Albion Rising: A Henry Frederick Timeline

Given the king is breathing down their necks I imagine it will be! Heh maybe he is sat in a room off to the side with a thin wall or behind a screen of some sort to listen in on the deliberations.

I hope they bring some experienced captains and sailors in too.
Oh indeed, though knowing Henry I imagine he'd be in the room with them, staring at all of them aha

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Merry Christmas!
Since the Duke of Gloucester is not mentioned by Spanish it's likely that he was neither KIA nor captured.
It'll be an absolute PR disaster for King Henry Frederick if his little brother did get KIA or captured by the Spanish. I'll be happy to see what happens.
Chapter 211: Palatinate

Chapter 211: Palatinate

March, 1624

“The Blockade of the Scheldt has been destroyed.” Frederick said glumly as he came and sat down next to her.

Elizabeth knew she was supposed to feel something, perhaps shock, despondency maybe but all she could really muster was a sigh. “What does this mean?”

“It means that the Spanish will march into the Dutch Republic and finish off this war.” Frederick said.

“Just like that?” Elizabeth asked. Surely there would be a bit more of resistance at the border?

“Yes, after all, now that that blockade has gone, the Spanish are free to flex their muscle. They’ll likely move into Dutch ports.” Frederick said, his tone indicating just what he thought of that.

“You can’t do anything to stop that though.” Elizabeth said cautiously, she knew how loyal her husband was to his uncles, and she knew how damaging that could be.

Frederick grunted which prompted Elizabeth to continue.

“I’m being serious, Frederick, you saw how easily the Spanish managed to swat the army aside when they were marching through the Spanish Road. If they were of a mind to, we’d have to flee. Let us not endanger ourselves further.”

“So, what am I supposed to do?” Frederick growled. “I can’t just sit here and do nothing.”

“That’s exactly what you should do.” Elizabeth retorted.

“What?!” Frederick snarled.

“Think about it.” Elizabeth said. “You’ve seen the Spanish army; you saw how they acted as they marched through. You know that they went north to fight for the Emperor. And now they’ve lifted the blockade of Scheldt, think how that looks. Imagine the fear that will be coursing through the other Protestant Princes’ minds.”

She saw Frederick consider that, his mind whirring. “Brandenburg will try and make hay from it. Saxony will remain quiet, but will be concerned. Wurttemberg will definitely be concerned.”

“Exactly, now think what you could do.” Elizabeth said.

Frederick’s brow furrowed. “Present it as a case of the Emperor deciding to turn on us next.”

“Or?” Elizabeth said.

“Or use it as leverage against the Emperor, convince him that I can get the Protestant states onside and calmed down in return for voting for his preferred candidate.” Frederick said.

“Exactly.” Elizabeth said. “And given the uncertainty around who he wants to succeed him that could be something important.”

There were doubts after all over whether the Emperor wanted his son in law Infante Ferdinand to succeed him or whether he wanted his nephew Maximilian, King of Bohemia to succeed him. Whilst the Emperor may have made a promise to his brother, circumstances had changed since then. Especially with Gabriel Bethlen chewing at the heels of the Habsburgs outside Pressburg.

Frederick sighed. “I suppose you’re right. But I still think he’ll go for his nephew over his son in law.”

“Why?” Elizabeth asked. “Yes, his nephew holds Bohemia, but unless he manages to stop Bethlen, I can’t see him holding out for very long.” Indeed, that was perhaps the best news they’d received recently. Bethlen, a rebel in Hungary had taken towns and villages all the way along the route to Pressburg and was now knocking on the doors of the Hungarian capital, causing panic in Prague and Vienna.

“Never count the Habsburgs out.” Frederick said, as if reciting something he’d learned over the years, which he probably had. “They’ll find a way.”

“So, what would you do instead?” Elizabeth asked.

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t do as you suggested, I simply said that we can’t count the Habsburgs out.” Frederick replied. “Though it wouldn’t hurt to have a foot in their camp.”

“What are you thinking?” Elizabeth asked.

“Well, the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt has always been an Austrian ally, and the man has a daughter of the right age with our Frederick. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a miss to have them married.” Frederick said.

“And what about the possibility of a marriage with the Dutch?” Elizabeth asked, she knew how keen her husband had been for that marriage.

“We can marry Anne to the Prince of Orange’s eldest son, he’d understand. And it would give us scope to be a peacemaker.” Frederick said.

Elizabeth frowned, she understood the desire to be a peacemaker, but she also understood the pitfalls that came with it. She had seen the damage that had been done to her father’s reputation and then health as he had moved between one camp and the next without committing. “That would be a risky business.” She said then.

“No different to what you suggested.” Frederick countered. “Just more overt.”

“Are you sure it is wise?” Elizabeth asked.

Her husband smiled. “I am not the political beast that you are, but I do know a thing or two.”

Elizabeth grinned. “That is true.”

“So, what do you say? Shall I put the message out there and see what sticks?” Frederick asked.

Some small part of her was telling her that this was a terrible idea, another part of her was telling her that this was the only sure fire way to avoid more difficulties emerging. As such she went with the latter part. “I think so.” She said smiling.

Frederick nodded. “Then I shall have my men draw up the proposals.”

Elizabeth nodded. “I think that would be a good thing. And perhaps we might consider visiting Bavaria as well, to make sure the Duke doesn’t get any ideas.” The Duke was a cunning old man, one who lacked an heir at present but was certain to get one someway somehow.

Her husband frowned. “Yes, I suppose we ought to.”

“Well, given his ill-health it would look poorly if we didn’t.” Elizabeth pointed out.

Frederick sighed. “You’re right of course.”

“Good, I shall write to the Duchess to let her know that we intend to visit.” Elizabeth said, she liked the Duchess, the woman was the opposite of her husband, kind, considerate and friendly.

“Please do.” Frederick said, though he didn’t sound all that enthused by the prospect.

Elizabeth smiled and added. “It’ll be fine.” At least she hoped it would be.
“Well, the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt has always been an Austrian ally, and the man has a daughter of the right age with our Frederick. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a miss to have them married.” Frederick said.
And the land dispute with the Darmstadts over Umstadt also existed back then, it predates 30 Years War IIRC. So that's two birds with one stone.
BTW, do (versions of) Louise Hollandine and Maurice of Palatinate exist TTL? Without being lackland, Fred has even more reasons to visit Liz's bedroom than OTL.
Maurice is still Maurice after the Frederick's uncle, and Louise Hollandine is Elisabeth? Catherine? Juliane?
Perhaps Anna Hedwig? Anna after Elizabeth's sister-in-law and mother and Hedwig after her other sister-in-law. Honestly, all of Anne's children should name a child after her
I wonder if the same peacemaker ideas circulate through Warsaw court given how Wlad's TTL only legitimate sibling is Queen of British Isles, and his wife is sister to King of Spains.