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Premise is the gender-flipped version of @HortenseMancini's "Six Roses, Red and White". Instead of six healthy daughters, Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon have six healthy SONS. (Yes, this butterflies away Mary I...shocker!) With such an overwhelming load of legitimate male heirs around, Katherine is ten feet tall, bulletproof and all things saintly and good in Henry's eyes (unless anything happens to change that, of course). Absolutely NO divorce, so Anne Boleyn never becomes Henry VIII's wife (though perhaps Henry IX's... 😉), and, well, let's see what happens. Feel free to correct me on anything, of course.

31 January 1510

Katherine of Aragon, the Queen of England sobbed with relief and pain as she finally heard a piercing shriek that announced the safe arrival of her child. She was frantically taking short breaths as she had been instructed to, and her entire body was soaked with sweat.

“Congratulations, Your Majesty,” said the beaming midwife as Katherine's child was placed in her arms, “It is a healthy baby boy, the prince of Wales, England's future king.”

Katherine smiled widely, tears still rolling down her cheeks. She would have jumped up and danced with joy, were she strong enough to do so. Instead, she leaned down and kissed the forehead of her son who was still screaming and crying.

-

"Your Majesty!" A servant ran unannounced into Henry's bedchambers, before collapsing to the ground and gasping for breath. This was a most unusual thing, but Henry had ordered anyone with news about his queen's childbirth to inform him immediately, so he did not reprimand the servant. "The queen, she has - " As the servant was so out of breath, they did not speak any further. With blood pounding in his ears, Henry sprung up from his bed.

"What is the matter? Is it the queen?" He demanded.

At the mention of Katherine, the servant bowed to Henry, their face so low they could have kissed the floor if they wished to. "Yes, sire. Her Majesty is in perfectly fine health, as is the prince."

Henry froze. He had a son? The Prince of Wales, heir to the English throne? The entire room rapidly went silent as they waited for their king to digest this information. Seconds later, a large smile spread across his handsome face as the young king whooped with joy and ran out of the room at a faster speed than anyone had seen from him. His wonderful wife and queen, Katherine had fallen with child so quickly that he could only assume that there would be more to follow, perhaps yet another son. He would definitely visit her bed more often, which was a greatly pleasing thought to him.

Unfortunately for his poor servant who still had not recovered their breath, they were obligated to tiredly run after the newly energized king.

-

Katherine sat in bed, her son suckling at her leaking breast. She felt as though she had become some other woman entirely, so utterly filled with joy was she that nothing felt entirely real to her anymore.

"Where is my prince?" Henry asked, entering the room with a bounce in his every step. The doctors and midwives hastily made their exits, shutting the door behind them to leave the royal couple some privacy. Katherine could not blame Henry his happiness, for despite the exhaustion that sank into her bones, she felt a new burst of protectiveness and love each time her eyes met those of her son's. She had done her duty and bore Henry a son less than a year into marriage. She had never felt more successful than she did now.

"He is here, my love," she whispered.

Henry slowly approached his wife and got onto the bed besides her, resting his chin on her shoulder. He kissed her neck once before he fixed his eyes upon his son and heir. He had not let his father down, the Tudor dynasty was secure. Truly he had made the best choice in his life by choosing Katherine as a wife. Internally he vowed to forever be her "sir loyal heart".

"We will call him Edward, my darling," Henry said quietly, stroking his son's soft strands of hair with one fingertip. At her confused look, he cleared his throat and explained. "After my kingly grandfather. Honoring him in such a way will not only keep his memory fresh in living memory, but also reaffirm the legitimacy I have to my throne. My own name, that also of my father, can be used for another son." He kissed Katherine's cheek as she smiled at him.

"Of course, my love," Katherine replied. Then she glanced down at Edward, who was now sleeping off the excitement of his birth, and her heart which previously seemed so full with love and joy almost burst with it as Henry wrapped his arms around both of them, and they slept for the first time as a family of three.
 
1 January 1511

Katherine looked up from her book and bit back a groan of pain as she shuddered. She deeply missed her son, who was with his retinue at Ludlow Castle where she had once resided. However, she cheered up at the reminder that soon she would have another child to accompany her, as seen by her bulging belly. She placed a hand on it and quietly prayed for a successful childbirth.

She glanced around the room at her ladies - who were admittedly mostly young and attractive - and wondered idly which ones had carnal knowledge of her husband, which ones had writhed in his bed while she was with child, which ones could potentially bear her husband a bastard or two, which ones had received letters and gifts that she had not...

As she stood up to place her book away, she felt a burst of water flow from between her legs. Her ladies rushed towards her, taking her away to the midwife who waited patiently for her. Once again she went through the pains of labor, but this time she knew how to push the child from her womb.

Six hour later, she had her child in her arms: a second boy. Her husband, Henry ran into the room and rushed towards her, raining kisses on her face.

The boy was named Henry, after his father. Their perfect New Year's Prince.
 
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