AN: This is the start of a new story of mine, called 'Sink Or Swim'. This story will be a long one so I decided that I would start posting the story now. It does have to do with Edward VI, but it is not my story 'Heirs of Tyranny' which I plan on starting to upload soon. It has a different premise which will become clear once they are both up, but they do both include the idea of Edward not dying in 1553. This one has the idea that he was never sick like that in the first place, while H.O.T, well it has to do with him surviving the illness. But their are differences in the story and I have a feeling this story may be longer than H.O.T, but I will figure that all out later.
I do hope you enjoy this story, but by the end of the story, I do expect you to start laughing at Edward, don't worry I will as well. But if you do like the story, please review because reviews = love, and well, it gives me more motivation to write the story.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own History or The Tudors, never have and I never will.
"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce" – Karl Marx
Sink Or Swim
Prologue: A Matter of State
1 February 1552
It had been a matter of state, well that was how the Duke of Northumberland had put it and this is why, in about two weeks time, he would be marrying the eldest daughter of the Elector Palatinate, the Lady Alberta of the Palatinate.
He had no real say in the matter, he had said that he would have preferred a French bride but over time it had come down to a daughter of one of the rulers of the German states since Spain and France did not want their daughters to have to convert their faith and be excommunicated from the Catholic church.
The German states were willing to give up their daughters since they were mostly, if not all, broken away from the Catholic church and harbored the people from countries like Spain and France that are of a reformed faith. Of course, they would have seen the King of England as a match for one of the Princesses as the greatest match any of them could ever have and many had thrown forward their daughter, sending portraits and welcoming ambassadors.
The fate of the last German princess to cross the channel did not deter them, this was a new King and he was young, not knowing what exactly he wanted in a woman yet.
Edward knew this was the fate of Princes, to marry a woman from the royal family of a foreign country. His father had done it twice, though they were later discovered to be null and void, but he had also married four English women, though two were later to be discovered to be null and void just like his two foreign matches. His own mother had been an English woman but the council wanted a foreign match so there was no chance of him finding love and making an honest woman out of the woman that he loved.
If he ever did love a noble English girl, he would be forced to only make her his mistress.
The one thing that he couldn't understand when it came to his future-marriage to the Lady Alberta was why it had to be so soon. He was only fourteen and surely had plenty of time to have heirs, unless his council members knew something that he didn't know. His father had been seventeen when he 'married' the Lady Mary's mother yet his uncle, whom he had never met, had been fifteen when he married so maybe it wasn't as bad as he was making it out to be.
But he was marrying a girl that was thirteen, and though he didn't know the mysteries of child bearing and never really wanted to, he knew that having a girl as young as that bearing children could render her infertile, it had happened to his own great-grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort.
But his council members saw this as no impediment so he would just have to go through with it.
He had no met his future Queen yet, of all the reports he had heard and the miniature he had seen of her, she was a pretty girl with wavy brown hair and dark brown eyes, but portraits could be deceiving and he could be marrying a hag for all he knew, but he hoped that this was not the case.
He wanted to, over time, be able to love and care for the German Princess.
But for the meantime, he was pacing around his chambers, while his two closest friends, Barnaby Fitzpatrick and Robert Dudley, sat watching him, not knowing how to handle their younger friend as they had never seen him at like this before.
"Edward," said Barnaby sternly, knowing that he was the only one that could get away with speaking to him like that. "You have got to calm yourself. The Lady Alberta is not even in London yet and yet you are acting like a love sick fool."
Edward glared at his best friend. "I am not in love with the Lady Alberta, have not even met her… and in any case, I have no clue what love feels like, the only one in this room that does is Robert."
Robert, startled to hear his name come up in conversation looked up from his hands. "Excuse me?"
Barnaby laughed. "The King just said that you are the only one to know what love feels like because of your marriage to the Lady Amy."
Robert nodded, slightly embarrassed to be caught out for not listening. "Don't worry, once you are in love you will know and in any case, I am sure that you will soon here about the Lady Alberta's true looks, isn't the Lady Elizabeth and the Lady Anna meeting her when she arrives at Rochester?"
Edward nodded. "I know that my sister will tell me the truth about the Lady."
His sister Elizabeth and his 'aunt', the Lady Anna of Cleves, had been sent together to welcome to new future Queen to England, to introduce her to some of the things that were done in England and would then travel with her to Westminster Palace, where Edward would meet his future bride for the first time.
It was then, truly, that he would know if he would like, in time his future Queen.
It wasn't until the Lady Alberta had retired to her chambers that Elizabeth could speak about the girl who was to be her future sister-in-law. She was sitting with the Lady Anna inside her own apartments and once Kat, Elizabeth's old governess, served the two some ale, Elizabeth saw that it was fit to talk about the young girl.
"She is quite young," said Elizabeth as she sipped on the ale. "I can't imagine her being able to provide England with an heir, well not at the moment at least."
Anna smiled. She didn't wish to speak on how the young girl looked, she was probably petrified enough about moving to a new country without having to worry about the King's sister doubting that she would provide England with an heir any time soon.
She knew better than anyone what it was like for Alberta.
"She will grow into her position," replied Anna quietly. "She and Edward both have many years together to have an heir."
Elizabeth smiled in response. "Yes, you are probably right."
She just hoped that Edward, though he tried to emulate the presence of their father in many ways, did not try to emulate his father when it came to marriage or children. Edward had a different personality to the late King Henry but he was probably the same when it came to the matter of a male heir. Elizabeth truly couldn't understand the reasoning behind the desire for a male heir, she personally thought a woman was just as capable of ruling a country, if not better.
But in any case, she knew that she would never be able to prove this point and that it was Edward on the throne, and then any heirs he did happen to get on the young German Princess.
It had been hard for her to say goodbye to her family and even after only a few days in her new country, she already felt homesick and wished to return to the Palatinate. She felt safe there, not judged, she was one of the royal family there, able to give a guiding hand to her younger siblings but in England, though she was to be one of the royal family, she felt that she felt that she was the one that had to be guided.
The Lady Elizabeth had seemed nice, and she personally hoped that this wasn't a disguise just put on for her. The Lady Anna was nice as well and she already felt a bond with the older lady who had experienced the same things as herself, though Alberta hoped that it was only the start of the journey that was the same for the two of them.
She knew that the King, her future, husband also had another sister, the Lady Mary. She had wondered why she had not come to greet her but she had remembered hearing that Mary was not welcome at court, well at least not that often, because of Catholic views and her refusal to not take mass.
She hoped that it was on the King's orders that Mary did not come to greet her, not that Mary already hated her because she was a reformer.
In any case, in a few days time, she would finally get to meet her future husband and decide what he was like for herself. She already hoped that he was kind, that was what she cared about most. If he was kind, she knew that she could one day love the man but if not, she did not think that she could.
In truth, they had not told her much about the King of England, in fact she knew very little about England, it's history or how things were run nowadays. She knew, as a wife, she would have no say in political matters and preferred it that way but she at least wanted to know how she should run her household, yet no one would tell her anything about her new country.
They would prefer her to live in complete ignorance.
She guessed she would just have to learn as best as she could, as fast as she could, when she was able to.
5 February 1552
Edward stood nervously at the top of the room with his sister, the Lady Elizabeth, and his 'aunt', the Lady Anna, standing behind and at either side of him. He had not permitted that the Lady Mary should attend the welcoming of the Lady Alberta to court, and if anyone asked he had them informed that it was because she was feeling unwell.
Of course, if people were smart enough, they would know the real reason. Edward rarely spoke to his sister and if he did, it was to do with her refusal to not hear mass. He did not want to cause a scene, like the one a few Christmas' back, as this was supposed to be a happy day and a happy day he was going to make it, and that meant the Lady Mary would not be attending.
Soon enough, the herald made the announcement that the Lady was to enter and all of the courtiers stood up straight, hoping to catch their first glimpse of their future Queen and waited with bated breath.
The young girl, with big brown nervous eyes, walked into the great hall gracefully and as quickly as she had been instructed to do. She carefully remembered everything she had been taught, making sure she did not make a mockery of herself during her first entry into court.
Edward stared at the girl walking towards him, his future Queen. He would never complain about her looks or be ashamed of them, he thought, but he had wished for his future wife to be a little older, or at least a little bit more well built. She was a slight thing, though Edward to himself though he dared not voice it aloud.
Alberta curtsied deeply before the King who started walking forward towards her. As he reached her, he gently lifted her up from her curtsey to the more comfortable position of standing.
"Welcome to my court, my lady."