WI: All of Katherine of Aragon's children live to adulthood

RIP Prince Henry- did he due in Ludlow? I can see King Henry moving the Wales seat from there since that is the second Prince to die there after Arthur.

Perhaps move the Household to Caerphilly Castle or Chepstow?

Dammm you Edward for having a good time with your punishment! :)

Welcome Piers and Elizabeth, long and prosperous lives to you.

Closing corrupt or defunct monasteries maybe but not all of them wholesale one would hope. Some were really useful organisations even if that did make them rich. Perhaps the Queen and More should oversee this to ensure Cromwell and Foxe do not get out of hand?

Looking forward to next chapter.
 
RIP Prince Henry- did he due in Ludlow? I can see King Henry moving the Wales seat from there since that is the second Prince to die there after Arthur.

Perhaps move the Household to Caerphilly Castle or Chepstow?

Dammm you Edward for having a good time with your punishment! :)

Welcome Piers and Elizabeth, long and prosperous lives to you.

Closing corrupt or defunct monasteries maybe but not all of them wholesale one would hope. Some were really useful organisations even if that did make them rich. Perhaps the Queen and More should oversee this to ensure Cromwell and Foxe do not get out of hand?

Looking forward to next chapter.
Henry and Katherine wanted the Princess of Wales to birth her children at court so when Prince Henry got sick, they were in London. Although that might not be a bad idea. Maybe Pembroke Castle where it all began for the Tudors. Edward quickly realized that the punishment just gave him an excuse to run wild.

I suspect it depends on how greedy Henry would get. Thankfully, he has not gone mad with power, and Kathrine still has enough influence on him, to convince him not to go too far.
 
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Interlude-Tudor family reactions
Palace of Whitehall, Westminster, England

When they had been by their son's deathbed, Katherine remained the very picture of queenly dignity, barely a trace of her heartbreak as she said her goodbyes. Now that she was alone in her rooms with her husband, she discarded her crown and cried on his shoulder, reveling herself as the grieving mother she was. "Oh my boy, my boy," she wailed, burying her face in her husband's doublet. "Oh Henry, I cannot bear it!"

Henry wrapped his arms around his wife, rubbing circles on her back, struggling to keep his own tears at bay. Harry had never been the healthiest that was true, but he was still a clever prince. He saw his best traits reflected in his firstborn, he was his mirror image both in manner and in appearance. And now he was dead!

"Our son was so brave," he murmured as he stroked Katherine's hair. "He did not fear death in the end. He stared down the grim reaper like a true man. He died in peace, knowing that his legacy was secured." His heart clenched painfully as he thought of Cathy, Ed, and little Bess. Poor little poppets. All three of them were under the age of five and they had lost their father. It was so miserably unfair for young children to lose their parent. He could recall the loss of his mother, but at least he he had wonderful days of his boyhood with her to look back on. Only Cathy would have any memories of him, faint as they would be.

"Why? Why has God taken him from us?!" Katherine sobbed. Henry was taken aback by her outburst. His beloved wife was so pious, if he did not have cause to know otherwise, he'd think she was a nun. For her to question God's will was unthinkable. "Perhaps it is a punishment. Perhaps He felt we had grown too complacent. Too arrogant."

Her husband stared at her with open mouth horror. He grabbed her by the shoulders, holding her at arm's length. "No, Kat, no. We have been the Almighty Lord's faithful servants. We are working hard to bring England to the golden age. Prosperity for our people, religious reforms to weed out the sinners who dare to pretend to act in His name. We have sent our men to help King Louis and Emperor Charles against the heathens of the East. He has no cause to be displeased with us."

"But why take Harry?" Katherine inquired. "Why him?"

Henry closed his eyes, his beard growing wet. "I cannot answer that, my love. All I know is our boy is in God's loving embrace. He is with the angels now."

Katherine said nothing more, continuing to sob in his arms. Henry held her as tightly as he could; his grief multiplied as he recalled how Arthur's death had shattered his parents. He never understood their pain more than he did now. He could only hope the death of their golden heir would not destroy them as it had his father and mother.


Meanwhile, John was comforting his younger siblings. Princess Catherine was now a woman of fourteen, nearly fifteen. She was a head taller than the eleven-year-old Charles. The Duke of Somerset held them both, wishing he could let his tears flow as easily as they did, but someone needed to be strong. He was the older brother, a man grown. He could not given into to his emotions. Although, he wasn't sure if he could cry even if he wanted to.

"I hate him!"

John blinked, staring at his younger brother in shock, unable to believe his ears.

"Charlie!" Catherine was aghast.

Charles pulled away from their embrace, his expression dark with anger, tears still leaking down his cheeks. "He promised he would get better. He promised he would get better and we'd go riding. He lied!"

Catherine reached out to him, but he slapped her hand away. She was undaunted and pulled him into a hug, managing to hold on despite him trying to fight her off. "Harry didn't lie," she soothed. "He thought he would get better. In fact, the idea of spending time with you made him fight harder against his fever."

John wondered if she actually believed that or if she was only saying it for Charles' benefit. Harry had known he was going to die. He had even had his wife and John act as witness to his last will and testament a few days before. However, when his youngest siblings were brought to see him, he had wanted to give his youngest brother hope. Perhaps there was a part of him that that wanted it be true. That he would get better, spend time with his siblings, see his children grow up.

The Duke of Somerset supposed it meant little now. Harry was dead and nothing could change that.




The Dowager Princess of Wales walked into her children's nursery like it was a nightmare. Her husband was dead. Her children had no father. Her world had been shattered. Catherine wondered if this was how her mother felt. Broken and suffocating all at the same time.

Her heart clenched as she saw her oldest daughter standing at the two cradles, talking animatedly about how she had explored the castle grounds.

"There is old oak tree that Grandpa said he climbed when he was a boy," Rose was saying. "He said he went to the very top." She must have felt Catherine's eyes on her for she turned around. Upon spotting her mother, she dashed over to her, her arms outstretched.

"Mama! Mama! Eddie said my name," she examined. "Well it was close. He said toes, but he was looking right at me so I know he meant me."

"That's wonderful, darling," Catherine knelt down so she could hug her daughter. It broke her heart knowing Harry could never embrace their daughter again. He doted on Eddie and adored Bess, but his Tudor Rose had a special place in his heart. Once, before Eddie was born, he had said that perhaps she would preside over empires.

"Mama, what's wrong?" Rose was now alarmed.

It took Catherine a moment to realize that she was crying. She wasn't sure what she could say. She didn't want to tell her daughter now, but this wasn't something she could hide from her.

The dowager princess took a moment to compose herself, pulling her daughter onto her lap. "I need you to be brave for me, can you do that?"

Rose nodded, her blue eyes (the same shape and color as Harry's) searched her mother's expression for answers.

Taking a deep breath, Catherine spoke, "Your father has gone away." Her voice cracked but she pressed on. "He won't be able to come back."

"Why not? Doesn't he love us anymore?" Rose's brow furrowed in confession, looking stricken by the thought of her father abandoning them.

"Oh, darling girl. He loved you more than anything in this world," Catherine gushed. "I know that if he could come home to use, he would do so in a heartbeat."

A cry from one of the cradles caught their attention. Rose detangled herself from her mother as they both got up from the floor. Catherine strode over to the crib, picking the fussing Bessie up, soothing her with a Spanish lullaby her mother had taught her. She placed her youngest daughter back in the crib, kissing the top of her head. "Poor little princess. You and your brother shall never know just how wonderful your father was."

"They'll know," Rose insisted, slipping her small hand into hers, sounding far older than her years. "He'll live through us."

Catherine could not stop the stream of tears falling down her face. Her husband was gone, but she thanked God she still had her children.




Southampton Castle, Southampton, England
The news came by messenger who must have ridden all through the night. Edward had been abed with Susan or Sarah, whatever the girl's name was. He left her there while he went to speak to the messenger, already knowing what news he brought. The news he had expected since he left Ireland. After the man had said his piece, the Duke of York had the castilian allow him to rest and eat. As for Edward, he returned to his bedchamber.

"My lord, is something amiss?" the girl questioned, covering her naked body with the sheet.

"My brother is dead," Edward responded tonelessly.

The silly chit gasped, covering her mouth with her hand. "Oh, how awful. I am so sorry for your loss."

The Duke of York glared at her. "Get out."

The girl made to protest, but Edward was already out the door. He barked at his groom to fetch him some wine as he strode into the drawing room. He wished he had brought Ellie with him, but she knew that a mistress and a bastard had no place in court. She would have known better than to say something so stupid. His loss. Bah. The only loss he suffered was the fact that Harry hadn't died before he managed to sire a son.

"Damn you, Harry. Even in death you taunt me," Edward snarled, banging his fist on the wall. His older brother did everything he could to remind Edward that he was the Prince of Wales. When they played as children, Harry would throw a fit if he would call himself a king even if it was just play. When Princess Catherine visited the first time, Harry had pouted that Edward talked to her as if it was his fault that his brother was as timid as a mouse. When he spoke drunken but truthful words, he was sent to Ireland in disgrace.

Because Harry was the golden son, the perfect prince. Everyone loved Harry. He made sure Edward had known that. He made sure of it every damn day. And now the Duke of York was supposed to mourn him, pretend like he wasn't the outsider, the unfavorite. The one no one cared for. The only reason, he didn't turn around and return to Ireland was because he wouldn't put it past his father to disown him for daring to snub his perfect heir.

"The crown is mine," Edward declared to himself. "I will be king. I shall be ten times the ruler Harry ever could be."


Château de Pau, Pau, Navarre
Queen Elizabeth screamed. It was a truly anguished shout as she fell to her knees, her legs unable to hold her up. Her brother was dead. Henry and she were like twins. Even with her far away in Navarre had not shaken their close bond. They had exchanged hundreds of letters. And yet now, he was gone, extinguished like the flame of a candle, plunging the world into darkness.

"Your Majesty, are you well?"

Elizabeth wasn't sure who asked the question, but if she did not feel so drained right now, she might have slapped them. Her brother was dead. She would never be well again. Hands tried to lift her up, but she stubbornly remained in fetal position, her face pressed into the carpet. Part of her wondered if she pressed hard enough, would she suffocate. Then she would be with Harry again.

"Perhaps we should summon a physician."

God, why were these vultures still circling her? Wasn't it clear she wanted to be left alone to grieve? Elizabeth wished that Madge had never gone back to England. She would have corralled these nuisances, not letting them bother her. She lifted her head, her blue orbs were filled with tears. "Leave me!"

"But Your Majesty----" one of her maids protested.

"LEAVE!" she bellowed, enraged that they dared to defy her. Today of all days.

Once the women had finally scurried out of her chambers, the queen continued scream and cry until her voice was hoarse. She finally managed to get enough strength to move to her bed, snuggling under the covers as she remembered the carefree moments of her youth.


Palace of Fontainebleau, Paris, France

They were in the middle of a private dinner when the letter arrived. Charles had insisted on going with Mary, noting that the messenger wouldn't have interrupted them if the news he brought wasn't dire. He said he would be her support if she needed it. She had been touched by his tenderness as he wrapped his arms around her, signalling to the messenger to proceed.

"I regret to inform you, Your Majesty, that your brother, Prince Henry passed away," The page did not beat around the bush. His tone was deferential and sympathetic, but his words pierced through Mary's heart like a knife.

"I have you, my love," Charles whispered in her ear, keeping her upright. He directed his next words to the messenger. "I give you my thanks for imparting your news so tactfully. You are dismissed." He waved his hand, clearing the room so it was just he and his wife.

Mary bit her lip, struggling not to cry. Her mother was the most dignified woman she knew and she never cried. She had to act as her mother would especially now. But then she thought of her older brother. Harry had once given her his shirts so she could practice sewing them for her husband, not even scolding her when she accidentally pricked her hand, staining one of them with blood. He had just mussed her hair and whispered that he suspected that even their mother had trouble her first time.

The memory of his doting smile was too much for her to bear and the floodgates were open. Charles led her to the window seat, sitting them down. He turned her so she was facing him, lifting her chin up.

"I remember when I learned my father had died," he began. "I had tried so hard not to cry when my mother passed away, but then I received the news that my father was dead and I was to be king. I cried long and hard in my grandmother's arms. I was so scared that she would be disappointed in me. That she would tell me that kings did not sob and carry on. Instead she assured me, that sometimes it is better to let it out."

Mary hiccuped, wiping her eyes. "But what if I get so upset I...." she trailed off, placing a protective hand on her stomach. They had not even made the announcement to the court, wanting to wait until she started to show.

"You won't," Charles insisted. He smiled sweetly, placing his hand on top of hers. "If it is a boy, we can name him Henri after both our brothers."

"What if it is a girl?" Mary inquired, wanting to focus on something else.

"Catherine, of course," declared the young king. "Far be it for me to ignore the tradition your siblings set up."

Despite herself, Mary laughed. She laughed and laughed until she cried again, taking comfort in her husband's arms. Charles whispered soothing words in her ears, rubbing circles on her back.
 
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That was a really powerful chapter there @Violet Rose Lily - very nicely written, you got the motivations and responses really well.

Sorry, Edward, I hope you end up disowned before you get a chance to pull off any stupid plot. Have you considered putting your feelings about being the second son down in book from? Spare might be a good title?

What is the general populous reaction to Harry, Prince of Wales' death please? How will he be remembered?
 
That was a really powerful chapter there @Violet Rose Lily - very nicely written, you got the motivations and responses really well.

Sorry, Edward, I hope you end up disowned before you get a chance to pull off any stupid plot. Have you considered putting your feelings about being the second son down in book from? Spare might be a good title?

What is the general populous reaction to Harry, Prince of Wales' death please? How will he be remembered?
Thank you. I wanted to touch on each family member and their reaction.

King Henry and Queen Katherine are obviously the grieving parents, trying to make sense of this tragedy. Not to mention Harry really symbolized for them the golden reign for the Tudors. King Henry has better understanding of his father now.

John is numb. He is used to swallowing his feelings for the sake of peace. So he retreats into himself so far, he can't really focus on his grief.

Catherine Tudor as the former baby of the family before Charles came along, is more openly emotional. She is also very compassionate and will do anything to make the people she cares about feel better.

Eleven-year-old Charles deals with his grief by getting angry. How dare Harry leave him. How dare he break a promise. He is frustrated with the situation and not finding anyone to blame, he decides to blame his brother. Deep down he knows Harry was trying to make him feel better.

Dowager Princess Catherine is devastated, obviously. She cared for Harry deeply and he is the father of her children. Her children are very small with only Rose having any memories of him. This only amplifies her grief.

Queen Elizabeth has suffered two traumatic pregnancies that have damaged her health, both physically and mentally. Then there is Harry. They were Irish twins, born less than a year apart. And they were the first born children so they were usually the ones in the public and court's eyes. Naturally they were very close. It doesn't help that Elizabeth always viewed herself as the protector of her younger siblings so she feels like she failed Harry. All of this is pushing her into a dark place.

Mary was my favorite to write. Not just because of Charles, but because of how much she wants to emulate her, believing wrongly that her mother never cries or gets emotional. Charles on the other, has suffered through the death of his mother and his father so he realizes that Mary really needs someone right now and he is going to be that person.

Lastly but not leastly we have Edward. I wanted to get into his head a little bit. He is a very insecure man and also quite arrogant. He hates that Harry was the heir despite, in his opinion, being unworthy of it. And despite that everyone still caters to Harry. He feels very left out by his family and jealous that Harry is everyone's favorite.

As for the people's opinion. Prince Henry was seen as a fairy-tale prince. He was the Black Prince come again, but he was still seen as chivalric figure who was very gallant and dashing. The rumor that he challenged his brother to duel for insulting his wife certainly helped that view of him. They definitely had a more idealized view of him, but he was quite popular during his tenure as Prince of Wales.
 
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Damn, what a lovely, emotional chapter. Very interesting to see everyone's reactions, and at least Henry could provide some measure of comfort to Katherine.
 
That moment when there are three whole people in the line ahead of him 😂
I suppose, if you don't acknowledge female succession, which England didn't definitively do at this point in time, there's only one, Harry's little boy...
Edward doesn't see his nieces as threats for while England doesn't follow Salic law, it is definitely prefers male heirs.

@FalconHonour I don't want to bug you, but would you mind giving me your thoughts on this chapter?
Damn, what a lovely, emotional chapter. Very interesting to see everyone's reactions, and at least Henry could provide some measure of comfort to Katherine.
This is percicsily why I wrote it. I couldn't portray Henry's death as emotional when I am writing pseudo history book entries. But with this chapter, I got to touch on everyone's feelings.
 
1533-1536
The funeral for the Prince of Wales was a grand affair. He had twenty-three mourners, each for a year of his life, with the chief mourner being his uncle by marriage, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. The ceremony was led by the archbishop himself, Edward Foxe. Crowds of people showed up to watch the procession of the Prince of Wales' coffin to Westminster Abby. The Spanish Ambassador, Eustace Chapyus, noted that there was not a dry eye in the streets with many calling blessings and farewells.

It was a dark time for England. King Henry was shaken by his son's death and vowed not to make his ancestors' mistake. He would ensure that his grandson was ready to rule and more importantly keep alive until he was of age. He professed to Katherine that sadly Sir Loyal Heart would have to retire from the jousting field. The queen assured him that she did not mind for he would always be her Sir Loyal Heart no matter where he was.

There was the matter of Princess Catherine. She was young enough to have another marriage so her brother could call her back, forcing her to leave her children behind. Unlike her aunt, she could not make the best out of her situation by marrying her husband's brother, not that she would want to in the first place. Luckily Queen Katherine was sympathetic to her plight and convinced Henry to make her regent of the Welsh Council, allowing her to remain in England.

The pope finally responded to King Henry's request, granting him the ability to close down defunct or corrupt monasteries. Sir Thomas More resigned for his position of Lord Chancellor around the same time. Rumors flew that the knight had claimed that God had shown his wrath against such actions by striking down the Prince of Wales. However, the gossip seemed unlikely as King Henry was more likely to have thrown More to the Tower and ordered his beheading had he said something so foolish. The more likely explanation was More was simply resigning in protest. He would continue to correspond with both the king and the queen until his death, showing that neither side was hostile.

It seemed that the tragedies were not over yet for Princess Mary, the Duchess of Suffolk, died in June. She passed away just a week after her son married Mary Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk.

In France, four months after her brother's death, Queen Mary gave birth to a healthy boy. He was named Prince Henri for his uncles and maternal grandfather. Mary writes to her mother that the babe has the clear blue eyes of the Tudors. She insisted that she could see her brother in her newborn son. King Charles causes a scandal by making an alliance with the Ottomans.

King Henry is incensed, calling King Charles a foolish boy who is bending the laws of God for his own end. But he wrote to his daughter, as did Queen Katherine, urging her to convince her husband that he is making a mistake. King Charles' response is to inquire when he asked for the monarchs of England for their opinion. He instead doubles down and enforces a law to allow his subjects to pray in whatever way they felt. This would lead to an argument with his wife. However, Charles would not back down, souring his marriage.

In 1534, Prince Edward and Prince John have a double wedding, marrying seventeen-year old Anne Bourchier and fifteen-year-old Katherine Willoughby respectivily. The latter marriage bears fruit almost immeditly as Katherine gives birth to a son in 1535, Henry, Earl of Hertford. As for Edward, he returned to Ireland with his new wife, introducing her to his mistress and his bastards. Needless to say, their marriage was not off to a good start.

Meanwhile Emperor Charles was wrestling Tunnis from the Ottoman. He, King Louis II, Archduke Ferdinand, and King John were able to take another chunk of the Ottoman Empire's territories. They were forcing the Calip to fight on too many different fronts, thinning his army.

Queen Elizabeth of Navarre had suffered several miscarriages, and was in a state of depression after her brother's death. This would have a negative effect on her health. On January 7, 1536, the queen would go through another painful labor which ended with a stillborn daughter. Exhausted and devastated, Elizabeth would fall unconscious. She would never wake up.
 
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