Death of a King, Father, and Son. Tudor Dynasty Historical Writers

 

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Fourteenyear old Mary Tudor stood in the fairytale tower of Richmond Palace with her Lady Grandmother, Margaret Beaufort. They were both dressed somberly in black velvet as they stood together hand and hand. They looked out the beveled window at the funeral procession of King Henry VII, Mary’s beloved father and Margaret’s only son. His body was covered in a shroud of linen cloth as riders all dressed in black were carrying blazing torches. They followed the body of their late king to his final resting place at Westminster Abby.

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Mary Rose Tudor

I squeezed my Lady Grandmother’s hand and bit my lip to hold back my tears. I looked at  her hunched over as a sob escaped her. She clutched her gold rosary beads in her other hand as her tears ran down her face. I shivered as goose bumps covered my body. Not due to the cold but because I was afraid. I had never seen my grandmother cry before. She was always the calming force in my life. Since my Lady Mother died and went to heaven, I have always looked to my grandmother and Lady Guildford for love and guidance. But what do I do when my Lady Grandmother is so distraught about my father’s death? I am the Princess of Castille and am to be married. I am no longer a child! I swallowed my whimper and pulled out my crumpled cloth and dried my Lady Grandmother’s tears.

” Lady Grandmother, it will be alright. I will take care of you as you have taken care of me. You will come with me to Spain and we will always be together. ” I hoped my words would bring her some comfort. We needed each other now more than ever. I hugged her as a door opened and servants intruded on our moment to light more candles and add logs to the flickering flames of the fire.

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Margaret Beaufort

I am thankful for the comfort of my granddaughter. There is much of her mother in her, so fair, so gracious. Until this day, It has always been me who comforted her. Mother Mary, comfort this beautiful princess and my own poor soul. As I knelt at my prie-dieu this morning, I sought the guidance of God, and the fortitude with which to carry on today. For in truth, I know that I can not rest until my work is done. My son, the great King Henry VII has gone to his glory, taken from me yet again. My body heaves with

silent sobs, the pain is far too great. My Henry! My son. As I draw on the comfort of our Holy Mother and my darling Mary, my mind turns to all that remains to be done. A day I had never dreamed possible is here, and a multitude of impossibilities follow. The new king, my grandson, is not ready.As the servants move quietly around us, I gaze out the window, my precious granddaughter beside me, and see the crowds that have turned out to mourn one king, as they prepare to rejoice in another. Young Henry will need firm council and strong men around him. He lusts for life, and there is a willfulness in him that I find troublesome. I pray he heeds Fisher in all things and have advised him to do so.

My granddaughter speaks of Castile and the future. I hope soon to join my son, it is a cruel fate that he departed this realm before me. I have arrangements to make, alliances to secure for my grandson. But today, I will mourn the loss of my beloved Henry. I return Mary’s hug and kiss her smooth cheek, “Of course, little dove. We will always be together. Your father was proud of you, he loved you so.” My lips tremble again as I smile at her, “You are such a blessing, child. To the realm and to me. You must be a comfort to your brother as well, he will need you in the time ahead. You are both so young, and it is a heavy mantle your brother wears.”

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Mary Rose Tudor

I pondered the words that my Lady Grandmother said, my beloved Brother is to be the King. It is hard to think of him as king, he is nothing like Father. But Father changed greatly when Arthur died and was crushed when my Lady Mother and my newborn Sister, Katherine departed the world. I take my father’s little monkey from its gilded cage and feed it some red, juicy, apples. I rub his soft, chestnut, fur as he chatters and my memory takes me to my Father sitting at his desk scribbling in his journals. He was in a dour mood absorbed in his task when this monkey climbed up his shoulder and ran to his journal. We all gasped as the monkey ripped the pages out of his ledgers. I thought my Father would throw the creature in the fire but instead he burst out laughing. I hug the little imp for he will always remind me of the softer side of my Father. I take the silver goblet of claret that the chambermaid hands me and take a large gulp. It was sweetened with honey and herbs and it feels soothing as I drink it and it warms my stomach.

” Come Lady Grandmother, sit next to me by the fire and have some wine. It will help to warm you up.” My Grandmother was always my source of comfort, but today she just looked like a lost, old, woman. I cannot lose her too. She sits next to me and we look at the roaring flames together. Instead of warming her up, I see her shiver. I put father’s exotic pet on her lap, hoping he will make her smile  as he did for Father. I pick up a soft, red quilt filled with the finest down feathers and put it around her as the monkey chatters in indignation for being moved again.

” Father always loved this creature Lady Grandmother. I think he feels Father’s absence too. How is the wine? Are you feeling warmer? ” I hope she does not hear the panic in my voice. But I could not bear losing her too and would do anything to comfort her. ” Grandmother, you have always worked with Harry, he will be a good king and continue Father’s work. Father would want you to advise him. I will do all you ask of me but please do not leave me too.” It all becomes too much for me and all the tears that I was holding back burst out in an explosion of grief. I lay my head in my Grandmother’s lap, no longer the brave, grown, princess but the frightened child crying for the loss of both her parents.

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Margaret Beaufort

I look at the little marmoset and smile as it capers. Stroking my dear, sweet granddaughter’s face, I berate myself inwardly. The child is afraid and in pain and I, in my selfish grief, have not comforted her. She has lost her mother, her brother Arthur, and her sister is far away. I must help her now with the loss of her father. “Hush now, hinny. We must rely on the Virgin to give us succor in our time of mourning.” I am glad that my little granddaughter has such a friend as the Spanish princess. Mary and Catalina have become quite close, and they are as sisters should be. That may be the only benefit to this marriage that her brother insists upon.

“Of course child! Of course, I will help your brother, as I helped his father before him!” I wipe her tears tenderly, “Your father loved you very much, my lamb. As did your Lady Mother. You remind me much of her, you know. She was fair and graceful and your father cared for her so deeply. I know he would want us to be strong now.”

I will not lie to this precious girl, no matter how badly she wishes to hear the words. “I will remain with you until our Heavenly Father sees that my work is done, sweetling. We can none of us know the hour.” I smile wryly, “But I think I shall tarry here a while longer. Your brother is overmuch concerned with sport and kingly pursuits, but I think he may yet have need of me to oversee his council until he comes into his own.” My son named me Regent for young Harry, but I will not take the position formally. No, it is more important that I place good men about him that will support him after I am gone. I sigh, all of this can wait until tomorrow. Mary needs me now. This young lady has shown me that I have not lost all and that indeed, I am still needed.

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Video Credit: thepsychopompus’s channel You Tube

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Written by: Lady Margaret Beaufort and Mary Rose Tudor

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