A Princess with a Mind of Her Own
by Gael Stirler
This is the story you may not know about this famous queen.
Forced into Poverty
When she was three years old, this little princess with blond hair and big blue eyes, lived in a beautiful palace with her mother, her father, baby brother Alfie, and a much older step-brother from her father's first marriage, named Henry. When her father died suddenly, Henry became King and imprisoned the little princess along with her mother and brother in a far away fortress and forced them to live in poverty. Her mother went mad with grief and remorse, often talking to herself and crying out that she saw ghosts. The little princess had to take care of little Alfie by herself most of the time. There was rarely enough to eat or fire to keep warm. Before her father died, he had written a will that provided for his second wife and her children, but her evil step-brother ignored his father's last wishes. Why? Because he was unable to have children of his own and feared that little Alfie would someday usurp his crown.
At only six-years old and while she was still in exile, Henry negotiated a marriage agreement for the little princess to wed the younger son of King John thus aligning their neighboring kingdoms. Henry remarried and his second wife, had a daughter (allegedly by her lover) to be Henry's successor. He felt it was safe to bring the little princess, now 10, and Alfie, 8, to the palace where they could be given the best education and royal training. Suddenly they were living in bright rooms filled with silver and gold, wore clothes of the finest silks and firs, and always had enough to eat, but he kept them separated from each other and he forbade them to leave the castle, even to visit their mother.
Court schemes and plots
Henry was a bad ruler who let injustice go unpunished. Officials were corrupt, robbers and thieves roamed the open roads and terrorized the villagers. Instead of protecting his people the king spent his money on luxuries and allowed corrupt nobles and officials to steal from the treasury. His honest nobles were in revolt and wanted to get rid of Henry to save the country. To strengthen his hold on the throne, Henry secretly tried to break off the marriage arrangement he had made with King John. He arranged to have the young princess married to John's conniving older son Charles instead. But when King John learned that Charles had gone behind his back to try to cheat the younger son he was outraged. King John made his younger son, Fred, his successor and for plotting against him, he threw the older son into prison, where he died.
By the time she turned 14, the little princess was well educated in reading, spelling, writing, grammar, mathematics, art, chess, dancing, embroidery, music, and religious instruction. Since she knew that Fred would be king someday and she was still his betrothed, she set out to learn law, philosophy, languages, and other skills that would be important for a future queen. What she didn't know was that she would reign as Queen in her own right.
Have you guessed who she is yet? Every schoolchild knows her name.
At 14, Henry tried to marry the princess off to his recently widowed brother-in-law and simultaneously marry his supposed daughter off to his brother-in-law's son, so the princess's inheritance would eventually all go to his daughter and her heirs. However, the princess took matters into her hands and refused this dangerous arrangement that would have made her more valuable dead than alive!
Civil War and more plots
Civil war broke out over King Henry's plotting and his inability to govern. His nobles called for the 12-year-old Alfie to be put on the throne or at least named as Henry's successor. Henry needed quick money to put down this rebellion so he arranged for the princess to be married to a wealthy courtier for a huge sum of money. What would she do?...Continued on Renstore.com...Click to read the rest of this article.