Of course. And thank you for this opportunity. In the last few hundred years I haven’t had many chances to tell my side of things.
I think what most people want to know about you is why you went after Henry. How much was it family pressure? Ambition? Or were you really in love with him?
It was really a mixture. Of course I did rather fancy being queen. And Uncle Norfolk was always at me to advance the family. But there was a great deal of affection between Henry and me. Even had there not been, I doubt it would have made much difference. Have you ever been pursued by a king?
Uh, no. Can’t say that I have.
*smiling* Well it’s quite a heady feeling to have a man of such power at your feet, begging for your love and devotion. And Henry in particular was quite a man. I doubt any woman could have resisted.
Tell us about your time as queen.
At first I was caught up in the romance and excitement; the triumph of it all. But gradually I became aware that more and more people were distancing themselves from me. Even my own family. You see, I was made a scapegoat. All the troubles of the land were laid on my shoulders. It was really very clever of Henry, don’t you think? He wanted to be rid of me, and few would oppose him when he wanted something.
I’ve read excerpts from some of Henry’s letters to you during your courtship. He seemed very attached to you. What went wrong?
Henry and I were both so passionate and headstrong. When two such indomitable wills come together, eventually one must subdue the other. I was the victor, and Henry couldn’t stand it. He’d always got his way, you see —always been the strongest personality in the room.
Your sister Mary was official mistress to Henry at one point. How did you feel about that?
At the time it didn’t bother me…much. Naturally I would have preferred to be the one singled out, but then I was the favorite later. By the time I was Henry’s queen their little fling was ancient history, so there was no reason for me to be unhappy about it.
How was your relationship with your uncle, the Duke of Norfolk?
Strained, at best. I think he was jealous that I had better hair.
What about your parents?
To tell you the truth I barely knew them except by reputation for much of my childhood. Saw them from time to time, particularly when they wanted to impress upon visitors a sense of family harmony, but I didn’t get what you might call quality time.
You must be very proud of your daughter Elizabeth.
Certainly. She is my vindication. Could such a horrid woman as the stories make me out to be have produced such a superior ruler?
Many people would credit her father’s genes and influence for her performance as a monarch.
And to some degree they’d have a point. But really, look at Henry’s other children compared to my Elizabeth. If his genes, as you call them, were the deciding factor, Edward and Mary would be remembered as the greatest rules of all time. But are they? Who gave England its Golden Age? My daughter, that’s who.
Did you really have six fingers on one hand?
No, I didn’t. In fact the whole rumor got started when I mistakenly purchased a pair of gloves made over the holidays. What with the rush and the constant celebrations there are so many mistakes made. I’m certainly glad I didn’t purchase any new headdresses that year!
Were you actually a witch?
*laughing* I wish I had been! I could have put a spell on Henry and been done with it.
What did you think of your predecessor, Catherine of Aragon?
She was all right as a person I suppose, but a dead bore socially. And no taste in clothes.
Tell us about Henry Percy.
Oh yes, the “other” Henry. He was my first love. A childish infatuation.
*arching a brow* And?
Well…um…would you care to share some details of your relationship with him?
I stand by my previous statements on that subject, as I’m sure my agent informed you.
Well, actually he didn’t.
He didn’t? Wait just a minute. *dialing on cell phone* Mitchell, darling! You’re fired, you incompetent boob! *hangs up, smiles sweetly* Now…where were we?
What’s your favorite color?
Deep red. You might call it wine or burgundy.
You were well known for your style. If you were alive today, would you pursue a career in fashion?
Women today have so many options. You really don’t know how lucky you are. However, back to your question: I believe I’d go into politics, though I wouldn’t rule out the fashion world as a side business. I think I’d design jewelry though, rather than clothing. What is that quaint little expression you young folk use? Ah, yes: I love me some bling.
What’s your favorite song?
Ooh! I can’t think of the artist, but it goes like this: “Don’t’cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? ”
Any last words for our readers?
I’d like everyone to know that I was really a rather nice girl considering my background. Henry corrupted me. The lesson that all women should take from this is to be careful who you love. It’s easy to lose your head over a man.
Great advice! Thank you so much for joining us. I’m sure our readers will learn a lot from this interview. And good luck to you in future history books.
Thank you. It’s been my pleasure.
That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading. Be sure to join us next time as we interview Jane Seymour...no, not the actress, the queen.