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LightandShade

Australia

The Demise Of Kathryn Howard

April 15, 2016

Kathryn. That is my name. For now, I am wife to King Henry VIII, but I do not expect this arrangement to last for very much longer. 

I am the third cousin of the deceased Anne Boelyn, and I was wed to my now husband just 16 days after her death. 

July 28th, 1540. That is the day of our wedding anniversary. Young though I ma to his many years, I was everything he could have dreamed of. I have been a wife far better than the four that came before me. 

I comforted him. I made the King see again all of the wonderful things within the world. I made him smile, and laugh. He bought me gifts, and I accepted them just as I should have done. I allowed myself to be showered with the affection deserved of a Queen. 

He called me his rose without a thorn, the very jewel of womanhood. And I let him. I let him call me all of these things, and I let him know me for them. I let myself be his prize, the shiniest trophy in his cabinet of past wives. 

It was not long before the rumours began, and when they did, they spread like wildfire. There was nothing I could do to stop them. Perhaps our happiness was envied, perhaps there was jealousy around how very loved I was by the King. Perhaps people just do not like to see a beautiful Queen who does well with her position. 

For whatever the reasons, they no longer matter. Not anymore. They spoke of my supposed infidelity, my unfaithfulness to the King to whom I was betrothed. I did not care for the rumours. I could hardly be blamed, for trying to seek out the company of someone a little younger, and little closer to myself in years. 

I appointed one of my admirers as my personal secretary. I felt no guilt for it. Why should I? Why should I not be adored by many, loved by all those who seek to love me? 

Archbishop Cranmer informed the King of my misdoings. Henry did not believe the stories, and nor should he. He saw them for the jealousy that they were. But he did not trust me enough. He agreed to investigate me. Never should I have been investigated. Never should I have been offered anything but trust, but trust is not something I have been given. 

They say I was promiscuous before I wed. I do not see what it matters now. I do not confirm or deny. I do not feel ashamed of my past. They say I continued my promiscuity after my marriage to the King. Truth does not matter anymore. 

What has been done is done, and it cannot be taken back. I cannot change history, I can only live, or not live with it's consequences. 

I will not live. I will not see another month, or another year. Never again will I watch the seasons change. 

The year is 1542. Today is the 13th of February. I will never know the 14th, or any of the days that follow it, for I will be gone by then. They plan to lay me to rest by Anne Boelyn, my cousin. How I wish now, that I had never married her husband. 

I am helped to climb the scaffold, but I do not lose my composure. I say but a few words. I do what I spent last night practicing until I knew it would be without flaw. I lay my head down on the block. In my final moments I silently bid goodbye to the world, and to the Tower Green which will be my last view of it. And in these final few moments, there is hardly enough time for me to feel afraid. Henry is not here. I think it, though I am not sure why, and then I can think nothing else, because with one stroke of the executioners axe, my head is no longer one with my body. 


 

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  • April 15, 2016 - 10:34pm (Now Viewing)

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