AN: Welcome to 'Consort of Gloriana'. This story is most certainly AU. I decided to do this after reading the forums. I read Lady Eleanor Boleyn's challenge (Challenge 22#) and I was really interested in what would happen next so I thought why not right it myself. I hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own history as that belongs in the past and has already been done.

* Just to let you, the reader, know that this story starts in October 1560, a month after Amy Robstart, Robert Dudley's first wife dies.*


Prologue

8th October 1560

No one knew what to do. Elizabeth was pacing down the halls waiting for the man that she loved to arrive. Everyone knew that Robert Dudley was the Queen's favourite and know that his wife had 'mysteriously' died; power-hungry nobles were scared that one of their own could become their next King. They liked it not.

Elizabeth, of course, knew the whispers and being the daughter of a woman whose life had been filled with rumours that would eventually lead her to the scaffold, Elizabeth liked to be beyond reproach. This of course was not one of those times. All she wanted to do was be held in the man's she loved arms, just for a moment.

One of her ladies and her cousin, the young Lettice Knollys, was quickly walking towards her.

"Your majesty," said the young girl as she curtseyed. "The Earl of Leicester is waiting in your presence chamber waiting to see you."

In no mood to give a reply, Elizabeth dashed through the hallways with Lettice moving her smaller frame quickly behind the Queen as they moved in and out of courtiers who were scattered around the place.

No sooner than when they started the journey to her presence chamber where they actually there. The Earl of Leicester bowed towards Elizabeth and she dismissed all others who were there to wait upon her. As the last of the servants shut the door behind them, Elizabeth ran over to Dudley and embraced him in a hug. This is a moment she had waited to do for weeks. The scandal of Amy Dudley's (nee' Robstart) death was now in the past. For Elizabeth, this meant there future. Of course, she would never want to see an innocent girl die. It was mysterious. She had never heard of what happened truly. The inquiry came to the conclusion of misfortune and that was all that Elizabeth needed to know. It was an accident and her beloved Dudley was off the hook.

"Elizabeth, my darling, oh how I missed you," said Robert, who then planted a kiss on her lips. It was unexpected but it was good to her nerveless.

Elizabeth pulled away from him then. She didn't want to have any blemish on their names. Especially, since what she was about to say would change their lives forever.

"Robert, please sit down, there is something that I need to ask you," she said as she pointed towards the bay window which was within the room.

"You know that I would do anything that you asked of me," said Dudley with all the suave of a gentleman.

"Well then, Robert we have known each other for a long time and you must know that my heart belongs to no one else but you," nervously said Elizabeth. Dudley smiled and nodded in response. "Robert," she continued. "Would you do me the honour of becoming my husband?"

Robert knelt and took Elizabeth's hand in his and kissed it. As he lifted his eyes to look at hers he said, "You would be doing me the honour."

And with that Elizabeth felt that her whole world was complete. She was to be married like her parliament had been pressuring her to do and she would hopefully produce an heir to her throne, her father's throne and her grandfather's throne before that. She wanted a son to be the living image of his father.


William Cecil could not believe the news that he had just been told by his Queen. She was to be married which was a plus for himself and for England as a union could produce an heir and prevent civil war striking but this was not the union he was wanting to plan. He was hoping an alliance with French or the Spanish would come with a marriage union but instead she decided she would be marrying Leicester. Cecil was speechless and more so, how was he supposed to tell the other nobles that one of their own would be rising so high.

"Your Majesty, are you sure that I am the best person to be telling the nobles? Wouldn't you yourself prefer to tell them this most...joyous news?" said a rather nervous Cecil. He quickly got out a handkerchief to wipe his brow of the sweat that was appearing on the top of his head.

Elizabeth just stared at him with her black eyes, the eyes she inherited from her long lost mother. "Cecil, it is either you or Walsingham and at this moment you are the best choice. Walsingham will not be happy with the match and I am most sure that you are either but you are the better as you choose to not argue with me."

Cecil simply nodded, bowed and walked out of the room to let Elizabeth and her ladies organize her wedding details.

The first person he was to encounter in the hallway though was Walsingham. Walsingham had a solemn look on his face.

"Cecil, which one of us is to tell the rest of the nobles and parliament?" asked Walsingham. His spies were obviously at work again and this time it was not the best news he could have been delivered.

Cecil sighed. "It is I. Please save me if they are about to launch for my neck."

Walsingham laughed. Obviously the death of Amy Robstart had not diminished Dudley's name enough and know he was to be there King. Walsingham was shocked but what could he do to change the mind of the fiery daughter of Henry VIII.


15th November 1560

Elizabeth checked herself over in her floor length mirror. Her long, just off-white wedding dress was immaculate. The roses in her hair placed perfectly. Today she was to be married, not for political ambition but for love and she was thankful for that.

She remembered a long time ago when she was only eight years old and she had just heard the news of her cousin and her third step-mother, Katherine Howard's, death. She remembered telling her future husband that she would never marry. She vowed she would never but it looks like today was the day that she was breaking that vow.

The ceremony was to be a public one. She wanted the people, who loved her, to love their new King Consort. She wanted him to be more popular than Phillip of Spain ever was. She could already see that the people liked him. He was English, which they liked and wasn't an outsider from another country trying to take this small Empire just so it could be part of their bigger and greater one. Parliament on the other hand disagreed with the matter completely. There was uproar and Elizabeth made Dudley stay at one of his many country estates until they nobles had cooled down. She had only seen him a couple of times since. Today was the marking of a turning point in their lives and the life of England. All she wanted was to be happy.


AN: I hoped you all liked the prologue. I will try to write another chapter soon. Please review. (the next chapter could be a time jump)

TBC