Lady Mary Boleyn
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The Twenty-second of July, in the Year of Our Lord, 1520 - Late evening

I am afeared that I hath neglected thee much too long to be forgiven. Matters at Hever castle hath kept my attentions occupied as I hath learned more of who wilt be joining us this autumn on our annual progress to New Market. In addition to my dear sweet sister Nan, and His Majesty’s Sister, the Princess Mary Rose Tudor, Dowager Queen of France, will be our dear young cousin Katherine Howard (must keep an eye on her flirtatious self) and our dear brother’s betrothed, Jane Parker (twit). ‘Twill be a family affair to be sure as George will be along for the romp as well. Uncle Thomas hath promised to put in a good word with His Majesty to that we might capture His attentions. Well, for me in any event. Nan mayest have my sloppy seconds if she were to choose. I do hear that the object of Nan’s affections too shall be in our midst, Lord Henry Percy, a most agreeable young man she hath taken quite a fancy to.

We depart very soon, in the beginning of August. ‘Twill be hot to be sure, however, there shall be plenty of provisions to keep us hydrated and properly fed. Then we shall spend a month and a half in New Market as the guests of Lord Augustus Montbatten, the Earl of New Market. There hath been rumors that he hath taken a wife several years, nay even a generation his junior. And it be told that she be with child. I dare to imagine how this didst come about. His grace in mine own humble opinion may be lacking in his virility and there be talk that the impending babe be not his. 

Oh my dearest diary, there do be scandal abound for also, unbeknownst to His Majesty, (being it understood that we the ladies hath been sworn to utmost secrecy on the matter) his own dear sister, Mary Rose hath been married in secret to His Grace, Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk!!! Poor Mary were pledged to marry that old King Louis of France while she were 18 and he were 52. I didst hear that upon her departure from England she were crying her heart out begging her brother not to go. Be bade her do this for him and upon the death of the King, she shall be free to marry whom she chose. It doth seem that His Grace were in France when the King didst pass and tooketh the opportunity to make his intentions to Her Highness known. She hath sworn each of us to secrecy for this would send her brother into fits of rage which would nay be advantageous to him at this juncture.

It be told that Their Catholic Majesties, King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castille, our own dear Majesty’s parents, shall be joining us this autumn on our progress. Shouldst news of our dear Mary’s nuptials reach the ears of her brother, ‘twould spell disaster as ‘twould send him into a rage as they didst nay seek His permission to marry. And seeing that His Grace being the closest of friends and brethren with His Majesty, ‘twould almost surely spell an end to that relationship. This of course canst nay occur for His Majesty shall be trying his utmost to make the best impression upon his in-laws. I shall be most interested in observing how the events play out.

I hath employed the most wonderful and talented seamstress in all the realm to create for me a new gown for the even this year. ‘Twill be of the deepest garnet colored velvet with a gold and black brocade underskirt. The fold backs on the over-skirt and the sleeves shall be of the deepest black velvet and I do hear she plan to embroider two large golden fleur-de-lis on the skirt foldbacks. I am sure ‘twill be even lovelier than Nan’s green sleeves creation which be the envy of all the ladies at court. I didst wish to have a gabled hood made this year but Nan didst say ‘twould nay go with my face. My sister, always the consummate actress and wanting to be the center of attention with her adornments. What be her motto? “If it be expensive, it fitteth.”

I do have some sad news to report, although it be not tragic, but my dear Sir William Paget will nay be joining us in the fall. It doth seem that matters of his estate keep him from the progress but he doth promise to meet us back at court in the winter. I do look forward to the time whence we may share our special moments together in friendship.

Diary, I see it be well past time for me to retire and I shall bid the adieu until anon.

I remain thine, 

Marie B.

Days of Yore - Anon

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