“You what?” The Earl of Warwick couldn’t believe his ears. All his hard work, flattering the king of France, meeting all those young princesses – not all of them as beautiful as he might have liked – was now rendered all for naught. For not five minutes ago, in this Council at Reading the king had calmly and blythely informed everyone that he was married and had been married for months. Secretly! That had set the cat well and truly among the pigeons and now there was hardly a pigeon left alive!
The place was ablaze with noise, muttering and murmuring, each man turning to the next with a look of surprise and horror. Who was she? A nothing! A nobody! And her mother was a witch, everyone knew that. A witch who had used her wiles to marry a knight! No-one in the council chamber was happy, except the smugly smiling young king. Warwick just wanted to go over and wipe that stupid grin off the stupid boy’s face!
“I think you’ll all like her,” the king said with a wink. “I know I do!”
Later in his rooms Warwick was closeted with the unstable, frequently drunk and seriously disaffected younger brother of the king, George Duke of Clarence, who sat toying with his dagger. “How do we get rid of her?” he said.
“Oh he’ll grow tired of her soon enough,” Warwick said smoothly confident that the king would soon tire of the woman. “Then he’ll come running to me to find a way to be rid of her. He’s done it before.”
In his office in Westminster, George Neville Chancellor of England and Archbishop of York, sat poring over a whole pile of books which he hoped one would hold the secret to the key of getting rid of this peasant woman the king had married. He wasn’t having a whole lot of luck which really annoyed him because luck was what the Chancellor liked third best in all the world. He liked food best, then the company of pretty girls, though of course he was entirely faithful to his vow of chastity which he’d had to take before they’d let him be archbishop. He had lots of them hidden in his house where no-one could see and he was getting fat.
“When do I get to be queen?” Elizabeth demanded, shrilly stamping her foot.
“Soon my darling,” the king said soothingly imagining what it would be like to take all her clothes off, which he didn’t need to because he’d already done it several times and he remembered that she was as beautiful naked as she was dressed, possibly even moreso. “Come to me my love and let us make sweet love. I will cover you with diamonds and kisses.”
Elizabeth pouted but she couldn’t stay cross with him because he was tall and handsome and besides, she couldn’t decide whether she liked the diamonds best, though the kisses weren’t bad at all really. She glided over to the bed and started to take her clothes off. And Edward’s memory was right. She was.
“So, I have to hate her?” the frail and angelic® Richard or Dickon said frowning. “But Ned likes her and I am fiercely loyal to him and always will be!”
“Doesn’t mean you have to like her,” George Duke of Clarence and his older brother said nonchalantly. “Warwick doesn’t.”
Now Richard or Dickon was confused. He frowned. He loved his brother Ned who was the king and his big brother but he also loved Warwick who was his Hero. “I’m awfully confused,” he said, frowning.
“Well, don’t be,” the Duke of Clarence said. “Just think of all the money you and I won’t be getting now because he’s going to give it all to her!”
Did money matter? Richard or Dickon thought. What importance did it have when put next to love, loyalty and family? He thought maybe if he went to sleep the ghosts he dreamed about every night would give him an answer.
“I know what it is to be in love,” John Neville said to his brother Warwick. “The lad’s young and the queen… Well, she’s a serious hottie!”
“That’s no excuse!” Warwick kicked over the table as he was wont to do when he was vexed, as he was now, sorely. “After everything I gave him! Does he forget who I am? Does he forget that I’m the ki…”
“Don’t say it,” John said, closing his eyes. “Please don’t say it! It doesn’t help matters.”
It didn’t help matters.