"As my ladies-in-waiting you shall be virtuous and kind. Also, please utilize our English Bible. There is a new day in England!"
As I curtsied to the new Queen Anne I felt and sense of disloyalty. I had been elevated to her lady-in-waiting with my sisters but the break with Rome to ascend her was a sin in the eyes of God, Catherine was rightful queen. I was grateful and disgusted with this new queen already and she hadn't even spoken to me yet.
"You," she pointed. "the one with the red hair. Step forth."
I stepped forward and bowed. "Yes, Your Majesty?"
"What is your name?" she inquired.
"Rose Blount, Your Majesty." I whispered.
"Raise yourself gal."
I stood and faced her dark gaze. A better look at her revealed to me dark hair and dark eyes. She was surprisingly beautiful, not some monster like she had been described by my mother and aunts. She gave me a smile and I was quite surprised.
"You are Lady Rose of the Blounts? Your sisters must also be here then. The king told me of your family."
"Yes, Queen Anne, my sisters Isabel, Mary, Constance, Catherine, and Joan are here with me."
"Step forward Blounts. I would like to see you." Anne's gaze swept the line of ladies as my sisters came to join me in front of her.
"Your Majesty" they bowed and spoke in unison, much to the Queen's pleasure.
"Stand," Anne had a regal tone as she gazed upon my sisters.
"Lady Isabel," my sister curtsied. "I hear you are a married. Are you not?"
"My Queen, I am married with four young children, three sons and one daughter."
Isabel was my oldest sister and had been married off when she was no more than sixteen years old. My father found things best that way but Mother thought otherwise. She said that we should find our own loves, that we weren't of a pedigree to be betrothed. Father was always ambitious and Mother claimed it would be the death of him.
"Lady Rose?" broke me from my thoughts and Queen Anne was peering at me.
"Yes, Your Majesty?"
"I said that I would like for you to come with me to my chamber. I must speak with you in private." The new queen then turned for her room and I followed, my sisters glancing at me nervously.
The queen was sitting in her bed. "The king hath told me your father recommends you to be my Lady of the Bedchamber so I will grant you that position. "
"Why thank you, Your Majesty," I smiled at her.
"Betray me and it will be your downfall," she threatened and I bowed so that I didn't have to look at her sharp gaze.
What a harsh woman.
"Now come, sit up here with me," she patted the bed.
I did as she said but still kept my head lowered. I was quite afraid to be in her presence alone, I wanted to run and hide behind my sisters.
She grabbed my face and held my head up. I winced as her nail pricked the skin on my face. She looked me up and down as if to see if I were disloyal to her in anyway.
"You're still loyal to Catherine," she let me go and lay upon her bed with a sigh.
She began to speak, more to herself than to me.
" I hear they call me the king's whore, but I am no whore. I refused to allow King Henry to touch me until I was absolutely sure I was to be his wife. I was a servant to Catherine and she referred to me as an expensive prostitute. All I ever wanted to do was love the king and provide him with the heir he so desperately wants." She paused to rub her belly and it was quite easy to tell that she was pregnant. "And that is what I shall do. Give the king many sons so that the succession goes smoothly. I am the king's legitimate wife, how could Catherine's marriage to Arthur not have been consummated?" She burst into tears and I pulled her into a hug, as I had when Isabel miscarried or when Constance lost her first husband in war.
She sobbed for a while and I stroked her hair as she quieted. She sat up and shook herself.
"Be careful, Your Majesty, you might lose the babe." I whispered as I used my handkerchief to dry her eyes.
"You're right," She stood and stretched.
"Rose, help me pick something to wear for my coronation,"
I stood and hurried to the Queen's closet. Many of her clothes were French styled and a bright white dress caught my eye. I held it up and she shook her head.
"That was my wedding dress," she muttered.
"I'm sorry, Your Majesty," I returned the dress to the closet.
"Stop being a servant," she groaned. "Call me Anne,"
Do I really have the Queen's favor so quickly?
"Anne?" I was taken aback, since when had it been established that I, a commoner, could call the Queen by her first name.
"I was Lady Anne no less than two months ago. You may call me Anne,"