death. But in this era I must say… I have more supporters than when I was a living Queen. Oh! And how much they admire my precious Elizabeth. That makes me feel so proud and assures me that my life and my fate were not in vain.

But my favorite time is when the night comes… when all the noises, the rush of the living and the interruptions of the… extreme modern era that is now, goes quiet.  Is at night when I come out freely. Sometimes I get too bored and make fun of others…I scared the guards a little, but I never go too far… like some legends that I heard from visitors.  When you are… like I am now, you are free to go wherever you want; and you can also see those who once shared a life and a death with you.

I do not spend too much time wandering in the Tower. This cold and dark place that I hate with all my being, but that is also part of me… This was my last home.  I was blessed with power and glory here… and also judge, abandoned and unjustly condemned.  I leave the tower every night, and I fly away towards my home…the place where I grew up, where I was happy, where once I heard poems and was captivated by my King… my darling and cruel Henry.  Oh Hever… you have changed but not too much….the essence of my existence is still present in all the corners.  My home, too many memories…. At least I am still here to remember.  Sometimes I see my brother around…. But his soul is too damaged. He just looks at me and then he fades away. In more than four hundred years since… that happened, I have not been able to speak to my dear George. For some reason he refuses to be with me in death… he remembers his pain more than the fact that we were inseparable in life. 

And over there…my beautiful gardens….they are taking good care of them, even when I see changes is still precious.   I find my sister Mary here sometimes… She talks to me. She pardoned my pride and cruelty towards her back when I was Queen and arrogant.  My poor sister… And my mother, the gracious and proud Countess of Wiltshire and Ormond, also haunts this place…is hard to see her, because every time we see each other, all is sadness, mixed with smiles. She just looks at me. Even in death we can touch each other. I can feel her maternal caresses. Then she says “I am so sorry” and like my brother… she fades away in an extreme level of sorrow.  Alas, I never see my father here… but I can hear him… He cries out loud. He is in pain.  I know that very well. He betrayed his own blood and that will never let him rest. My poor father….

 Then I start to have memories of the days that marked the beginning of my end; and when that happens.  I think… why my fate changed?  I was in love with another man, a simple man that would never treat me with cruelty or betray my love, but then…I was forced to capture a King and I lost the way… I lost myself.

 I remember that masked ball… when I met the King. He was Honesty and I Perseverance, symbolic indeed.  At first… I did not care for him.  I had a duty.  I had to obey my father and my uncle’s wishes, but then….when I looked in to his eyes….he captured me. Maybe that is why all worked so well at the beginning. True love was finally the base of the game, and one day, I was his Queen. I bore him a daughter…. And I lost two children. The last sealed my fate.

Sometimes I spent days and nights wandering here in Hampton Court… Oh Hampton court, so many stories… Henry haunts here…. He really liked this place. I only found him here once. I can not remember the time. I do not follow the count, but it was a long time ago. He usually hides from me, but I can always feel him when he is around.  It was a stormy night when I found him in the Gallery, alone. He felt my presence and he turned around; he said “Anne, Anne, why are you here?

And I answered; you should know… since you ordered my death. 

He looked at me for a long time, and he finally said the words I wanted to hear since that horrible day; he said:   Anne, forgive me. I destroyed all that I loved and cared of in my days — my greed, my obsession for a male heir… my madness, my fears, turned me in to a monster. I sent you to a death you did not deserved. I killed you, but you must know that even when I hid it. I never forgot about you. That is why I kept Elizabeth away for a long time… Every time I looked at her… I was seeing you; and that was a torture to my conscience!  But you won Anne. The son I had with Jane was not the monarch I dreamt; but our daughter… she was greater than me, greater than my forefathers! She was the True Tudor Rose!  Anne, oh Anne, I am a tormented soul. I am doomed to be trapped in the ruins of my deeds and I deserve it.  If only I could turn back time… and be more human and less king, more a man and less a tyrant…forgive me, forgive me. 

He stood there, waiting for my answer, but I could not speak. I just walk slowly towards him, and I touched his face with my cold and pale hand, and I saw our lives in flashes of light. I saw the best moments of our fairy tale romance, and then I smiled, and finally found the words for him: “Your Majesty… even when you caused me pain, agony, fear, deception and sorrow, I can not hate you. In the times when you used to love me, you made me the most happy; you gave me all, you made me your queen, and you also helped me with the blessing of motherhood. Elizabeth was part of you and me, the glory of our existence, and the fruit of the love we once shared. I can not forget the suffering you caused me. You condemned me even when you knew in your heart that I was innocent. For that… I can not give you a full pardon. But I do not hate you, because I loved you… and because the glorious memory of Elizabeth will always remind me of it.  Tell me my lord… Do you remember the passion we shared?  I do — our love was like no other… our passion was never seeing in the open like we showed it. Can you remember that? 

When I asked him that his expression changed. He smiled and I swear that I saw the shine of tears in his eyes. We looked at each other for the longest time. We were remembering the passion that made both of us immortal in the annals of history.  He says to me: “We were to powerful to be man and wife. We competed all the time. You wanted to be on top of me, to be higher than me and I could not allow that! But I admit that I always longed for the passion you gave me, and when I see you know, with the beauty that charmed me… I feel the pain of being dead.

After a moment, I said to him: “Not only my cruel and undeserved death will torture you forever, the passion, the lust and the intense love I gave you, will always live in your mind, eternally. I marked you as well as you marked me, your majesty.

Immediately I saw in his eyes that familiar anger that he always showed to me when he felt defeated, when he wanted to be stronger than me at any cost. With a frowned face, he disappeared in a cold and furious phantom breeze.  Since then, I can only feel him, but I can not see him.  Henry… my love and my damnation, the seed of this purgatory.

The night is long and I continue with my travel around the ruins and places where I once lived, smiled, cried and despaired.  And in the gallery… near the old main chamber, I find her one more time… It is strange… I have not seen her over a century and tonight. She once again dares to appear before me, the woman who carried the seal of my death behind her innocent face… Jane Seymour.  Like in the first time I saw her after… her unexpected passing, she carries a candle and her face is adorned with the grey glitter of sadness. Here we are again, face to face, but of course… in extremely different circumstances.  I finally speak to her translucent image: “Jane… this night must be somehow special, since I see thee and just one moment ago I was meditating about his Majesty”. 

She was staring at me, with tearful eyes, and finally she answered: “Have you seen my son?  I am trying to find him but I can not”.  She is indeed lost in her own misery. Her punishment was harder than mine. It is true that I lost two babies, but at least I had the joy of spent time with my Elizabeth. I was blessed with the chance to be a mother… even when that chance was minimum.

I do not know how to answer to her.  Suddenly her expression changed… she now seems to recognize me:  “Anne, Anne Boleyn; we are both trapped between the dead and the living. I did to you, what you did to Queen Catherine of Aragon. We moved the world and we acted with cruelty for the love and power of the same man. We lost our purity, our sense of humanity and care for others. I was overjoyed when you die…I must admit that sometimes… My conscience tortured me.  I assumed the same happened to you in your time.  But I ask you now… in mercy, please forgive me so I can escape this limbo and reached the soul of my son. 

The bitterness of my days are still with me. It is true that I was a huge contribution in the sadness and misery of Queen Catherine of Aragon, but I did not sent her to a brutal and unmerciful execution. Catherine died abandoned, and so did I — but she had the consolation of prayers. She will always be remembered as a sacred monarch, while I… Some say that I desired Catherine of Aragon’s death, that I even poisoned her but that is a lie. When I was desperate, paranoid and lost in the wild seas of wine and lonely nights, I said things than later I regretted. Knowing myself, if somehow I meant those threats in my days for sure I would have put them in action, but I never did.

Finally, I speak to the waiting spirit of Queen Jane Seymour: Alas Jane, I can not give you that. I carry a lot of pain with me… you are true when you said that I was the cause of Queen Catherine of Aragon’s misery, but you caused me greater pain. Because of you I lost my last chance to survive as queen and human being. I lost my boy because of you and because of Henry too.  You said you rejoiced in my death, and then you want my forgiveness. Why should I be merciful with you, when you were never merciful with me? 

Jane bows her head, and then looks at me again: “I am sorry that I caused you pain… but I guess, it will be impossible to forgive when we are not able to pardon ourselves.  My son died young… while your daughter reigned long and supreme. I envy you so much for that, even in death. I gave him the son he wanted…. You did not, but I failed because he was weak and he died, while you will always be remembered eternally as the woman who gave birth to the greatest monarch England ever had.  You see? I think I do not deserve your pardon after all.  Jane disappears.Nnow I pity her… She is envious of me, and she can not even find the soul of her son. At least I do not have that burden upon me anymore.

I continue with my nightly routine in Hampton Court. The night is walking towards its end, but I still have time to enjoy my freedom.  Suddenly… I hear the heavenly sound of a violin. It must be him, my dear friend Mark Smeaton! Oh; Mark, you are here…and you are playing the violin for me.  I feel touched by the sweet notes he is playing, and then, my joy arises more when he appears before me, near the entrance of what it once were Henry’s main bedchamber.

I walk towards him with a smile, and he smiles back while he continues to play Como poden per sas culpas. This one brings so many memories back to me… especially of my younger days, when my passion for Henry burnt more than the wildest fire.  Mark… my poor Mark, he died for my cause… and innocent soul dragged to darkness thanks to the cruelty of the almighty and  unjust Henry VIII, and my failure to give him what he wanted.  I smile with sadness towards my dear friend Mark… he did not deserve that bloody and cold death.

Suddenly, he stops playing, and comes closer to me:  My glorious queen and friend, please do not be sad for me, because as long as you decide to wander here… I will be around to please you with my music.  My death was my own. Torture can turn a man in to a coward in the blink of an eye. I paid for that… but now I am here… to make your burden less hard to bear. 

With that, he starts to play the violin again. I smile and nod to him, then I look to my left, and there I see a gentleman that I will always remember with sorrow, Sir Henry Norris. In my days of despair I was disrespectful and unfair with him, but fear was the detonator for that — but I can see no hard feelings in his presence.  He is there, looking peacefully at me, with the same admiration and that flirty essence that somehow condemned him in the end. He bows with elegance before me, and disappears. I turn my gaze to Mark again, and he continues to play the violin with greatness and a very subliminal essence.

But suddenly he stops playing, and disappears. I feel a tense aura, a coldness that is no natural not even for us.  When I turn around, I see three of my old enemies… together.  Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell.  I have no reason to fear them or hate them anymore. There is nothing we can do to re-do our lives or make all different, but when I look at them, I see they do not feel the same.

In an instant, Cromwell leaves his place beside Wolsey and appears right in front of me. Then he says: “I see you still here Madame;  it seems all of us will continue to see each other eternally… until judgment day.

I smile to him and then reply:  Judgment day? I have been judged already my lord Cromwell, but when the Lord comes back to pass His own judgment to the living and us, the dead; I will be calmed, since I died innocent, and with so little guilt.

Cromwell smiles, I know he has more to say: “Little guilt you said, Majesty. If I well remember you caused the downfall of that poor man over there. You and all your Boleyn kin, and of course, the Howards.  I see your uncle around here from time to time, and his son; the poor boy; even in death both are difficult to bear.  And then… I still remember how you treated me, on your days of queen. 

I am ready to answer him: Is true I helped in the downfall of Wolsey… but he was not a saint. He had his deeds but yes, I and my kin as you well said, we took advantage of that. Sir Thomas More hated me, and I guess I returned him the same feeling. I am well aware that he died because of me; for sure after his death Henry began to hate me. And I remind you that my attacks against you were well based.  I was right because you were misleading our reformation, and you supported the King’s liaison with Jane Seymour. And worst, you built an abominable plot against me. You sent me to the scaffold when you knew I was innocent. You damned your soul only to please the King. And how it ended?  With your death…even more bloody than mine, you suffered… for sure you felt an immense amount of pain, and endless agony. You tried to reach beyond heaven… and your fall was terrible. Now… anything else you wish to tell me, my lord Cromwell?

Cromwell looks at me with rage in his eyes, but I can also see pain and devastation in his presence. He disappears. Then I look at the ghostly presence of Cardinal Wolsey. He is just there, in silence, but I can see the hate in his eyes towards me. He walks away, and fades in the distance. Finally, Sir Thomas More turns his back and disappears.  I am alone again, so I decide to continue with my journey.

I walk near the King’s private Chapel, when I hear the sound of a young girl sobbing. I look towards the gallery and then I see her… poor Catherine Howard. my poor little cousin, who shared my fate.  She looks at me, and then she comes running like a desperate soul in need. She is finally before me, her expression of panic touches my heart: “Please, I need to see the King, he has to listen to me. Please let me see him. I beg you!  I must see him — don’t you understand? As soon as I see him everything will be all right!

I feel pity for her… She is not entirely a lost soul; she is an echo of an extreme sorrow, pain and desperation. I look at her with tenderness: “My poor child, and sweet cousin, there is no need for you to be in despair. All is over. You do not need to see the King and beg for forgiveness; is over”. 

She looks at me with tears in her eyes. They are like little drops of ice: “How can you say that?! Is not over! I know I can make him understand. He loves me. He will forgive me!  I need to speak to him!

It is useless. She is lost in her agony and the fear she suffered. It make me feel sad when I see her like that. She walks through me and starts to hit the Chapel doors and screams Henry’s name and begs for mercy.  Tired of not having a response, she disappears in front of the Chapel doors.  Poor Katherine Howard…. It was not her fault either. Like me she was a moth drawn to the flame… and burnt.

The cold of the night is fading away….that means the dawn is near — and now I am here, contemplating the resting place of my beloved daughter, Elizabeth.  I am so proud of her, fiercely proud. She was so clever… The Queen who is still remembered in this era. As The Virgin Queen, her reign was a golden age. She was strong, just, kind, candid, fair. She was the best of Henry and me. But alas, love was not kind with her…She never married, even when she loved with all her being… like I did once.  Suddenly, I hear the laughter of a child, a playful breeze walks beside me and then… I see her…  Elizabeth, she looks like the last time I see her, my beautiful baby girl. She decided to appear before me, just like in the last time I held her in my arms. I smile as I see her. I can not believe it!

As ghosts we can do as we wish… and she wants to be my baby girl again.  I walk towards her. I pick her up and I hold her again. She looks so beautiful and sweet:  “My sweet and beloved Elizabeth, I loved you since I saw you for the first time… I loved you then and I love you now with the same force that nature brings in motherhood. You did great in life. You honored your name, your blood and your destiny.  Your father is also very proud of you. My beautiful virgin Queen; my Elizabeth. 

She looks at me with bright eyes, is in her eyes where she is showing me all the events of her life… the story of her, who filled my life with joy, my last triumph in this life was her.  And then she smiles, oh how much I missed that sweet smile.  I hold her, is wonderful how God can continue blessing the souls of those who are still trapped in the walls of the past, like me… like so many others. And then, I hear footsteps. I do not dare to look back, since I can recognize who it is.  Then, I hear her voice:

“You can hold her with pride, Ana Bolena. You proved in the end that you were better than me, in capturing the heart of Henry; and your daughter… was your redemption. Since I have to admit, that you die innocent. 

Still holding Elizabeth, I slowly turn around, and I see her, Queen Catherine of Aragon. She is there, and I can not see hate in her eyes.  I respectfully make a little curtsey to her, and to my surprise, she nods and then does the same. “My poor Mary died young… your Elizabeth had a long and prosperous life… She was right and was wise when she decided to never marry. She was he own ruler, her own keeper.  She was stronger than us.  I am now ready to answer:  “Madame, I admit I was arrogant in my days… but I never turned my threats into actions against you or against your daughter. Alas, I know I caused you pain and misery, and I tried to reach your daughter’s heart but… her mind was poisoned against me, even when I know, that she was… correct in feeling hate towards me. I destroyed her parent’s marriage. 

She smiles to me, and peacefully replies:  “My marriage was dead before you entered in our lives. I just… did not want to admit it.  I loved Henry with a force stronger than myself, stronger than the world itself and that… that made me blind.  Also my Spanish Pride made me stubborn enough to fight for what was mine.  My pride… my love for Henry, my worthless fight for my place as Queen, that also destroyed Mary. If I could turn back time, I would probably do all different. I shall have let him go to you… probably Mary would had suffered less.  

She is touching my heart with her words. I look at Elizabeth, she looks so peaceful in my arms:  “I am sorry, your majesty; for all the pain my presence caused in your lifetime”. 

She once again smiles:  “I pardoned you and Henry a long time ago… that is why I am not trapped as you are, as many of those I knew are.  I come down and up again…because I still want to find my daughter, but she is not here… She is not within this walls, or in the ruins of our times. She is trapped elsewhere, in a darker place.  Her bitterness, her sad and damaged soul twisted her mind, and she lost the way I taught her. Mi preciosa Mary. I lost her, forever. 

With that, she walks away, and disappears in the distance.  I look at the window on my left, and I can see the first rays of the sun between the dark clouds of the dying night. It is time to go back to the walls, to the ruins, to hide from the presence of the living. I look at my darling daughter once more:  “Time to sleep, my baby girl, go to rest, mama will do the same…go to the angels my sweet Elizabeth. I will guard your dreams, eternally. She smiles, and slowly disappears from my arms, like a soft cold breeze. Now I feel so empty, but I know I will see her again… since we belong here…this is our home, the memories keep us alive, and as long as we are remembered, we will never die.

Memoirs of a Fading Rose: Elizabeth Howard’s Story

January 27, 2016 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Historical Fiction, Mercy Rivera: Memoirs of a Fading Rose, News by Mercy Rivera

by Mercy Rivera

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Leeds Castle
Maidstone, Kent
May 21th 1536

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The sounds of rain and thunders fill the surroundings. The beauty of the place is clouded by the storm that seems to show some supernatural sadness, a sadness that is the cruelest of all, a sadness that nature despises above all, a sadness of a mother that loses her children in the bloodiest way ever imagined. All is in the name of greed, lust, ambition, intolerance and infidelity. The rain falls hard from heaven, like determined to wash away the stains of the barbaric events of two days ago and joining the endless tears of her who lost so much in so little time. The breeze is cold, piercing like the pain and the agony of an eternal loss. The day cries along with the one that suffers alone.

Elizabeth Boleyn, the once powerful, vain, charming and elegant Countess of Wiltshire and Ormond, mother of the Queen of England, the symbol of wisdom and strictness behind the King Consort’s throne, is now a frail lady, with tearful eyes, a broken heart and a painful guilt that burns her guts with every single breathe. She grieves in silence. She fell from grace even before the execution of her children. For that she never received comfort. Alone in her chamber, Elizabeth tries to find a reason to go on with life, and so far she has none. Her beloved daughter Anne, Queen of England, and her son George — finally the important man his father always wanted him to be — were murdered in the savagest way a human being can be destroyed. Both treated as traitors, when in fact they were just victims… victims of those who were supposed to care and protect them from all harm. And the last thorn on her side is Mary, who is still alive, but far away and too much hurt to even think to give her comfort. Mary is a living ghost for Elizabeth. She knows Mary will never return to her. A wounded soul, that is what Elizabeth is now. All she was before is gone.

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All that misery has also twisted Elizabeth’s heart and worked on her appearance. The hate she feels for her brother the Duke of Norfolk, the one she used to respect, follow and love is now the lowest being on earth. And her husband, the clever and charming Thomas Boleyn, the man that was her passion, her desire, her lover, friend, mentor and hero, is now a shadow of malice that stills haunts her mind. Physically, Elizabeth is no longer the magnificent model of elegance and beauty. Sometimes she used to win over the exotic looks of her daughter Anne. Now she is a pale, thin and devastated figure. Her auburn hair is no longer loose below her shoulders, is no longer beautifully curled and adorned with jewels. Now it lays hidden in a simple bun, making her look a lot older than she really is. In her silence, Elizabeth can not understand how this happened. When did it all go wrong? Why was it too late to stop the bloodbath?

Suddenly Elizabeth hears the sounds of footsteps approaching. She takes a deep breath while tears keep falling from her dark brown eyes. A young maiden enters the room and glances at the sad but elegant lady  in front of her. With great respect she curtsies and then speaks to her.

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”Madame… you have a visitor.”

Elizabeth only wishes to be left alone.

”Whoever it is, is not welcomed. I do not need the pity of anyone. The hypocrites, all they want is to have a look of me in my misery. I will not allow it!”

Then, after those words from Elizabeth, a woman in a black dress joins the young maiden in the room, is a lady a little older than Elizabeth, but with the same elegance and an intense spark of wisdom in her eyes.

”All I want is to give you comfort sister.”

Elizabeth turns fast as soon as she hears the voice in the room, and she is impressed when she sees her older sister Margaret in the room. Lady Margaret Bryan is her sister and closest friend, the guardian of her beloved granddaughter, the only part of Anne that remains in this world.

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With a gentle nod, Margaret gives the young maiden license to leave the room. The sisters are now alone. Elizabeth does not move and Margaret knows why. Nothing is a secret in a realm. After Queen Anne’s death, all that is said and done related to her becomes an open word. Margaret sees the immense sadness in the appearance of Elizabeth and it kills her deeply. But Elizabeth’s bitterness is also present, and it soon will explode.

”It is true when I tell you Elizabeth, that my heart cries for the sorrow you are feeling now.”

”I do not believe you. I know that you will treat my granddaughter as a bastard, and run back to court when Jane Seymour delivers the expected little prince.”

”Elizabeth….”

”You are as evil as they are… perhaps worst because the child is also your blood.”

”I don’t forget that sister. But this is a cruel world, a heartless realm, and if we want to survive it we need to hold the tears and carry on. The child must learn that if some day she wants to be on her father’s good graces.”

After those words, Elizabeth gives her sister a little smile of irony.

”You want her to be in the King’s good graces? I rather hope she learns to hate him.”

Margaret swallows hard, then collects her courage and walks towards her devastated sister. While she approaches her, Margaret is impressed with the decline in her sister’s appearance. She looks skinnier than she used to be, the paleness of her skin chills the blood, and her hair, that beautiful auburn hair that she used to comb and adorn in times when royalty was far from their lives.

” Tell me, is that what you desire for that child? You want her to hate the King her father and grow up to be twisted and bitter? What if she reaches the crown one day? You want her to be a vengeful Queen? With thorns in her heart, with a desire to make others suffer for the pain that already marked her young existence? Tell me Elizabeth, is that what you want for her?”

Elizabeth looks down, and allow her tears to fall freely. Then she holds her sister’s right hand and squeezes it strongly in her own. She knows Margaret is right, but in her heart, her only desire is for the King to be hated for what he did. The idea that her granddaughter could treat him with honor, devotion, love and respect makes her sick. But the child is also his blood, and that can not be change,not even by hate.

”I do not even know what I want for her Margaret. She is  just a little girl still with absolutely not knowledge about the world but in a few years her mind will be poisoned by the King and her mother’s enemies.  It would be awful if Elizabeth ends up despising her mother.”

Margaret kisses her sister’s hand and is ready to ease her worries and perhaps part of her immense sorrow. Perhaps her actions can change all for the best.

”The Lady Elizabeth has a special gift sister. She is a very clever little girl. The child in her own way knows something is wrong. I have tried to diminish the pain of the death of her mother, even with the sadness that it brings.   Just yesterday she asked me why I called her now My Lady Elizabeth instead of “Your Highness”. She knows that none of us treat her like before and she is upset about it. Believe me, I do not even know how to treat her anymore and in my heart I would love to comfort and protect her but you know how it is. Soon the King will send her away and if I create a bond  it will be hard for both of us. I do not have a heart of stone sister.”

Margaret makes a pause, knowing that speaking about how bad things are now for the child will not give comfort at all to Elizabeth. Is time now for some ailment to her wounds.

”What I am going to do now goes against the King’s wishes, if he finds out I will probably see the walls of the Tower. But this is the only chance I have to do it, and the last one you will have to see her.”

Elizabeth looks at her older sister with a curious glare.

”See her?”

Margaret smiles and walks away from the room. Elizabeth has no idea of what is going on. Then, the sounds of footsteps return. If it is Margaret again she is not alone. Then, the door opens again, and there they are, her sister Margaret with a glorious and beautiful companion, The little Lady Elizabeth.

The child enters the room. She no longer wears the royal clothes of a Princess, but she is wearing a pretty gray dress, with a delicate black tiara that makes her reddish hair to shine gracefully. The child looks at the lady in white in front of her. She knows who the lady is, and with the same aura of charm that Anne used to have, the child curtsies perfectly before her grandmother. Lady Boleyn smiles with tearful eyes while she admires her granddaughter. Slowly she approaches her. She holds her sorrow back and keeps smiling. At this time, Margaret knows is time to leave them alone.

”I do not have much time sister, the rain storm is the only thing that keeps this meeting secret, we must go before it stops.”

Elizabeth understands. Painfully this will be her only chance to see her granddaughter again. Margaret leaves the room. Finally, the child and her grandmother are alone.

Elizabeth kneels before the child. She gently caresses her granddaughter’s pretty face. Her eyes are like Anne’s, some of her features too. Of course, her hair is all Tudor. Elizabeth wants to say many things to the child, but she does not where to start. When she looks into her eyes she can see an emptiness that pierces her heart. Of course she knows, how can she not know?!   Purity and innocence, that is what the child is and represents in all the cruelty that surrounds her. Margaret is right, that can not be destroyed.

”You have your mother’s eyes Elizabeth. .Did Lady Bryan told you what happened with her?”

”She went to heaven.”

”Yes, she is in heaven my love. And up there, she can see you and protect you. Your mother loved you very much Elizabeth.  You can not see her now, but she will always be with you, always.”

After these words, the child’s eyes fill the the shine of tears. Elizabeth hugs her with all the love she feels for her. She gives her comfort and a sense of protection.  Elizabeth breaks the hug for a moment to look at her granddaughter. She is trying to find the proper words to give her security, comfort and strength. It seems nearly impossible to make a small child understand complicated and cruel things. Is so awful to imagine how hard her life will be from now on, when by blood and right she is a princess. It is not fair! Elizabeth tries to control her emotions for a moment, once again the words of Margaret make echo in her mind. But how can she praise the King that killed her children? Being forced to do that for the sake of her granddaughter is a huge sacrifice, only God and the love she feels for the child will help her in the task. With a faked smile and struggling with all the bitterness inside her, she finds the way to speak to the little girl again.

”I already told you that you look a lot like mama, but there is so much of the King in you. You must be good with papa, he is the greatest of princes.  Always, always be obedient to him my sweet girl, fill your mind with books, art, music. You like all that don’t you?”

The little girl smiles, and nods positively. Elizabeth now can see it. The child indeed is her mother’s daughter. The smile of the child brings light to her tortured heart. Gently she caresses her granddaughter’s face. She can feel little traces of the coldness of tears. Elizabeth would give all she has left only to keep sadness away from her, but she knows she will not be allowed to protect her, nor even be near her. So, as Margaret advised, she must at least fill the child’s mind with the goal of always be in the King’s good graces, even if that increases her hate towards the man that unmercifully killed her children in levels that word can not describe. Wiping back her tears, Elizabeth once again gives support to her granddaughter.

”Well, you must study and learn to be good in all that. Papa will be very proud of you, and also happy. I know you will shine with your own light my dearest girl. Honor your father the King, and the sweet memory of your mother, in all you do.”

Margaret enters the room, announcing with her presence that is time to leave. Elizabeth embraces her granddaughter with all the strength she has left. Her tears fall with the pain of knowing she will never see her again.

”I love you Elizabeth. May God Bless you and keep you forever.”

Margaret is deeply moved by the moment, she takes a deep breath to control her desires of crying, since for her is something that must be hide.

”We must go. Please sister.”

Elizabeth nods and releases her granddaughter. She looks at her for a long moment, just seconds, but making sure that the image of the child will be in her mind until the day she dies.

” My love goes with you my darling girl, along with my blessing. Grow up and be happy.”

Margaret takes the little girl’s hand and starts to walk away. She takes a look back for a moment to see her sister.

”I will come to see you as much as I can sister…and as long as this child is under my care I will give you reports. I promise.”

Almost choking with her pain and tears, Elizabeth replies to her stoic sister.

”Thank you, Margaret.”

Finally, Margaret leaves, taking the child with her. As soon as the door closes, a lightning illuminates the room. A strong thunder makes the walls shake and mixes with the howl of pain that escapes from Elizabeth’s mouth and soul. She lost everything, her children, now her granddaughter, no friends, no family, no comfort.

On her way out of the Castle, Margaret finds the young maiden that is in charge of the care of her sister Elizabeth.

”What is your name girl?”

”Lady Joyce Hawthorne, my lady.”

”Lady Hawthorne. Not a word of this encounter between my sister and the Lady Elizabeth. I am still in charge of this child as if she were a princess still so if you disobey my order is like to disobey the King himself.”

Margaret adorned the words a little but she needs to protect the child, her sister, and also herself. Lady Hawthorne is not even a full woman yet. She has not knowledge of the King’s laws nor how the royal world works. Immediately, Lady Hawthorne shows she understands perfectly.

”I will not say a word madame. Personally I loved Queen Anne, my mother served her and thanks to her, the shadows of this realm were banished, we saw the light and escaped from evil doctrines.”

”Just remember not to repeat that again openly. It could cost you more than you think.  If you loved the Queen as you said, take care of her mother with devotion. Serve her and honor her as if you were serving Queen Anne. Do this, not only in the name of the late Queen, also in the name of this child…and in mine.”

”I promise,  I will care for my mistress with all honor and devotion.”

”Thank you. Do you have news about the Duke of Norfolk and… Thomas Boleyn?”

”No Madame. But my mistress does not want them here. She forbid their presence in this place.”

”I see. Thank you Lady Hawthorne.”

”Madame.”

Rain keeps falling. The escort of Lady Bryan runs with a robe to protect the child from the cold water and takes her away towards the carriage. Margaret gives a last glance to the Castle. Those stoned walls that keep her sister away from the world, like a prisoner of misery. The coldness is unbearable, just like the bitter task of obey royal rules. Swallowing her own sadness, Margaret looks straight on and walks away under the rain. Careless of it, she wants to feel the touch of the raindrops in her face, in that way her tears will not be noticeable.  She needs to keep her reputation as a woman with a well controlled sense of emotions. She serves the King of England, a man that does not tolerate frailness nor weakness. Besides, the Lady Elizabeth needs her. She is all the child has now and God knows for how long it will be like this. And her sister, her poor sister.   Margaret wonders if she will be able to keep her word and give reports to Elizabeth about the child. If the King finds out for sure would cost her banishment from court or even death.

It is clear that the King of England is determined to achieve his goals whatever the cost. He moved the world to be with Anne and change the Kingdom. Then he murdered her to achieve his desire for a living son. He has absolute power over this realm. Nothing can control him nor stop him. There are also strict orders to all the King’s servants, to the Council, to everyone close to the King even by blood or friendship, to keep Anne’s name buried. She will not me mentioned at court at all, not even in private. The King wants to erase any trace of her existence — like if that would be possible, a part of her lives, strong and gracious. The presence of the Lady Elizabeth will be a constant reminder of the legacy of Queen Anne Boleyn. To only glance at her is enough, same eyes and same features, and for sure while she grows the resemblance will be more marked. Would that be the damnation of the child? If fate allows her to be the mirror of her mother in the future, will the King hate her? Fear overwhelms Margaret. What will happen now?

The carriage leaves. Lady Hawthorne in the company of the Castle’s gatekeeper close the main doors of the castle, and both of them return to their places, knowing that they must keep in secret all that they saw and heard in this stormy day.

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To Be Continued…

 

 

 

 

“Farewell Life”, Deep POV Introspective Fiction, by Mercy Alicea Rivera

May 18, 2015 in 2015 Tribute to Queen Anne Boelyn, Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Historical Fiction, Queen Anne Boleyn -- All Website Content, Queens of World History, The Final Days of Queen Anne Boleyn by Mercy Rivera

By Mercy Alicea Rivera

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Here I am, in the silence of this quiet night, the last night of my life. And is so beautiful. Even when I can not see the full sky, it is beautiful. Tomorrow, by this same hour, I will be there, close to the stars, close to those I miss now, those I lost in my name and in the name of cruelty. By dawn, I will slowly become a memory…fading in my last steps. Will he be thinking about me? Will he regret my death? I guess I will never get an answer. He hates me now with the same strength that he once loved me. I know that but part of me dreams with the hope that he stops my execution tomorrow, and take me in his arms and give me another chance. This fate would be easier if I did not to love him. My mistake was that, to change a game of wealth, for a love story, the best story of my existence, the one who make me a mother, a Queen.

Life, life is a circle of ironies. This place, this tower, a few years ago I was here, shining like those stars up there. These walls, covered with silver and the finest tapestries, with our names entwined as symbol of eternal love. Now, the walls are empty, cold, the color of the stones covered the golden splendor of my days of glory — when I thought the world was mine… when I felt that I was… the most happy. It is over, everything is. This is my last chance to say goodbye to all that I lost and I can not recover. I must free my soul tonight, so tomorrow I can walk towards my death with only the comfort of my faith.

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First, I must say goodbye to this land, to England. I was born here, my first light of happiness was lit here — a wonderful childhood, when I was loved for who I was, when I was still.. just a daughter, a child meant to be loved and protected. Farewell to that, to my beloved Hever, to my mother and… yes, to my father. He once loved me and treasured me, back when power was not important to him, when he was still… young and… human.

Goodbye Mary… my sweet sister. Please forgive me for all the harm I caused you. May God protect you and keep you safe. Live your life, because if you do, half of me will still live. Thank you for being always my companion, especially in our days in France. I always thought that I did good when I learned to be the opposite of you. Perhaps if… I would had imitate you, I would not be here like this. Being his mistress at least could save my life. You won Mary. You have a peaceful life with your children. You do not care of what people say. I envy you now so much dear Mary. You are free and I am dying. Be blessed, be happy, for both of us.

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Farewell to my youth here…farewell to my first love… At least the first one that made know what love was. Forgive me, for leaving you, for change in your sweet promises for the game of a crown. Goodbye to the days when all the eyes of the court were upon me, when he noticed me and my game started. And there is a ghost marked in this era of my life — the Queen I helped to destroy, a woman I never cared to know — a woman who never caused me harm — a Queen I swore to honor and obey. I ended up speeding her death. I took by force and humiliation what was hers… and here I am now, slowly waiting for the dawn of my execution. Soon we will share the dust of England’s Crown. We will be under the same land, yes, under, because our King will pass the crown to a new one, she that will shine just after my blood soaks the scaffold. Forgive me Katherine. What I did to you was done to me, we are even but…  I am still guilty of my actions against you. First I was moved my greed, and I regret what I did during that time. Love took over… I was fighting for happiness, for him, and for that I can not feel regret nor guilt.

I am sorry! I am! I can not scream it to the world but… I am sorry. Because I can not change what I did and at the same time… I regret less when it should be more. Forgive me. And I pray God… that someday your daughter Mary will forgive me, too. She is innocent. She always was, and now my daughter will live the same life. Both sisters will now be neglected by their father, suffering because of their mothers — two Queens, with the same failure.

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Farewell again, to the land where I gave birth to my precious Elizabeth, the only pure thing in my life, the best I ever did on this earth. The only proof of my love, my feelings, my hope and my joy as a woman, and my only valuable jewel as Queen. This land, this realm, will watch you grow, become a woman and yes.. Queen, because I know you will be Queen my dearest girl, my beloved child. I will not be here to guide you in the path of life, but I promise, that my love will always follow you. It will keep you warmth when the sadness of my absence became cold in your heart, because I have faith that you will remember me with kindness, with tenderness and sweetness.

You are part of me, the clean essence of my soul, and there is no hate in the entire world that can destroy that. God Bless my princess, my love, my everything. Shine brighter than me. Rule England with the heart, with the true of your soul and the wisdom of your forefathers. And think of me in silence. Never dare to mention me. It is better for you to keep the love of your father the King. Praise his name and keep me locked in your heart, that will keep you safe, and protected. Please learn all you can from the darkness of this realm before you get trapped in the light of it. God forbid you get blind by the beauty and temptations of this Kingdom. Be strong first, then be the rest you must be.  You are my precious jewel, my sweet Elizabeth.

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Pretty stars, my dead ones are above, walking around them, waiting for me. Play sweet music for me Mark, when you see me. I want to be received by the gentle notes of your violin. My darling Mark, my friend, my confident, I am so sorry for all the pain you suffered on my behalf. I never wished that upon you. Forgive me, our friendship led you to your death, and I am sorry. Please, play the violin when you see me Mark.

I know I will see you, Sir Henry Norris. Your admiration for me was the key to your downfall. My charms condemned you. I ask your forgiveness and please, smile to me when you see me tomorrow. Please, show me that chivalry that I always liked from you.

You will also be there, Master Bereton. I never knew why you… always looked at me with such coldness. The strictness of your behavior towards me was more a hint of your disgust about me than respect for my rank. What I did to cause that to thee? Will you tell me when I get there? Or you will look at me with the same despise, with the cold disguise of respect?

And there it is, the brightest star, the one that comes when dawn is near. There you are my sweet George, my darling brother. Oh the pain of seeing you die! It burns my heart! I felt your agony deep in my bones. I have that image carved in my soul. My dearest brother, you are the only one who really knew me from the start — the one who never dared to betray me. You were my comfort and I was your courage. Since we were children it was always like that. George, my gentle George, do not despair. Soon we will be together again, open your arms for me when I get there, and hug me with all your strength. Give me the pureness of our brotherly love, that sincere and innocent love that was cause of our doom.

How can they twist something so clean, immaculate and transparent like the love between brother and sister?! They are the impure ones, not us, never us! Wait a little longer my brother… Soon I will be back to you. Soon.

And there, a little far from the brightest star, two small ones, with a tiny spark, I am sure those are my two dead sons, my princes that I never had the chance to hold, soon my little angels, soon we will be together. I will hold both of you, and this time, we will share eternal life, in peace.

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Farewell to the souls of those I helped to crush and destroy… Cardinal Wolsey, the one who used to call me “The Black Crow” and the “Silly Girl”… the man I thought that had a pride higher than mine. Sometimes I thought I was wrong even when I never liked him. He was loyal, like a father to the King. He was a man whose birth was low… and worked hard to climb to the top of this realm. Where was the wrong in that? Now I wonder.

Sir Thomas More… he hated me and I him. He was so stubborn, just like and me and my kin. He died for his faith, for his beliefs. He was a great man, beloved friend of the King. I feel his death marked the start of my downfall. Farewell to poor Bishop Fisher…another man who died for his faith. Why did we turn our wish for the Truth and staine it with blood? That was my first criminal sin, to help in the production of a bloodbath in the name of Reformation and Power. This is how I see it now.

Farewell to my still living enemies. Mary, Lady Mary. Your hate towards me is justified in all the senses. To remember the reasons will not change anything nor make you forgive me. All I hope is that you become in time a protector of your poor little sister, who now will share your fate. May God help you to love her and cherished her. May the force of blood be stronger than the force of your hate for me. Forgive me Mary, even when what I did to you is unforgivable.

Cromwell… someone I helped to rise and now I am a victim of the power that he won towards me and my family. I underestimated you, and now I am here. I won your hate and that was my greatest mistake. All I can say to you is… enjoy the power while you can. I am sure that… being as proud and ambitious as you are, it will not be long when your head falls from the scaffold.

And you, Chapuys, you who represent all the faction here in England and Spain that hate me as much as you do, be in peace… the witch will be dead tomorrow. Spain can rejoice. All my enemies will rejoice, but do not smile too much. My death will not bring the glory and peace to England… it will be just a pause until the next horror comes by the hand of the tyrant King Henry.

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My last goodbye is for you Henry. I wanted to hate you when you changed me for Jane, when you forgot all we were for her, when you ordered my arrest, imprisonment and execution under those corrupted and false charges. I can not hate you. My love for you is stronger than my desire to despise you. And it is strange because… I remember I fought so hard to avoid loving you when all started. I failed… I loved you when we met, when we danced for the first time, when I was Perseverance and you were Honesty. I was yours since that day…I refused to admit it but… you captured me, totally. I learned what passion was in your arms. I learned that lust was far from sinful in the power of your kisses, and I loved the sweetness of every caress you gave me.

You can tell the whole world that I am a whore, but you know I became a woman in your bed. You can whisper on Jane’s ear that you love her, but you know that you will never feel with her what you felt with me. I know this sounds…vain but I know that… you will always remember me, even if you hate me now, you will never be able to erase me from your heart. Forgive me my King. I know I broke a promise. Believe me it was painful… I wanted to give you a son with all my heart, with every part of me and I am sorry. I am so sorry for my failure.

In the end, I can see your love was not unconditional like you once whispered to me. I was the fool because I believed it. I disrobed my pride, my will and my strength before your words, your touch and your charm. I die as an innocent, and my blood will always stained your actions from now towards the end of your days, that is my silent prophecy for you my love. Joy will not find your place again, you will never be the same after tomorrow, is painful for me to feel this, but it is what it is… You do not deserve happiness after what you have done.

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Farewell my love, my King. I never knew you and I loved you like no other woman will, not even the fair and innocent Jane. I am sure that if she does not please you like you expect, you will drag her down and replace her. You are loveless man now, a King and not a man. Power overcame you. I take with me the satisfaction that I enjoyed your human part, the one that will totally die with me tomorrow. Part of you will die with me, the best part of you, and to that part with myself, I say farewell.

And here comes the dawn… Farewell to the stars, I will join you tonight and I will come down just to watch the dreams of my darling girl. Farewell to the last night I live here on earth. Hello to my last dawn. Farewell to the rage, the scorn, the malice, the regrets, the pain and the intrigues. Farewell to the joy, the illusions, the dreams, the hopes and the love. Farewell to everything I knew and never will. Farewell to the words I said, the things I did and the love I gave. May all that I destroyed be fixed, and all that I created remain. Farewell Life.

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Tribute to Queen Anne Boleyn: Piratesse4 Videos by Mercy Alicea Rivera

May 5, 2015 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), News, Queen Anne Boleyn -- All Website Content by Mercy Rivera

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Mercy Alicea Rivera, QAB's Queen Anne Boleyn Representative

Mercy Alicea Rivera, QAB’s Queen Anne Boleyn Representative, Puerto Rico, USA

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Queen Anne… Her Golden Day

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Sadness and Memories: Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth Tudor

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Alma Perdida (Ana Bolina)

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19 of May (Tribute to Anne Boleyn)

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The Ghost and the King

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Beloved Mother (Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth Tudor)

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“Melancolía”, by Mercy Alicea Rivera

March 5, 2015 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Historical Fiction, Queens of World History, Spanish Language Diary Entries by Mercy Rivera

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Cuando miro por esta ventana, la única fuente de luz dentro de esta habitación fría, adornada con lujos que solo me recuerdan que vivo en una jaula de oro, donde todo se me ofrece sin esfuerzo, donde solo soy un objeto, un simbolo de poder que en realidad no poseo, porque para mi Rey ya no soy nada, ya mi palabra no cuenta para él, ni siquiera mi presencia, es cuando me doy cuenta que la vida de una doncella sin nobleza es mucho más feliz que la de una reina. Como quisera ser ahora una mujer como ellas, al verlas pasear del brazo del hombre que aman, buscando un lugar para compartir un beso, una caricia. Es evidente que la vida para ellos no es fácil, pero en cuanto al amor son más que afortunados. Veo mujeres de mi edad que lucen mejor que yo, la juventud sigue presente en ellas aún cuando el trabajo es duro, la comida escasa y el descanso leve. Seguramente al llegar a casa encuentran la compañía de un esposo fiel, hijos que la abracen, el calor de un hogar, un verdadero hogar.

Porque este bello palacio no es un hogar… este lugar es un nido de serpientes que se entrelazan en el oro, el poder y la ambición. Es una cueva donde seres sin compasión complacen a un rey que solo busca ver sus caprichos satisfechos y su gloria exaltada. Porque en este palacio tengo que pasearme todos los días fingiendo una sonrisa, saludando embajadores, cortesanos, miembros del consejo a quienes poco les importa mi suerte, mi buenaventura o mi desgracia. Hipócritas que se inclinan ante mí para luego ofenderme con sus actos siniestros en mi contra. Este es el refugio de las rameras que ocupan mi lugar en la cama del rey, y luego me siguen a todas partes, me atienden, me llaman Majestad y Señora, horas después de haberse revolcado con mi esposo. Y todo lo tengo que soportar, porque soy la Reina, quien gobierna junto al Rey que me martiriza sin levantarme la mano, o sin una palabra ofensiva. Son sus actos tras las sombras de estas paredes  los que poco a poco están consumiéndome de la manera más amarga. La dureza de su rechazo se está llevando poco a poco lo mejor de mí, aún cuando mis años no son viejos, mi piel muestra líneas secas, de tiempo natural adelantado a mi edad; duele ver como la soledad, el abandono, la falta de amor y el miedo pueden acabar con una mujer que solo ha vivido para amar, honrar y obedecer.

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Lejos están los recuerdos de cuando alguna vez fui feliz en mi hermosa Andalucía, en aquellas Calles de Aragón donde el amor hacia mí y hacia mi familia era tan palpable como aquello se puede sosterner entre las manos. Lejos están aquellas ilusiones de niña cuando la promesa del amor y la gloria de un príncipe me esperaban en tierras lejanas, muerto está mi noble caballero, mi promesa de Rey, aquel que con su mirada prometía fidelidad legítima, que sin conocerme me hablaba de un futuro hermoso, me decía que algún día su reino y el mío serían uno solo. Su muerte se llevó esa oportunidad, a pesar de que nos bendecía la juventud, la enfermedad lo arrancó de mi lado, sin darme la dicha de conocer ese amor tierno que en sus ojos brillaba, se fue y me dejó vacía, en un limbo que me negaba a comprender, pero que estaba allí. Tras su muerte fui descartada, mi destino incierto, en silencio me preguntaba que sería que mí; era como si la muerte de Arturo se hubiera convertido en mi deshonra, aún cuando entre nosotros… jamás hubo esa intimidad de la que tanto me hablaron, con la que con temor soñaba a pesar de que todavía no le conocía. El tiempo pasaba, yo seguía perdida entre dos reinos. Hasta que la luz tocó de nuevo a mis puertas, y se me dijo que el hermano de mi difunto esposo, el joven Enrique, sería mi prometido, mi futuro.

Y yo creí que mi vida comenzaba. Cuando lo conocí…. supe sinceramente lo que era sentir amor verdadero, sentir ese ardor en el corazón, ese vacío en las entrañas, que es tan dulce y tan profundo. Lo miré a los ojos y no me sentí una desconocida, como me ocurrió cuando ví a Arturo por primera vez, a Arturo lo sentía yo como a un amigo al que me veía obligada a ver como hombre… con Enrique, todo era diferente, y esta vez yo estaba dispuesta a dar todo por ganarme su amor, por hacerlo feliz e unirme a esa dicha con él. Aún en tardes calmadas como ésta, cuando no hay mucho revuelo en la corte y puedo pasearme sin tantos ojos observándome, puedo recordar aquellos días donde yo era el centro de la vida de Enrique, cuando nos paseábamos por los jardines de este palacio tomados de la mano, ante la mirada fría de su padre y del Cardenal, que creo que siempre ha sentido antipatía por mí; nada de eso importaba, porque yo tenía su presencia, su penetrante mirada sobre mí y la seguridad de que me amaba, tanto como yo lo amaba a él.

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Dios, como extraño aquellos tiempos! Como me duele no tenerlos más! Nunca falté a mi palabra cuando dije que era doncella… Fue Enrique y no Arturo quien hizo de mí una mujer completa, eso lo sé… Con Arturo no hubo nada, nada comparado a lo que viví con Enrique en nuestra noche de bodas. Enrique fue mi primer hombre, y será el último, pues juré ser suya para siempre y así será hasta el día de mi muerte. Como recuerdo aquellas noches entre sus brazos, la pasión de Enrique no se puede describir con palabras, tal vez es por eso que no hay mujer que pueda resistirse a él. Es solo por eso que mi desprecio por ellas no llega tan lejos… porque comprendo lo poderosa que es esa parte suya, que se atreve a repartir aún a costa de mi sufrimiento. Largas eran las noches de amor a su lado, dulces los momentos juntos, abrumadora la llama de su habilidad para amar. Tanto amor dejó frutos es nuestros primeros años, incluso un hermoso príncipe que tenía sus ojos. Pero el destino no les permitió vivir lo suficiente para mantener vivo el amor de su padre por mí. Dios en su infinito misterio decidió arrebatar a esos niños de mi lado cuando apenas habían logrado aliento de vida, y con la pena de esas muertes… el amor de Enrique por mí dejó de ser el mismo. Fue entonces cuando aparecieron las amantes…todas llenando algo en la vida de Enrique… esas mujeres que se llamaban mis damas, mis servidoras, despertaron en el una pasión atroz que apagaba la pena de la muerte de nuestros hijos. Con cuanto dolor me tragué los celos! Tuve que sacar fuerzas de donde no tenía para no enfrentarlo, para no gritarle a los cuatro vientos la rabia que me consumía gracias a su engaño! ¿Acaso no era yo joven aún, acaso no era yo capaz de darle más hijos, acaso no era yo como ellas en nuestra intimidad?

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Pero yo siempre fui fiel, siempre su esposa amante, su reina intachable, incapaz de una palabra hostil hacia mi señor. Y en las noches, sabiendo yo que tal vez venía de dormir en otras sábanas, yo le recibía en mi lecho, aceptaba sus caricias, sus besos y su amor, y fue entonces que fue concebida… la más grande de mis alegrías. Pues nació María… una niña que a sus ojos debió ser varón, pero ante los míos ella era la señal de que había esperanza, que su llegada solo anunciaba la bendición de que mas hijos vendrían. María, María… dulce princesa mía; hija de mi corazón. El bálsamo que calmó por mucho tiempo la voracidad del rey por camas ajenas, y lo devolvió a mi lado, su ternura hacia mi regresó; los tres éramos como uno solo, y yo volví a ser feliz, una reina sonriente y complaciente, una madre dichosa y orgullosa, una esposa amante y dedicada. Más tan cierto como que nada es para siempre… poco me duró la dicha, pues tras el nacimiento de María, solo más muerte llegó con cada nueva maternidad que me tocaba… sangre muerta y silencio llenaron mi vida, y con el último parto…murieron mis esperanzas de dar un príncipe al hombre que tanto amo.

La luz de la alegría se fue apagando, solo María me mantenía fuerte… con deseos de seguir. Su presencia me hacía olvidar que mi vientre ya estaba seco y maltrecho. Pero en mis horas de soledad, el eco de los rumores de amantes me atormentaba, más la culpa de saber que no podría nunca complacer a mi rey… me hacía hacerme de la vista larga…pues si el me perdonó mi falta, yo debía hacer lo mismo con las suyas. Siempre pensé que me seguía amando de alguna manera, en ocasiones visitaba mi lecho… aunque fuera solo para dormir a mi lado, además, aunque tuviera amantes, yo siempre seguía siendo su reina. Me consultaba cosas, hablábamos como marido y mujer, nada era como antes, pero yo era su reina, y ninguna otra opacaba mi lugar junto a él.

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Pero ahora… ahora llega ella, ella que no es como cualquier otra mujer de esta corte. Ella que es fuerte, hermosa, brillante como la luz del sol, con la misma vitalidad que yo tuve hace años y con la suficiente sabiduría y coraje para arrancar de mi lado al hombre que más amo, y con él, mi corona. Esa corona que ahora me duele como si estuviera hecha de espinas… porque llevarla ahora no me mantiene segura como reina, mi corona ya no tiene poder, pues ella con su oscuridad lo está matando. Ana Bolena, al igual que su hermana capturó el interés de Enrique… solo que Ana es más inteligente. Cuando la observo en la corte, siento que mi sangre se congela. Es audaz, tiene talento para ser admirada, y juega con el deseo de Enrique con extraordinaria perfección. Sabe como volverlo loco sin dejar que siquiera la toque. Me da rabia verlos bailar en mi presencia, y presenciar como se devoran el uno al otro con la mirada. La maldigo en silencio y al mismo tiempo la envidio, porque quisiera tener lo que ella tiene, desearía absorber su encanto y su juventud para recuperar a mi rey… tenerlo como antes, así… como ella lo tiene ahora.

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Y es impresionante luego verla ante mí, sirviéndome y atendiéndome como la más sumisa de las doncellas. Apenas me mira a los ojos, y cuando lo hace demuestra un respeto limpio, tan profundo que aveces hasta le creo. Ana Bolena, su alma debe ser tan oscura como el color de su mirada, ella es como el cuervo nocturno que espera en la puerta de los miserables, para observar… y luego satisfacerse de sus agonías. Pero cuando la miro, no puedo evitar en cierto modo pensar…que tal vez al igual que yo, no es culpable de sentir lo que siente, o que como a mí… la han visto como la clave para el poder absoluto, aún si eso significa destruir. Es increíble su maestría para mostrarme respeto, y luego a escondidas verse con mi rey. Su presencia me hace imaginar sus encuentros… me parece verlos besándose por los rincones, haciéndose promesas a mis espaldas, planeando como se desharán de mí para poder estar juntos. ¡Como se han de burlar de mí, de seguro dicen cosas humillantes, se ríen de mis faltas e incapacidades! Siento rabia al saber que ella posee lo que yo ya perdí, y que poco a poco está matando el poco amor que Enrique sentía por mí.

Su presencia me desespera, pero echarla de mi lado significaría incrementar el rechazo de Enrique hacia mí. Ana Bolena no necesita restregarme con palabras lo que sucede entre ella y el rey, su forma de ir por la corte lo dice todo… esas bellas joyas que luce todos los días, la osadía de vestir a la Francesa cuando mi orden es contraria. Yo soy la reina, pero ahora es Ana quien manda en esta casa… más bien… en este lugar… porque este palacio dejó de ser mi casa hace mucho tiempo. Y le pregunto a Dios con fervor: ¿Por qué permites que el sol brille para ella, mientras que sobre mí solo llueven amarguras? ¿Por qué permites que ella entre en su corazón, y lo alejas de mí? ¿Que hice para merecer esta tortura? Todos saben, que hice todo por darle al rey un hijo varón, jamás le negué mi cuerpo aunque estuviera yo sufriendo la peor de las fiebres o la tristeza más profunda, porque al igual que él yo anhelaba esa bendición. Aún no tengo respuesta, y el tiempo se acaba. Años van y vienen, poco a poco Ana gana terreno, Enrique me humilla y a ella la adorna de felicidad, mi Fe es fuerte, pero mis fuerzas disminuyen.

He sido traicionada tantas veces por las mujeres que se han hecho llamar mis damas. La que le dio un hijo que ahora está por encima de mi hija en rango y quizás hasta también en amor, pasó de largo… solo se quedó como la madre de su hijo y nada más. Me sentí humillada pero igual me mantuve fuerte… porque él no me cambió por ella. Pero Ana… ella es distinta, Enrique la ama, la desea, sabe que su juventud es señal de una maternidad sana, ve en ella la esperanza de un príncipe y no le importa acabar con todo lo bueno y sagrado en este reino, con tal de sentarla a su lado como reina, enterrándome a mí en el camino… como si yo hubiera sido un error en su vida, un mal paso, un estorbo. Quienes están cerca del rey la favorecen… incrementan el deseo del rey de desterrarme, han cambiado su mente, su corazón… lo han hecho pecar de la manera más abominable. El Rey ya no tiene amor por su pueblo, por las Sagradas tradiciones, ni siquiera por la Ley de Dios. En su vida… Ana es la ley, y yo soy la plaga que hay que curar para que ella pueda brillar en plena libertad. El tiempo pasa… este lugar es cada vez más frío, no quiero dejar mi habitación, me aturden los suspiros de quienes me tienen lástimas, me hieren las voces de quienes se alegran de mi desdicha, ya ni siquiera puedo ver a mi hija, mi hermosa María, ya no hay consuelo desde que me me arrebataron la luz de su mirada. Me duele saber que mientras yo me consumo aquí, ella es feliz con mi Rey. ¿Por qué Enrique? Cuando miro a mi alrededor, veo menos doncellas… seguramente han decidido servirla a ella, están hartas de mi tristeza y no están dispuestas a consolarme. ¿Es esta vida la que Ana Bolena desea con tanto fervor que no se ha detenido a pensar que algún día, al igual que yo, puede verse bajo las mismas circumstancias? Se que ella le ha prometido un hijo, tiene que haberlo hecho ya, ella sabe que es lo que el Rey más desea. Que ruegue de rodillas por un hijo… porque de lo contrario, si no lo logra… quizás su destino termine siendo más negro que el mío. Más no tengo interés en advertirle. Enrique está moviendo el mundo por ella… si ella lo hace infeliz, será con ella mucho más cruel que conmigo, estoy segura. ¿Pero Dios, por qué dudo de su victoria? Si ella ha logrado ya hundirme en la más dura soledad.

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Apenas duermo, este nuevo amanecer que ven mis ojos es sombrío, siento que voy a recibir la última estocada. De pronto escucho pasos, luego la voz de una de mis damas anunciando la llegada del Secretario del Rey, al verlo me doy cuenta de que yo estaba en lo cierto. Trae en sus manos lo que parece ser un decreto real. Cuando lo lee en voz alta, entiendo que es el final. El Rey me ordena abandonar mi casa, mi vida, mis recuerdos, mi amor por él. Me ordena salir del lugar que fue testigo de tanto amor, de tanta felicidad, de tanta gloria. Me envía a un lugar apartado de su nueva vida con una mujer que nunca podrá amarlo con la misma fuerza con la que yo lo amé, con la que lo sigo amando todavía a pesar de su crueldad hacia mí. Pero cuando me uní a él juré honrarlo y obedecerlo siempre, y eso es lo que haré.

Todo está listo para mi partida…solo mi dama más leal, a quien considero una amiga más que una sirvienta, ha decidido seguirme. Mi querida María de Salinas, como vas a sufrir cuando te diga que no se te permitirá acompañarme, pues temen que me ayudes a conjurar una venganza contra el Rey. Eso piensan de mí, me temen aún cuando saben que mi sobrino jamás intervendrá en mi nombre… ciega he sido todo este tiempo. Si ha sido capaz de mantener a mi hermana su madre en las sombras como si ella nunca hubiera sido reina, si rompió su compromiso con mi hija… ¿Acaso puedo esperar apoyo de su parte? Después de todo, de nada me sirve ahora. Enrique ha dictado su palabra y contra eso ya nada se puede hacer. Adiós digo al lugar que una vez contempló mi felicidad, y que ahora me despide en denigrante humillación. Todo es silencio, el aire es denso, me siento perdida; solo esperan por mí tres sirvientas, no son damas de nobleza, pero al menos se inclinan ante mí, me reconocen como su reina, y por eso siempre le estaré agradecida.

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Se que no habrá regreso, el corazón me lo grita. Ella ha ganado, venció todos los obstáculos que me hacían fuerte e invencible. Pudo contra todo y contra todos. Aunque me duela, aunque me sienta la más miserable al admitirlo, se que ella va a reinar en este lugar. Compatirá su cama, le dará los príncipes que yo no pude darle, borrará mi existencia de este lugar y me convertirá en un triste recuerdo. Cuando me pregunto como pudo sucederme esto, ¿que fue lo que hice para merecer esto? Surgen miles de respuestas, y todas me hacen culpable. El amor no tiene lugar en los reinos de la tierra; el poder, el deseo, la ambición y la lujuria le han suplantado. Si la reina no complace al rey, esta esta condenada a ser aplastada por su ira. Y lo mismo le sucederá a ella si se atreve a faltar a sus promesas.

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Adiós a este lugar, a mis recuerdos, se que me voy para no volver…ya no vale la pena luchar por lo que de sobra se está perdido. Solo me queda Dios, y la esperanza de que algún día el corazón de Enrique recuerde el inmenso amor que nos juramos, que no olvide que tenemos una hija, una hija que es todo lo que este reino merece como soberana, una vez él ya no esté sentado en el trono. Dejo atrás mi corazón, mi esencia, mi existencia… todo lo que fuí quedará marcado para siempre en estas tierras, en las paredes de este palacio. Adiós a mi reino, adiós a mi señor y amado esposo. Me voy en paz, cargando mi cruz pero con mi alma limpia…pues yo soy la reina, la reina aunque ella se pasee con mi corona. Yo soy la reina, aún en la despedida,… y lo seguiré siendo, hasta el final de mis días.

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Chronicles of a Restless Soul, by Mercy Alicea Rivera

October 31, 2014 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Historical Fiction, Queen Anne Boleyn -- All Website Content, The Final Days of Queen Anne Boleyn, Tudor Y Writer's Group by Mercy Rivera

Mercy Alicea Rivera Mercy Rivera

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Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers is thrilled to introduce to you historical fiction short story and non-fiction article writer Mercy Rivera.

Mercy Rivera is a founding member of Queenanneboleyn.com and is highly respected as the website’s Queen Anne Boleyn reenactor. A native of Puerto Rico, Mercy also writes Spanish language articles and stories for the website. A woman of many talents, Mercy is a video hobbyist. The videos included with Mercy’s short story Chronicles of a Restless Soul are of her creation.

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Chronicles of a Restless Soul

 

I am trapped in time, trapped in silence, memories, in pain, sadness and agony. I am trapped within the walls of this Tower, below the sky, in the traces of the path of the story of my life.  I see life coming and going every single day…. Sometimes I make myself felt, and sometimes I just act like a cold whisper that makes them remember that one day I was real.

I have been a silent witness of the changes of time… eras came and left, and everything is different– but life is the same. Everyone wishes the same things. I hear them when they speak. Some of them praise me and admire me… others… judge me like the ones who sent me to my death. But in this era I must say… I have more supporters than when I was a living Queen. Oh! And how much they admire my precious Elizabeth. That makes me feel so proud and assures me that my life and my fate were not in vain.

But my favorite time is when the night comes… when all the noises, the rush of the living and the interruptions of the… extreme modern era that is now, goes quiet.  Is at night when I come out freely. Sometimes I get too bored and make fun of others…I scared the guards a little, but I never go too far… like some legends that I heard from visitors.  When you are… like I am now, you are free to go wherever you want; and you can also see those who once shared a life and a death with you.

I do not spend too much time wandering in the Tower. This cold and dark place that I hate with all my being, but that is also part of me… This was my last home.  I was blessed with power and glory here… and also judge, abandoned and unjustly condemned.  I leave the tower every night, and I fly away towards my home…the place where I grew up, where I was happy, where once I heard poems and was captivated by my King… my darling and cruel Henry.  Oh Hever… you have changed but not too much….the essence of my existence is still present in all the corners.  My home, too many memories…. At least I am still here to remember.  Sometimes I see my brother around…. But his soul is too damaged. He just looks at me and then he fades away. In more than four hundred years since… that happened, I have not been able to speak to my dear George. For some reason he refuses to be with me in death… he remembers his pain more than the fact that we were inseparable in life. 

And over there…my beautiful gardens….they are taking good care of them, even when I see changes is still precious.   I find my sister Mary here sometimes… She talks to me. She pardoned my pride and cruelty towards her back when I was Queen and arrogant.  My poor sister… And my mother, the gracious and proud Countess of Wiltshire and Ormond, also haunts this place…is hard to see her, because every time we see each other, all is sadness, mixed with smiles. She just looks at me. Even in death we can touch each other. I can feel her maternal caresses. Then she says “I am so sorry” and like my brother… she fades away in an extreme level of sorrow.  Alas, I never see my father here… but I can hear him… He cries out loud. He is in pain.  I know that very well. He betrayed his own blood and that will never let him rest. My poor father….

 Then I start to have memories of the days that marked the beginning of my end; and when that happens.  I think… why my fate changed?  I was in love with another man, a simple man that would never treat me with cruelty or betray my love, but then…I was forced to capture a King and I lost the way… I lost myself.

 

I remember that masked ball… when I met the King. He was Honesty and I Perseverance, symbolic indeed.  At first… I did not care for him.  I had a duty.  I had to obey my father and my uncle’s wishes, but then….when I looked in to his eyes….he captured me. Maybe that is why all worked so well at the beginning. True love was finally the base of the game, and one day, I was his Queen. I bore him a daughter…. And I lost two children. The last sealed my fate.

Sometimes I spent days and nights wandering here in Hampton Court… Oh Hampton court, so many stories… Henry haunts here…. He really liked this place. I only found him here once. I can not remember the time. I do not follow the count, but it was a long time ago. He usually hides from me, but I can always feel him when he is around.  It was a stormy night when I found him in the Gallery, alone. He felt my presence and he turned around; he said “Anne, Anne, why are you here?

And I answered; you should know… since you ordered my death. 

He looked at me for a long time, and he finally said the words I wanted to hear since that horrible day; he said:   Anne, forgive me. I destroyed all that I loved and cared of in my days — my greed, my obsession for a male heir… my madness, my fears, turned me in to a monster. I sent you to a death you did not deserved. I killed you, but you must know that even when I hid it. I never forgot about you. That is why I kept Elizabeth away for a long time… Every time I looked at her… I was seeing you; and that was a torture to my conscience!  But you won Anne. The son I had with Jane was not the monarch I dreamt; but our daughter… she was greater than me, greater than my forefathers! She was the True Tudor Rose!  Anne, oh Anne, I am a tormented soul. I am doomed to be trapped in the ruins of my deeds and I deserve it.  If only I could turn back time… and be more human and less king, more a man and less a tyrant…forgive me, forgive me. 

He stood there, waiting for my answer, but I could not speak. I just walk slowly towards him, and I touched his face with my cold and pale hand, and I saw our lives in flashes of light. I saw the best moments of our fairy tale romance, and then I smiled, and finally found the words for him: “Your Majesty… even when you caused me pain, agony, fear, deception and sorrow, I can not hate you. In the times when you used to love me, you made me the most happy; you gave me all, you made me your queen, and you also helped me with the blessing of motherhood. Elizabeth was part of you and me, the glory of our existence, and the fruit of the love we once shared. I can not forget the suffering you caused me. You condemned me even when you knew in your heart that I was innocent. For that… I can not give you a full pardon. But I do not hate you, because I loved you… and because the glorious memory of Elizabeth will always remind me of it.  Tell me my lord… Do you remember the passion we shared?  I do — our love was like no other… our passion was never seeing in the open like we showed it. Can you remember that? 

When I asked him that his expression changed. He smiled and I swear that I saw the shine of tears in his eyes. We looked at each other for the longest time. We were remembering the passion that made both of us immortal in the annals of history.  He says to me: “We were to powerful to be man and wife. We competed all the time. You wanted to be on top of me, to be higher than me and I could not allow that! But I admit that I always longed for the passion you gave me, and when I see you know, with the beauty that charmed me… I feel the pain of being dead.

After a moment, I said to him: “Not only my cruel and undeserved death will torture you forever, the passion, the lust and the intense love I gave you, will always live in your mind, eternally. I marked you as well as you marked me, your majesty.

Immediately I saw in his eyes that familiar anger that he always showed to me when he felt defeated, when he wanted to be stronger than me at any cost. With a frowned face, he disappeared in a cold and furious phantom breeze.  Since then, I can only feel him, but I can not see him.  Henry… my love and my damnation, the seed of this purgatory.

The night is long and I continue with my travel around the ruins and places where I once lived, smiled, cried and despaired.  And in the gallery… near the old main chamber, I find her one more time… It is strange… I have not seen her over a century and tonight. She once again dares to appear before me, the woman who carried the seal of my death behind her innocent face… Jane Seymour.  Like in the first time I saw her after… her unexpected passing, she carries a candle and her face is adorned with the grey glitter of sadness. Here we are again, face to face, but of course… in extremely different circumstances.  I finally speak to her translucent image: “Jane… this night must be somehow special, since I see thee and just one moment ago I was meditating about his Majesty”. 

She was staring at me, with tearful eyes, and finally she answered: “Have you seen my son?  I am trying to find him but I can not”.  She is indeed lost in her own misery. Her punishment was harder than mine. It is true that I lost two babies, but at least I had the joy of spent time with my Elizabeth. I was blessed with the chance to be a mother… even when that chance was minimum.

I do not know how to answer to her.  Suddenly her expression changed… she now seems to recognize me:  “Anne, Anne Boleyn; we are both trapped between the dead and the living. I did to you, what you did to Queen Catherine of Aragon. We moved the world and we acted with cruelty for the love and power of the same man. We lost our purity, our sense of humanity and care for others. I was overjoyed when you die…I must admit that sometimes… My conscience tortured me.  I assumed the same happened to you in your time.  But I ask you now… in mercy, please forgive me so I can escape this limbo and reached the soul of my son. 

The bitterness of my days are still with me. It is true that I was a huge contribution in the sadness and misery of Queen Catherine of Aragon, but I did not sent her to a brutal and unmerciful execution. Catherine died abandoned, and so did I — but she had the consolation of prayers. She will always be remembered as a sacred monarch, while I… Some say that I desired Catherine of Aragon’s death, that I even poisoned her but that is a lie. When I was desperate, paranoid and lost in the wild seas of wine and lonely nights, I said things than later I regretted. Knowing myself, if somehow I meant those threats in my days for sure I would have put them in action, but I never did.

Finally, I speak to the waiting spirit of Queen Jane Seymour: Alas Jane, I can not give you that. I carry a lot of pain with me… you are true when you said that I was the cause of Queen Catherine of Aragon’s misery, but you caused me greater pain. Because of you I lost my last chance to survive as queen and human being. I lost my boy because of you and because of Henry too.  You said you rejoiced in my death, and then you want my forgiveness. Why should I be merciful with you, when you were never merciful with me? 

Jane bows her head, and then looks at me again: “I am sorry that I caused you pain… but I guess, it will be impossible to forgive when we are not able to pardon ourselves.  My son died young… while your daughter reigned long and supreme. I envy you so much for that, even in death. I gave him the son he wanted…. You did not, but I failed because he was weak and he died, while you will always be remembered eternally as the woman who gave birth to the greatest monarch England ever had.  You see? I think I do not deserve your pardon after all.  Jane disappears.Nnow I pity her… She is envious of me, and she can not even find the soul of her son. At least I do not have that burden upon me anymore.

I continue with my nightly routine in Hampton Court. The night is walking towards its end, but I still have time to enjoy my freedom.  Suddenly… I hear the heavenly sound of a violin. It must be him, my dear friend Mark Smeaton! Oh; Mark, you are here…and you are playing the violin for me.  I feel touched by the sweet notes he is playing, and then, my joy arises more when he appears before me, near the entrance of what it once were Henry’s main bedchamber.

I walk towards him with a smile, and he smiles back while he continues to play Como poden per sas culpas. This one brings so many memories back to me… especially of my younger days, when my passion for Henry burnt more than the wildest fire.  Mark… my poor Mark, he died for my cause… and innocent soul dragged to darkness thanks to the cruelty of the almighty and  unjust Henry VIII, and my failure to give him what he wanted.  I smile with sadness towards my dear friend Mark… he did not deserve that bloody and cold death.

Suddenly, he stops playing, and comes closer to me:  My glorious queen and friend, please do not be sad for me, because as long as you decide to wander here… I will be around to please you with my music.  My death was my own. Torture can turn a man in to a coward in the blink of an eye. I paid for that… but now I am here… to make your burden less hard to bear. 

With that, he starts to play the violin again. I smile and nod to him, then I look to my left, and there I see a gentleman that I will always remember with sorrow, Sir Henry Norris. In my days of despair I was disrespectful and unfair with him, but fear was the detonator for that — but I can see no hard feelings in his presence.  He is there, looking peacefully at me, with the same admiration and that flirty essence that somehow condemned him in the end. He bows with elegance before me, and disappears. I turn my gaze to Mark again, and he continues to play the violin with greatness and a very subliminal essence.

But suddenly he stops playing, and disappears. I feel a tense aura, a coldness that is no natural not even for us.  When I turn around, I see three of my old enemies… together.  Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell.  I have no reason to fear them or hate them anymore. There is nothing we can do to re-do our lives or make all different, but when I look at them, I see they do not feel the same.

In an instant, Cromwell leaves his place beside Wolsey and appears right in front of me. Then he says: “I see you still here Madame;  it seems all of us will continue to see each other eternally… until judgment day.

I smile to him and then reply:  Judgment day? I have been judged already my lord Cromwell, but when the Lord comes back to pass His own judgment to the living and us, the dead; I will be calmed, since I died innocent, and with so little guilt.

Cromwell smiles, I know he has more to say: “Little guilt you said, Majesty. If I well remember you caused the downfall of that poor man over there. You and all your Boleyn kin, and of course, the Howards.  I see your uncle around here from time to time, and his son; the poor boy; even in death both are difficult to bear.  And then… I still remember how you treated me, on your days of queen. 

I am ready to answer him: Is true I helped in the downfall of Wolsey… but he was not a saint. He had his deeds but yes, I and my kin as you well said, we took advantage of that. Sir Thomas More hated me, and I guess I returned him the same feeling. I am well aware that he died because of me; for sure after his death Henry began to hate me. And I remind you that my attacks against you were well based.  I was right because you were misleading our reformation, and you supported the King’s liaison with Jane Seymour. And worst, you built an abominable plot against me. You sent me to the scaffold when you knew I was innocent. You damned your soul only to please the King. And how it ended?  With your death…even more bloody than mine, you suffered… for sure you felt an immense amount of pain, and endless agony. You tried to reach beyond heaven… and your fall was terrible. Now… anything else you wish to tell me, my lord Cromwell?

Cromwell looks at me with rage in his eyes, but I can also see pain and devastation in his presence. He disappears. Then I look at the ghostly presence of Cardinal Wolsey. He is just there, in silence, but I can see the hate in his eyes towards me. He walks away, and fades in the distance. Finally, Sir Thomas More turns his back and disappears.  I am alone again, so I decide to continue with my journey.

I walk near the King’s private Chapel, when I hear the sound of a young girl sobbing. I look towards the gallery and then I see her… poor Catherine Howard. my poor little cousin, who shared my fate.  She looks at me, and then she comes running like a desperate soul in need. She is finally before me, her expression of panic touches my heart: “Please, I need to see the King, he has to listen to me. Please let me see him. I beg you!  I must see him — don’t you understand? As soon as I see him everything will be all right!

I feel pity for her… She is not entirely a lost soul; she is an echo of an extreme sorrow, pain and desperation. I look at her with tenderness: “My poor child, and sweet cousin, there is no need for you to be in despair. All is over. You do not need to see the King and beg for forgiveness; is over”. 

She looks at me with tears in her eyes. They are like little drops of ice: “How can you say that?! Is not over! I know I can make him understand. He loves me. He will forgive me!  I need to speak to him!

It is useless. She is lost in her agony and the fear she suffered. It make me feel sad when I see her like that. She walks through me and starts to hit the Chapel doors and screams Henry’s name and begs for mercy.  Tired of not having a response, she disappears in front of the Chapel doors.  Poor Katherine Howard…. It was not her fault either. Like me she was a moth drawn to the flame… and burnt.

The cold of the night is fading away….that means the dawn is near — and now I am here, contemplating the resting place of my beloved daughter, Elizabeth.  I am so proud of her, fiercely proud. She was so clever… The Queen who is still remembered in this era. As The Virgin Queen, her reign was a golden age. She was strong, just, kind, candid, fair. She was the best of Henry and me. But alas, love was not kind with her…She never married, even when she loved with all her being… like I did once.  Suddenly, I hear the laughter of a child, a playful breeze walks beside me and then… I see her…  Elizabeth, she looks like the last time I see her, my beautiful baby girl. She decided to appear before me, just like in the last time I held her in my arms. I smile as I see her. I can not believe it!

As ghosts we can do as we wish… and she wants to be my baby girl again.  I walk towards her. I pick her up and I hold her again. She looks so beautiful and sweet:  “My sweet and beloved Elizabeth, I loved you since I saw you for the first time… I loved you then and I love you now with the same force that nature brings in motherhood. You did great in life. You honored your name, your blood and your destiny.  Your father is also very proud of you. My beautiful virgin Queen; my Elizabeth. 

She looks at me with bright eyes, is in her eyes where she is showing me all the events of her life… the story of her, who filled my life with joy, my last triumph in this life was her.  And then she smiles, oh how much I missed that sweet smile.  I hold her, is wonderful how God can continue blessing the souls of those who are still trapped in the walls of the past, like me… like so many others. And then, I hear footsteps. I do not dare to look back, since I can recognize who it is.  Then, I hear her voice:

“You can hold her with pride, Ana Bolena. You proved in the end that you were better than me, in capturing the heart of Henry; and your daughter… was your redemption. Since I have to admit, that you die innocent. 

Still holding Elizabeth, I slowly turn around, and I see her, Queen Catherine of Aragon. She is there, and I can not see hate in her eyes.  I respectfully make a little curtsey to her, and to my surprise, she nods and then does the same. “My poor Mary died young… your Elizabeth had a long and prosperous life… She was right and was wise when she decided to never marry. She was he own ruler, her own keeper.  She was stronger than us.  I am now ready to answer:  “Madame, I admit I was arrogant in my days… but I never turned my threats into actions against you or against your daughter. Alas, I know I caused you pain and misery, and I tried to reach your daughter’s heart but… her mind was poisoned against me, even when I know, that she was… correct in feeling hate towards me. I destroyed her parent’s marriage. 

She smiles to me, and peacefully replies:  “My marriage was dead before you entered in our lives. I just… did not want to admit it.  I loved Henry with a force stronger than myself, stronger than the world itself and that… that made me blind.  Also my Spanish Pride made me stubborn enough to fight for what was mine.  My pride… my love for Henry, my worthless fight for my place as Queen, that also destroyed Mary. If I could turn back time, I would probably do all different. I shall have let him go to you… probably Mary would had suffered less.  

She is touching my heart with her words. I look at Elizabeth, she looks so peaceful in my arms:  “I am sorry, your majesty; for all the pain my presence caused in your lifetime”. 

She once again smiles:  “I pardoned you and Henry a long time ago… that is why I am not trapped as you are, as many of those I knew are.  I come down and up again…because I still want to find my daughter, but she is not here… She is not within this walls, or in the ruins of our times. She is trapped elsewhere, in a darker place.  Her bitterness, her sad and damaged soul twisted her mind, and she lost the way I taught her. Mi preciosa Mary. I lost her, forever. 

With that, she walks away, and disappears in the distance.  I look at the window on my left, and I can see the first rays of the sun between the dark clouds of the dying night. It is time to go back to the walls, to the ruins, to hide from the presence of the living. I look at my darling daughter once more:  “Time to sleep, my baby girl, go to rest, mama will do the same…go to the angels my sweet Elizabeth. I will guard your dreams, eternally. She smiles, and slowly disappears from my arms, like a soft cold breeze. Now I feel so empty, but I know I will see her again… since we belong here…this is our home, the memories keep us alive, and as long as we are remembered, we will never die.

Cleopatra…The Last Queen of Egypt (Part I)

October 2, 2014 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Queens of World History by Mercy Rivera

Cleopatra
The Last Queen Of Egypt

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Kingdoms are guided in the same courses, always pursuing the favor of their rulers and eventually, the stronger and more ambitious hands behind the thrones work hard to overthrow their rulers and take the power in another direction. To achieve either of these purposes, schemes, lies, plots of murder and betrayal are put in action. Nothing is forbidden in these cases, not even if it means to sacrifice love or even bonds of blood. These kinds of protocols in Kingdoms around the world are common since the dawn of history of mankind. Of course, some Kings and Queens are less cruel than others who well… signed their legacies with gruesome acts.

Egypt for example, is one of the most enigmatic places in the world, and the history of their monarchs is always fascinating. In ancient times, (and even today), Egypt possessed a high level of spirituality and their Pharaohs and Queens were venerated as divinities. As children of the gods that were made to be honored and served even at the cost of human life. Many Pharaohs and Queens ruled Egypt, many of them became legends but there is one that forever will mark the history of Egypt. She was a ruler like no other, a woman ahead of her time, powerful, cold blooded, charming, smart, with a high knowledge of politics, a seductress capable to control the heart of a mighty Emperor and turn a warrior against his own people. Her legendary beauty sometimes is mistaken with a symbol of romantic fantasy, but the truth is, that she was far from that. This Queen always took matters in her own hands, and if she had to spill blood to achieve her goals, then so be it. She used to call herself the Daughter of Isis, her people called her Queen of the Nile… Her Name was Cleopatra, The Last Queen of Egypt.

Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator was the third daughter of Pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes. The identity of Cleopatra’s mother is still disputed among historians, but some agree that is a strong possibility that Cleopatra The V was her mother, mostly because Cleopatra V was Ptolemy XII most constant Queen Consort during his late reign. He was married before, with Cleopatra the IV, but she is not mentioned at all during 69 BC, the time that is calculated as the date of Cleopatra’s birth. This is another reason why is strongly believed that Cleopatra V is Cleopatra VII’s mother, but again, this is disputed thanks to his many mistresses and because as Pharaoh, Ptolemy had the power to recognize a bastard child as formal heir, no matter if his Queen liked it or not — a tradition that ran in all the line of Kingdoms around the world in all the ages.

Ptolemy XII was never seen as a courageous, strong or magnanimous ruler. He was indeed a drunk, weak, careless, self indulgent, womanizer and music lover monarch. Besides, his government was stained with greed, corruption and hard labor, more elements to make him unpopular. But even with these failures as ruler of Egypt, he was really aware that heirs were important not only to keep his status as Pharaoh and man, also to keep his blood in the throne. Ptolemy XII had many children in his lifetime, some legitimate others not. His first marriage produced a daughter, named Cleopatra Thryphaena, and after her, another daughter, Berenice IV. Ptolemy then had two other daughters with a mistress. They are not mentioned in history, and it is obvious that they were not included as potential rulers. Then (Possibly) with Cleopatra V, comes the birth of Cleopatra VII. This “jump” in the scales of dynasty comes because there is a misunderstanding between the daughters of the Pharaoh. Cleopatra VI was not a daughter of the Pharaoh, she was indeed his niece, and that is why our future Queen Cleopatra, is Cleopatra VII. After Cleopatra VII, Princess Arsinoe IV joined the growing family, and after the long line of female heirs, came two sons: Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV.

Ptolemy XII perhaps was not the strong and divine Pharaoh Egypt deserved, but he was indeed a good father. He showed love and devotion to his children while they grew. The Royal Palace was filled with servants that were commanded to see for all the needs of the Princes and Princesses. They were indulged, protected, pampered and spoiled. All his children wore the most luxurious clothes, ornaments and jewels. They were always present in banquets and royal ceremonies. Education was an important activity in their lives and a group of exclusive tutors lived with them in the Palace. But the Pharaoh started to show special interest in one of his daughters… Princess Cleopatra the VII. Of all his children, Cleopatra the VII was the most flamboyant, charming and full of energy. The Princess was also showing an enchanting beauty that made her different from her sisters. She had deep dark eyes, an attribute that would help her in the future to conquer her enemies to the point of make them her lovers.

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The young Cleopatra was always curious of her environment, always interested in learning and see beyond the palace’s walls. She was also the strongest of her siblings. She barely got sick and was very determined too. Ptolemy XII immediately saw the immense potential of this little girl, and he could even imagine her as future Ruler of Egypt. That is why the proud father decided to increase his bright princess’s wisdom as much as possible. He separated her from her siblings and gave her private tutors. Cleopatra was instructed first in languages, and she was the first to be instructed in the native tongue of Egypt. She was also instructed in Greek, Aramaic, Parthian, Syrian, Ethiopian and Hebrew. With the Pharaoh’s blessing, young Princess Cleopatra the VII was introduced to philosophy, literature, art and music. Cleopatra started to join her father in political meetings, something that her siblings never had the opportunity to do. In those meetings, Cleopatra’s young mind started to understand the importance and the dangers of being in line to the throne. She heard stories about how many of her relatives killed each other only to climb higher in their chances to take the throne, which was a scary revelation, and more, when she started to see the green color of envy in her sibling’s eyes every time she came out of a room with her father and his advisers.

Time was passing. The special attention that Ptolemy XII was showing to Cleopatra was twisting the souls of his other children. There were rumors that Cleopatra Thryphanea and Berenice were plotting to murder their younger sister, but when they were called to address the charges, they denied them. With no proof, Ptolemy XII buried the case and saw his eldest daughters again with kind eyes… but not with the same level of trust. With time, Cleopatra VII was not only growing charming and beautiful, she was wiser, clever, stronger and closer to the main cell of the power of Egypt. She was heard by the Pharaoh’s advisers and delegates and they were impressed with her talents of speech. Her  father even took some of her ideas of ruling a country and put them in to action — for example, to increase the amount of grain that was distribute among the people, to keep them well fed and encourage them to work harder.

This environment of favoritism and extreme exaltation of the vibrant Cleopatra was consuming the hearts of  her siblings. They felt rejected, hurt and diminished by their father. They started to hate Cleopatra, especially the older sisters, who also took the duty of poison the minds of the other children against Cleopatra. They knew she was a danger to their chances of rule in the future, because in Egypt, the line of succession had no rules, not even a tradition. In Egypt’s Royal Law of Succession, birth and gender were not taken as right to the throne. In Egypt, to be next in line the heirs had to prove they were worthy of the task and the Pharaoh himself or herself had to decide who of his/her children would rule after his/her death and that, increased the anxiety of Ptolemy’s children. Because to them, it was obvious that Cleopatra would win the golden prize.

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The tension between the Royal Children was not the only problem behind the Palace’s walls. The power of Egypt’s greatest nemesis, Rome, was growing faster and faster. Ptolemy was less and less popular every day, and he needed to keep his power at any cost. Cleopatra was still too young to take the reigns on her own as he silently wished — and Rome was expanding its territory and the three most powerful generals (Julius Caesar, Cnaeus Pompeious Magnus (Pompey), and Marcus Licinius were on their way to creating history. Ptolemy XII feared that one day the mighty soldiers of Rome would bring their armed forces to Alexandria and that the Ptolemaic Dynasty would die with their arrival. He was also afraid that Roman laws and taxes would be imposed on the citizens of Egypt.

Ptolemy XII did not want to lose his throne to the Romans, so he designed a plan to ensure his power. Ptolemy XII went to Rome and asked Caesar and Pompey to recognize him as the legal ruler of Egypt and to proclaim him a friend and ally of Rome. Both powerful rulers agreed to do this; however, it came at a high cost. This was to cost Ptolemy XII 6,000 talents. He didn’t have all the money to pay such a large sum, so he borrowed from a wealthy Roman. After he borrowed the money, the plan fell through and soon he discovered that there were several plots devised to destroy him and not exactly in Roman Lands, but at home.

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From good sources, Ptolemy found out that his children went wild in his absence, especially with the idea of take the throne while he was begging and paying the Romans to keep his power. He knew that he needed more help so he returned to Rome for help. But it was too late, using her own fortune and power of persuasion, his oldest daughter, Cleopatra Tryphanea, seized the throne. Ptolemy XII was outraged, but he was also desperate and wounded. His own flesh and blood had betrayed him, and even when these kind of acts were normal among royal houses, a daughter is a daughter, and a low blow like this, pierces the heart of any father, Pharaoh or not. But like a Pharaoh, Ptolemy had to forget he was her father. He swallowed his pain and immediately seek for help among the Romans to recover what was his and punish his daughter for High Treason.

He found a well known Roman named Aulus Gabinius, who offered his help to give him back his throne, of course, at a high price. Ptolemy had to pay 10,000 talents for the favor. Once the paid was made, a plan started to be developed. Meanwhile in Egypt, Cleopatra Thryphanea was enjoying her time as Queen of Egypt. She kept her youngest siblings close, especially Cleopatra VII, but strangely, her sister Berenice was barely around. What Cleopatra Tryphanea did not know was that Berenice was raising an army against her, and before the Romans set a foot in Egypt to take back the throne to their father, Berenice sent her forces to Cleopatra Thryphanea’s doors. She was killed, and Berenice became Queen Berenice the IV.

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The news reached Ptolemy XII in Rome. Now the enemy had another face, but like the first, this enemy shared his blood. Wounded again, the plan that was developed originally against his first born daughter was now unleashed against Berenice the IV. Since it was clear that Egypt was under the rule of a cold killer, the Romans decided to set the fire of revenge in the hearts of the people of Egypt. Delegates from Rome arrive to the streets of Egypt and reinforced their duty as Ptolemy’s subjects. Of course some money was spent too. In any case, these elements and the fact that Berenice the IV was neither loved nor recognized by the people as Queen, resulted in a revolution that ended with Berenice arrested and kept prisoner by Ptolemy XII’s followers.

Ptolemy XII returned to the palace once again as Pharaoh, now he had to decide the fate of his treacherous daughter. She was brought to his presence and shortly after that… Ptolemy unrecognized her as his daughter and stripped her of all her titles and rights of birth, to increase her humiliations, he made her clear that the palaces under her name, her jewels and all her possessions were passed to Cleopatra and Arsinoe, and then, he condemned her to be beheaded for her treason against him and against Egypt. Berenice was diminished, but she showed no remorse and she did not even beg for her life. She kept her pride high, looking at her father as if they were equals at that moment. Berenice was taken back to prison after the sentence and the Pharaoh retired for the rest of the night, alone. At dawn, Berenice was executed… and buried with the low honors given to all traitors. Ptolemy XII lost two daughters in the name of power, blood against blood. The Honor of Egypt was stained, and his heart was broken. His only comfort was the hope that his favorite jewel, Cleopatra would clean and erase the horror of that treason.

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SOURCES:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy_XII_Auletes

http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ch-Co/Cleopatra-VII.html

http://www.kingtutone.com/queens/cleopatra/child/

http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/cleopatra.htm

https://www.google.com.pr/search?q=cleopatra&rlz=1C1AVNA_enPR605PR606&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=622&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=-H8tVOfqMoWQNsK8gsAP&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=E1EjyFHEkzPzbM%253A%3BS-iqTsoon721MM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.toxipedia.org%252Fdownload%252Fthumbnails%252F438%252Fcleopatra.gif%253Fversion%253D1%2526modificationDate%253D1154482516000%2526api%253Dv2%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.toxipedia.org%252Fdisplay%252Ftoxipedia%252FCleopatra%3B243%3B300

http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/cleopatra/images/19666692/title/asterix-obelix-mission-cleopatre-photo

Young Cleopatra’s picture:  Bijoux Egyptiens web site.

 

QAB Short Story Festival: CHRONICLES OF A RESTLESS SOUL, by Mercy Alicea Rivera

August 21, 2014 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Mercy Rivera: Memoirs of a Fading Rose, News, Short Story Festival by Mercy Rivera

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Mercy Alicea Rivera

Mercy Alicea Rivera

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Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers is thrilled to introduce to you historical fiction short story and non-fiction article writer Mercy Alicea Rivera.

Mercy Alicea Rivera is a founding member of Queenanneboleyn.com and is highly respected as the website’s Queen Anne Boleyn reenactor. A native of Puerto Rico, Mercy also writes Spanish language articles and stories for the website. A woman of many talents, Mercy is a video hobbyist. The videos included with Mercy’s short story Chronicles of a Restless Soul are of her creation.

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SHORT STORY: Chronicles of a Restless Soul, by Mercy Alicea Rivera

Chronicles of a Restless Soul is a classic Tudor Era ghost story. Join Queen Anne Boleyn as she visits the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Hever Castle.

TO READ Chronicles of a Restless Soul, CLICK THE LINK BELOW.

http://queenanneboleyn.com/2014/05/20/chronicles-of-a-restless-soul/

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England’s Lonely Rose, The Story of Mary Tudor. Final Part

June 19, 2014 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), News, Queens of World History by Mercy Rivera

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The citizens of London woke up one morning with terror in their eyes.  Troops carrying the banners of the Marian Crusade against Heretics and Enemies of the Catholic Faith surrounded the city.  By the Law of Her Majesty Queen Mary I,  for the crime of heresy, the penalty was to burn at the stake until death.  If you were noble, poor, woman, child, that would not matter. If the person was found guilty, he or she would be sentenced to death and with him or her, the rest of their families.   The Queen wanted results as soon as possible, but this was just in the beginning.  By her side was also a prominent and fervent Catholic. His name was Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London.   This man was thirsty for revenge towards the Protestants and like the Queen, he had a strong desire to return the Real back to the Holy Catholic Faith.   He was in charge of the hunt for heretics, and one of the firsts to fall under his wrath was John Rogers. He suffered a painful death on the stake on February 4th 1555.

Soon, the names of Rogers, Sanders, Taylor, Hooper, Ridley, Latimer and Cranmer were call for the hunt. Members of those families started to flee from England. Some were lucky, while others only found their way to the Tower of London.  Fear was the key in the initial success of there persecutions. Those who wanted to be spared from the burnings became informants for Gardiner and Bonner so, for those who wanted a path of freedom, sadly only found themselves trapped by traitors.

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But while terror was in command of the realm, the Queen was happy inside her Castle Walls, dreaming of the unborn child inside of her.  There was not an evidence of her pregnancy but… the Queen showed all the symptoms, and her physicians did not dare to speak against it.  To the surprise and joy of her ladies in waiting and servants, Her Majesty was slowly “showing” her delicate condition. Her belly was swollen, she had cravings, gaining of weight, a glow in her presence, and her breasts were producing milk.  Everyone was at this moment sure that the Queen was with child, and soon the realm would have a legitimate Catholic Heir to the throne.   For Mary this was a blessing, one that she would soon share with her husband.  In her mind, the birth of her baby was not only a miracle, but also a sign that her husband would grew to love her as much as she loved him.  But while the Queen was dreaming with a happy life, England was in the deep end of darkness.

The streets of England were contaminated with the stench of burnt flesh. It is said that the air was so thick with smoke and putrid odor, that it was almost difficult to breathe outside.  The screams of the victims of the fire chilled the blood, and this was just the start of all.  Now, it was the turn of two prominent men to face the fire of the Marian Persecutions, their names: Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley. 

Hugh Latimer was a man of importance during the reign of Henry the VIII, and once he was Bishop of Worcester.  Soon the troops of Queen Mary reached him, and when he was arrested, his words towards the Captain of the Guard were:  “My friend, you are a welcome messenger to me; and in passing through Smithfield, where so many of the martyrs of Jesus had been burned alive… Smithfield, hath long groaned for me.”  This man suffered a long and cruel imprisonment in the Tower of London.  He was stripped from almost all his clothing, and the cold of the night was killing him. It was so unbearable, that he told to his jailors:  “I will certainly escape the hands of my enemies, because before I fall in thy hands, I will perish from cold and starvation”.

While this man suffered in his cold cell in the Tower, Queen Mary was ready for her confinement. All preparations were made and now, it was time to wait and see.  But time passed, and nothing happened. Her physicians started to think that the child inside the Queen’s belly was death but they wanted to wait, since there was still some days before the due time to be completed.  The time for the birth arrived, and nothing happened. The Queen however was willing to wait, and wait, but all came to nothing.  Rumors of the birth of a healthy son filled the city but, when no royal delegation came from Hampton Court to affirm it, it was clear that it was just a lie.  A few days later, the queen slowly recovered her tiny waist, and all her dreams were once again dead.

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She wept for a long time. She cursed the heretics and blamed them for her tragedy. In her sorrow, she accused them of poisoning her and her baby with their abominable practices and wishes to see her death.  Her phantom pregnancy became a national joke, and even in the corners of Hampton Court the courtiers mocked about it.   The Queen was alone, sad, angry, and very frustrated.  But once again, she used all that and concentrated it only in her goal to destroy the heretics.  It was now the turn of Nicholas Ridley to know her rage.

Ridley was locked in the Tower shortly after Mary was crowned. He was aware that poor Latimer was his neighbor, and this kept him in calm even with his difficult circumstances.  But suddenly he was removed from the Tower and transported to a common prison in Oxford.  There, he was interrogated and strongly bullied by the Queen’s delegates and some papists.  They wanted to force him to renounce to his Faith and Embrace the Catholic Faith.  But the promises of pardon and mercy did not make him change his mind.  This treatment was only a tactic from the Catholic Church and especially the Pope, to find an example for the heretics, someone willing to renounce to the Heresy and return to the Catholic Faith so other could follow this and make the conquer easier.  Sadly for the Pope and the Catholic Faction, with Nicholas Ridley, this was not working at all.

When he was insulted, he made strong remarks“The Lord being my helper, I will to maintain so long as is my tongue shall wag, and breath is within my body, and in confirmation thereof seal the same with my blood.”  When he was finally told that he would not receive the Queen’s mercy, he replied:  “Do therein as it shall please you. I am well contented with that, and more than that the servant is not above his Master. If they dealt so cruelly with our Saviour Christ, as the Scripture maketh mention, and he endured the same patently, how much more doth it become us, his servants?” 

His words reached the ears of Queen Mary. In her rage she ordered the total humiliation of Ridley.   He was forced to go to the Catholic Mass, and being among the priests wearing the official trinkets and clothes of a Catholic Man of God.  But he was a fervent Protestant, and was determined to go against this.  He vehemently spoke against the Bishop of Rome, calling him anti-Christ, and the apparel foolish and abominable.  Because of this, he was hold and forced to hear and witness the rest of the mass, his words while this was happening were:  “O Lord God, forgive them this their wickedness.”   This only increased the rage of the priests, papists and delegates of the Queen, and unfortunately, sealed his fate earlier than it was expect it.

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On the following day, October 16th, 1555, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were brought to the stake, which was prepared in a hollow, near Baliol College, on the north side of the city of Oxford.  According to a witness, Latimer was the first to be tied, and here is a description of how he looked after all the time in prison:  “A remarkable change was observed in his appearance; for whereas he had hitherto seemed a withered, decrepit, and even a deformed old man, he now stood perfectly upright, a straight and comely person”. 

Then it was the turn of Ridley to be tied on the stake beside Latimer, once he was chained to it, he said:  “O heavenly Father, I give unto thee most hearty thanks, for that thou hast called me to be a professor of thee, even unto death: I beseech thee, Lord God, take mercy upon this realm of England, and deliver the same from all her enemies.” 

Finally, the executioner started the fire, as the flames rose, Ridley with great courage cried out loud:“Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit,” and often he repeated in English, “Lord, receive my spirit!” Latimer on the other cried: “O Father of heaven, receive my soul!”   Perhaps by vengeance, lack of care or simply the mere intention to show the English people the terrible consequences of being away from the Catholic flock and the domain of Queen Mary, the fire that was consuming the bodies of Ridley and Latimer was kept very low. This was increasing the agony of these poor souls in a very cruel and barbaric way.

These kind of actions started to make the people think about if their Queen was a woman of justice and Faith or if she was a twisted soul in seek of revenge and blood.  The commoners started to call her “Bloody Mary” and her right hand in all these persecutions shared her motto, because he was also called: “Bloody Bonner”.   Edmund Bonner had no pity, and under his command in the hunt of heretics, women, children, nobles and commoners were burnt with no possibilities of pardon or mercy from Her Majesty.  They were guilty as charge, with no defense.   For a long, long time, Latimer and Ridley suffered the painful touch of the ill flames, until a guard, mercifully increased the fire, ending their torture once and for all.

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The Queen never witnessed the executions, and the reports given to her were not always complete in details.  It is believed that she was not totally aware of the cruel ways of those in charge of the burnings in her name.  Even with this little lack of information given to her, Queen Mary was satisfied with the outcome.  She was sure that England was little by little be cleaned of enemies, and her faith would be secure forever.   Her Majesty continued with her task, but now she had more reasons to be content, her husband, the King, was back in England, and now it was time to join him and start again with her plans of motherhood.

Phillip showed great respect and kindness towards Mary, of course, she was expecting more than that from her husband but at least, she felt happy with his return.  She refused to believe in the rumors that he had mistresses, and that he had even set eyes upon many of her ladies in waiting. But that fact that she refused to believe that did not mean she was willing to allow him to take a mistress under her roof.   She changed all of her ladies wardrobes and ordered them to wear black. Their gowns were modest but proper to show their status as companions of the Queen.   But while the Queen was taking measures to preserve her marriage, the Marian Persecutions continued. Now it was the turn of one of the Queen’s highest enemy in England, Thomas Cranmer — the man in charge of dissolving the marriage of Mary’s parents, the one she always believed responsible for her downfall as Princess of England, (alongside Anne Boleyn of course), the man who helped to change all the once loved and cherished.

Between the end of January and mid February 1556, Thomas Cranmer made four recantations, submitting himself to the authority of Queen Mary and recognizing the Pope as the head of the church. On the 14th February his priesthood was taken from him and his execution was set for the 7th March because Edmund Bonner was not satisfied with Cranmer’s admissions. Cranmer then made a fifth recantation, fully accepting Catholic theology, repudiating Reformist theology, stating that there was no salvation outside of the Catholic Church and announcing that he was happy to return to the Catholic fold. He participated in the mass and asked for sacramental absolution, and he received it.   With this alone he was supposed to be absolved of all charges, but the Queen had an immense dark grudge against him, and she had no intention to let him live.

Mary has in her mouth the sweet taste of revenge, and she was enjoying it.  The Queen made clear to the Council Members that his execution would go ahead.   On the 18th March, he made his final recantation but his execution date was set for the 21st. On the date of his execution, he was given the opportunity to publicly recant at the University Church, Oxford.  But Thomas Cranmer decided to do something different of what was expected from him. Instead of recanting, Thomas Cranmer opened with the expected prayer and exhortation to obey the King and Queen, and then, to the surprise of everyone, he renounced his recantations, saying that the hand he had used to sign them would be the hand that would be punished first. 

Thomas Cranmer went even farther and said: “And as for the pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy, and Antichrist with all his false doctrine,  and as for the Sacrament, I believe as I have taught in my book against the bishop of Winchester, the which my book teacheth so true a doctrine of the Sacrament, that it shall stand at the last day before the judgment of God, when the papistical doctrine, contrary thereto, shall be ashamed to show her face.”

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Thomas Cranmer had no chance to say anything else. He was taken away to suffer his painful execution.  Thomas Cranmer was quickly hurried to the stake, prepared on the spot where Latimer and Ridley had suffered five months before. After a short prayer,  he put off his clothes with a cheerful countenance and willing mind, and stood upright in his shirt, which came down to his feet. His feet were bare. His head, when both his caps were off, appeared perfectly bald, but his beard was long and thick, and his countenance so venerable, that it moved even his enemies to compassion. Two Spanish friars, who worked hard in obtaining his recantation, continued to exhort him; till, perceiving that their efforts were vain, one of them said, ‘Let us leave him, for the devil is with him!

It is said that Thomas Cranmer endured the painful touch of the flames with great determination and composure.  He blamed his right hand for the signing of something that it went against his beliefs and because of this feeling, as soon as the flame arose, he held his hand out to meet it, and retained it there steadfastly, so that all the people saw it sensibly burning before the fire reached any other part of his body, and often he repeated with a loud and firm voice, “This Hand Hath Offended! This Unworthy Right Hand.” Thomas Cranmer stood immoveable as the stake to which he was bound, and it is said that his heart was found intact and unburned among the ashes.

The Queen had her revenge on the man she hated for a long, long time.  It is expected that at this point, Queen Mary is a satisfied woman with her Crusade against the Protestants. Well, she was not.   There is still no heir, and her marriage and her lack of action towards the prosperity of the Kingdom was killing the trust and devotion of her subjects. Everyone now was seeing her as a cold, cruel and dark figure.  And while she was once again rejected and unloved, her half sister Elizabeth was gaining admiration and followers.   In 1554 Queen Mary sent her to the Tower of London on suspicion of treason. For Mary, this was a lesson of fear for her little sister, she wanted to experience the terror of being there, she wanted to make Elizabeth think about her mother’s bloody fate, more than a tactic of self protection against a powerful and potential claimer to her crown, Mary wanted to make Elizabeth feel terror and respect towards her.

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But now, things were different. She could not prove anything against her sister, and yet, she was still a silent shadow covering the light she shortly enjoyed as Queen.   Mary Tudor was many things, but she was not stupid and much less deaf.  She was well aware about the rumors about her sister, she knew she was strong, bright and wise.  Elizabeth inherited the charms of her mother, those charms that were powerful enough to capture a King and change the world under her command. Once again Mary felt diminished.  She needed an heir soon or all would be lost for her. If she died without an heir the Kingdom would fall in the hands of Elizabeth, the daughter of Anne Boleyn, the raven that destroyed her mother and her entire youth.  The Marian Persecutions continued, but the people of England started to show their disgust towards it and towards the Queen.  Hundreds of lives were lost on the stakes of fire. Here is a list of those who died during the Marian Persecutions, by the order of Queen Mary I:

*John Rogers –   preacher, biblical translator, lecturer at St. Paul’s Cathedral

*Lawrence Saunders preacher, rector of London church of All Hallows –

*John Hooper–  King Edward-era bishop of Gloucester and Worcester

*Rowland Taylorrector of Hadleigh in Suffolk –

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1555

William Hunter,  burnt 27 March, Brentwood

Robert Ferrar, burnt 30 March, Carmarthen

Rawlins White, burnt, Cardiff

George Marsh, burnt 24 April, Chester

John Schofield, burnt 24 April, Chester

William Flower, burnt 24 April, Westminster

John Cardmaker, burnt 30 May, Smithfield

John Warne, burnt 30 May, Smithfield

John Simpson, burnt 30 May, Rochford

John Ardeley, burnt 30 May, Rayleigh

Dirick Carver of Brighton, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Harland of Woodmancote, burnt 6 June, Lewes

John Oswald of Woodmancote, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Avington of Ardingly, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Reed of Ardingly, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Haukes, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Watts

Nicholas Chamberlain, burnt 14 June, Colchester

Thomas Ormond, burnt June 15, 1555Manningtree, Buried in St. Micheals & All Angels Marble placed in 1748

William Bamford, burnt 15 June, Harwich

Robert Samuel, burnt 31 August, Ipswich

John Newman, burnt August 31, Saffron Walden

James Abbes Shoemaker, of Stoke by Nayland burnt at Bury St Edmunds August 1555

William Allen, Labourer of Somerton burnt at Walsingham September 1555

Robert Glover, burnt 20 September at Coventry

Cornelius Bongey (or Bungey), burnt 20 September at Coventry

Nicholas Ridley, burnt 16 October outside Balliol College, Oxford

Hugh Latimer, burnt 16 October outside Balliol College, Oxford

John Philpot, burnt


1556

Agnes Potten, burnt 19 February, Ipswich, Cornhill

Joan Trunchfield, burnt 19 February, Ipswich, Cornhill

Thomas Cranmer, burnt 21 March, outside Balliol College, Oxford

Thomas Hood of Lewes, burnt about 20 June, Lewes

Thomas Miles of Hellingly, burnt about 20 June, Lewes

John Tudson of Ipswich, burnt at London

Thomas Spicer of Beccles, burnt there 21 May

John Deny of Beccles, burnt there 21 May

Edmund Poole of Beccles, burnt there 21 May

Joan Waste, 1 August, burnt at Derby


1557

William Morant, burnt at end of May, St. George’s Field, Southwark Blanchard (1844), p.272

Stephen Gratwick, burnt at end of May, St. George’s Field, Southwark

(unknown) King, burnt at end of May, St. George’s Field, Southwark

Richard Sharpe, burnt 7 May, Cotham, Bristol

William and Katherine Allin of Frittenden and five others, burnt 18 June at Maidstone

Richard Woodman of Warbleton, burnt 22 June, Lewes

George Stevens of Warbleton, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Alexander Hosman of Mayfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

William Mainard of Mayfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Thomasina Wood of Mayfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Margery Morris of Heathfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

James Morris, her son, of Heathfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Denis Burges of Buxted, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Ann Ashton of Rotherfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Mary Groves of Lewes, burnt 22 June, Lewes

John Noyes of LaxfieldSuffolk, burnt 22 September

Joyce Lewis of Mancetter, burnt at Lichfield on 18 DecemberRichings, R (1860) The Mancetter martyrs: the suffering and martyrdom of Mr Robert Glover and Mrs Joice sic Lewis (London: pp xiii/xiv).


1558

Roger Holland, burnt at Smithfield with seven others

William Pikes or Pickesse of Ipswich, burnt 14 July, Brentford with five others

Alexander Gooch of Melton, Suffolk, burnt 4 November, Ipswich Cornhill

Alice Driver of Grundisburgh burnt 4 November, Ipswich Cornhill

P Humphrey, burnt November, Bury St Edmunds

J. David, burnt November, Bury St Edmunds

H. David, burnt November, Bury St Edmunds

Colchester Martyrs, burnt 2 August, Colchester

 This list is incomplete. According to the accounts of John Foxe, almost 300 people were executed for their faith under the Rule of Queen Mary I.  But there is a fact that is not often showed about Queen Mary and her Marian Persecutions.  Indeed she did something before the full development of the persecutions, that for once could placed her as a figure of forgiveness when it was justified under her conscience.   Between February 22 and 23 1554, before the Marian Persecutions were totally planned and unleashed, Queen Mary pardoned 400 rebels that raised against her.  A large number of rebels, brought to Whitehall bound with nooses around their necks, were pardoned as they knelt before the Queen. This was an effort from her part to show that she could be lenient on this matter, and perhaps it was also an attempt to bring back the Catholic Faith by peaceful means.

For those closer to Mary during her youth and time before she became Queen, it was certain that she despised brutality and as it was presented in this article before. Most of the details of the executions never reached her eyes.  We can not know with certainty if she allowed the ill fires, slow burnings and long tortures at the stake or if these cruel acts were done behind her back, even when her signature approved them.   It is said that pregnant women were burnt at the stake, and they sometimes went in to labor while burning. Stories of how children were burnt beside their parents. These stories marked her as Bloody Mary. 

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Under all this carnage for the protection of her crown and her Faith in England, the Queen was losing precious moments and people she loved.  Her King abandoned her, and returned to Spain. Even when she was convinced once again that she was pregnant, this did not stopped him from leaving her.   Phillip was tired of Mary. He did not love her, and she became intolerable. By this point she was paranoid. Mary feared for her life, and everyone around her seemed a potential assassin in her eyes.  Besides, her rage, frustration and hysterics attacks were consuming her to the point she was less attractive to him more and more.

Mary’s fear towards Elizabeth became an obsession. Gardiner constantly reminded her of the dangers for the realm if Elizabeth became Queen.  But Mary was sure of her pregnancy, and she ordered that the news were spread in all England.  Every bell on every Church and Tower rang announcing the happy news.  The Queen genuinely believed she was pregnant, to the point that once again the symptoms appeared.  She was overjoyed, and everyone around her followed her lead but… to everyone it was clear that it was a false alarm again.  Her ladies in waiting knew every single detail of the Queen’s life and natural courses.  The King stopped visiting her bedchamber months before he left England, so to them, it was impossible for the Queen to be with child.

This happy news however, did not erase another failure in the records of Mary as Queen of England.  Just before the departure of her husband back to Spain, England lost the City of Calais, a trophy that shined in the hands of England since 1347. Here is the story of that huge loss:  In August 1556 Philip left England on business in the Netherlands, returning in March 1557. England declared war on France shortly after his return with Philip heading up forces into France and taking the town of St. Quentin and its surrounding lands. But in a turn around, France won the city of Calais, England’s last holding on the Continent.  In any case, the Queen filled the minds of everyone with her pregnancy, but as was expected, slowly the symptoms started to fade away, and the Queen found herself again with an empty womb and a lonely life.

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Mary stopped feeling as a Queen after this second failure in her extreme desire to become a mother.  For her Chancellors, her desire was in the name of the realm, but for Mary, motherhood was something she wished for herself, just as much as her mother wanted to fill the Kingdom’s nursery with many Princes and Princesses.  But like her mother, she failed on that.  But what really happened to Mary?  Why she was unable to have a child?  Well, from the start, Mary showed many menstrual problems.  She was very irregular, and her periods were sometimes heavy and very painful.  She was used to fast a lot, and that weakens the body of a woman in the beginning of puberty.  Besides, the Tudor line suffered from a lot of weaknesses in the ranks of fertility and the survival of children.  Some people dared to say that the Queen said she was pregnant only to keep the King with her and for political advancement but, to those who knew her on daily basis were clear:  “She really believed in her condition, neither deceit nor malice in the matter, but mere error.”  And this was true, because many of her ladies in waiting described openly of how they saw her sitting on the floor with her knees drawn up to her chin, weeping inconsolably.

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Some historians believe that Queen Mary suffered from Ovarian Cancer. Women with this condition sometimes present symptoms that are similar to a pregnancy, but it is highly improbable that this could be the reason for her phantom pregnancies, since is impossible that Mary would survive all those years with a condition as lethal as this, and more during that era. Another suggestion points towards ovarian dropsy, a condition that occurs when an ovary fills with fluids. It is very uncomfortable, but not generally fatal. Ovarian dropsy would account for Mary’s distended belly, but there is no way to explain why it vanished, leaving her as slim as ever.  It is rumored that Queen Mary miscarried her first child during the first weeks of the pregnancy, and that she wanted to conceal it and kept it as a secret.  Others created the rumor that the Queen gave birth to a full term stillborn child, and that she made it disappear.  But this is just impossible, since the Queen was surrounded by physicians, midwives and ladies that for sure would not keep that as a secret, and less hide it.

The most accepted theory in the tragedy of Mary’s imaginary pregnancies is the pseudocyesis, or phantom pregnancy. This condition occurs when a woman wants a child so badly, she actually creates the symptoms of pregnancy with her mind. Mary probably stopped her menses because she was at the onset of menopause. Unable to face this explanation, she convinced herself that she was pregnant.  But whatever the reasons, the result was only one:  Queen Mary was devastated.  She dreamed all her life with the crown, but she also wanted a life. She wanted love and children. She desired to recover the love of her people, the respect of her relatives in Spain, the land of the roots of her beloved mother.  She wished to restore England to the time when she was happy, beautiful and full of life — but all that was vanished. It died with her last chance of being a mother.  All the will she had to live and endure, was also fading away.

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Queen Mary became a reclusive, and she barely went out of her chamber.  A reduced number of her ladies in waiting stayed with her.  She spent hours praying, and hiding her tears from the eyes around her.  The Queen, rather than a figure of highness, became a symbol of sadness and weakness. But her pride was still alive, and she refused to receive comfort from her ladies. They knew that a mere look of pity towards her would for sure send them to their deaths. Her servants respected her pain, and just waited for her to ask for them.  Queen Mary’s health began to decline from that point on.  In August 1558, Mary contracted a fever, and although she was able to fight that off, she was reported to be suffering from“dropsy” at the end of September. At the end of October she made an addition to her will, and although she did not name Elizabeth, her half-sister, she did confirm that the throne would go to the next lawful heir, and that was Elizabeth. The Duke of Feria arrived at the English court on the 9th November and reported to his master, Mary’s husband Philip II of Spain, on the 14th November:

 “There is… no hope of her life, but on the contrary each hour I think that they will come to inform me of her death, so rapidly does her condition deteriorate from one day to the next.”

In the last days of her life, Queen Mary spoke of visions of angels, and the word Calais came out of her mouth many times.   This word was also found written in her chest, close to her heart after her death.  The Queen received the Viaticum, the special Holy Communion for the dying on November 17th. She was able to make the proper responses to the ceremony and after that, she fall unconscious and never opened her eyes again.  Her death was not even noticed, and the time was never recorded.  Her life was stormy, hard, sad and tragic, but death was kind to her, and took her in a peaceful sleep. She was only 42 years old.

Her husband was not there with her. In death she was also alone, no blood relatives were with her, and for sure only a few would cry for her with true sorrow.  Later the same day, Reginald Pole, maybe one of her few true friends, also died, probably from influenza. At her funeral service, John White (the Bishop of Winchester) praised Mary: “She was a king’s daughter; she was a king’s sister; she was a king’s wife. She was a queen, and by the same title, a king also.”

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Mary Tudor, the first Queen who ruled England in her own right, daughter of great Kings, with ancestors that created their own glory.  All this and she never had a chance to show how good she could have been as Queen.  She suffered much, especially in the years when affection, support and security are important in the life of a human being.  She was born to be a princess, and suddenly was reduced to a servant. The father she loved and admired neglected her, and she was separated from her mother, the only figure that always gave her strength.

This cruel treatment erased all her kindness, all her brightness. She enjoyed only small moments of happiness in her adulthood, and then again, the fear, the rejection and the jealousy took over her heart and twisted it. We must think before we call her Bloody Mary. Yes, she allowed many acts of cruelty against her own people. She sent them to their deaths because they had different believes and that is cruel and abominable.  But she acted according to her new nature, a cold nature that was built upon her by those who were supposed to love her and protect her.  Even Catherine of Aragon was to blame in her daughter’s sorrowful life.  Her pride and her stubbornness sent Mary to the darkness, because if she as mother would have placed her daughter’s interests and inheritance above her own pride as Queen and wife, for sure King Henry would have kept her as Princess, and maybe Anne Boleyn would have even treated her better.

John Knox attacked Queen Mary in The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, published in 1558, and she was prominently featured and vilified in Acts and Monuments, published by John Foxe in 1563, five years after her death. Subsequent editions of the book remained popular with Protestants throughout the following centuries and helped shape enduring perceptions of Mary as a bloodthirsty tyrant.

Personally, I think Mary Tudor was a woman shaped by sadness, and ruled by her beliefs.  She acted wrongly many times, but I think that she was not in control of her life and mind when the crown was placed upon her head.   Even with her failures, Mary Tudor is well remembered.  Sadly not for her triumphs as Queen of England but for her dark actions in the name of her own sorrows, bitterness and desires of personal retribution. Mary never learned from the mistakes of her parents. She made her own based on the devastation that those mistakes caused in her life.  All the glorious potential she carried inside of her was diminished and erased in those twisted phased of her life.  She was a tormented soul, and she ruled in the same way.

 

THE END

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SOURCES:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Protestant_martyrs_of_the_English_Reformation

http://theonemediator.com/Catholicism/Inquisitions%20Persecutions/Inquisition%20General/sufferings_protestans_under_qn_mary.htm

https://suite.io/debra-l-stang/3y5220r

http://newbiescience.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/bloody-mary-and-the-phantom-pregnancy/

http://info.olsonb.com/index.php?p=Marian%20Persecutions

http://ancile.se/english-monarchs/mary-tudor-philip-of-spain/?lang=en

http://timesoftudors.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-marian-persecutions.html

http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/the-execution-of-thomas-cranmer/

http://mary-tudor.blogspot.com/2010/05/queen-marys-big-belly-phantom-pregnancy.html

http://blog.leandadelisle.com/post/77490520938/today-in-1554-mary-tudor-pardoned-400-of-the

http://www.historynet.com/mary-tudor-a-most-unhappy-queen.htm

http://tudor-family.tripod.com/id36.html

 

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