King's Reception Room

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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Catherine of Medici on Tue May 15, 2018 4:15 am

It's a magnificent mare >Purest white with a dark gray mane and tail.
"How did he know that I enjoyed riding?," I thought.

He lifted me in his arms , as thought I was lighter than a feather, and placed me upon my side saddle.
" I have brought many gifts for you and your mother. " I nod to my servant, Juan. " My man will make sure that my belongings as well as the gifts will follow us in the wagon. My uncle, His Holiness, has also enclosed a letter for your Lady Mother. "

Henry looks up at me , a smile upon his handsome face.
I smile, uncertain.
"Why are you smiling at me , Your Majesty? Have I said something wrong? "
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Tue May 15, 2018 7:16 am

"You have said nothing wrong my dear i am just smiling at how beautiful you are.
The gifts will be delightful i am sure.
I do hope you like court when we arrive my lady
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Claude of France on Wed May 16, 2018 3:16 am

Sitting at my desk, I open the letter that arrived three days ago.
It was from the Pope .
The girl hasn't even stepped foot into the palace and the Pope already sent me a letter.

My Dearest Daughter In Christ, Queen Claude,
I am sending you this letter of instructions regarding Catherine.
As I am sure you know, I have made certain that Catherine has been brought up as a young lady befitting her station.

Should Henry Tudor and his Whore wish to attend the wedding or meet her, this will be denied.
Catherine should be abed no later than the seven stokes of the clock.
Catherine shall attend the Holy Mass twice daily as well as confession.
She shall only read the books that have been sent with her.
Should she , for whatever reason, act against my wishes, her confessor, Father Suarez , shall administer no more than five lashes.
No one shall be at court who is not a catholic in good standing with the Church.
Any and all gifts for Catherine shall be sent directly to Rome.
I shall expect a full audit of gifts and their values as soon as possible.
Catherine shall not be alone with His Majesty or any man unless three of her ladies are present.

May the Lord Bless You,
You Earthly Father,

Pope Clement VII


I roll my eyes and toss the letter aside.
Pope though he may be, this was France and Henry was King, not Clement.
I also know how Catherine was used as a pawn by His Holiness and it is rumored that he was not above ordering her to be beaten.
Poor motherless child.
She shall be MY child and she will never know what is it to be unloved or unwanted.

I hear the trumpets blaring and I know that Henry and Catherine are approaching.
I rise from my chair and leave the room.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Wed May 16, 2018 7:20 am

As we approach the palace i see my mother waiting for us.
"My lady Catherine welcome to my glorious palace of Versailles i do hope you like it.
I then speak to my mother.
"Lady mother this is the beautiful princess Catherine Medici and she is most grateful for your letter to Pope Clement.
"Please come inside my lady and let us all settle down and eat"
I nod to the guards to bring Catherine's things in with care.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Claude of France on Sun May 20, 2018 12:34 am

I look at the Lady Catherine : although not a conventional beauty, she is not ugly.
Her hair is the most lovely shade of copper and gold and her eyes are the prettiest shade of soft blue.
I can see that she is nervous .
Poor child !
To have lost her parents before a month old and then to be surrounded by those sharks of the Vatican.

I smile at her.
" A most happy welcome, my dear," I say happily. " We have long waited to see the jewel of Italy. From this day forward, you shall be my daughter.  I do not hope to take the place of your mother but I pray that you come to see me as a mother figure. Only ask for it, little one, and we shall make it so. "

I see the look in her eyes and I can see the indecision. No doubt, Clement has given the same ridiculous instructions.
I hold open my arms to her.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Catherine of Medici on Sun May 20, 2018 12:41 am

Queen Claude has ruled over one of the most powerful countries in the world.
She has raised the bravest and most handsome of sons to be King of this land.
They say that she is graceful, kind but stern,gentle but strong.
For a moment , I think that I have traded one jailer for another and that this is just going to be another prison where I shall be treated as an afterthought, another burden.

Then, Queen Claude says, " " A most happy welcome, my dear. We have long waited to see the jewel of Italy.
From this day forward, you shall be my daughter.  I do not hope to take the place of your mother but I pray that you come to see me as a mother figure. Only ask for it, little one, and we shall make it so. "

For a second, I do not think that I can believe her.

Then, she smiles at me and hold open her arms.
I rush into them and I feel her arms wrap around me while I inhale the  scent of her tulip perfume.

I close my eyes and think....

"I'm home."
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Sun May 20, 2018 7:18 am

As i arrived back home to my palace with Catherine i saw my mother by the steps waiting for us and i go over and hug her.

"Lady mother i am glad that Catherine is here and she will always be welcome here in France.

I hear my mother talking to Catherine then i speak with the princess.
"Dear Catherine you can always be happy here in France and you are now free from your prison of Italy and free here in France. My mother is very kind and as she said will accept you.
You are so beautiful Catherine.

I go over and kiss her softly
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Catherine of Medici on Wed May 30, 2018 6:33 am

The King's lips brush against my cheek and I hear my confessor, Father Suarez, cough to get attention.
"Pardon, Your Majesty, " he says. " I am Father Eduardo Suarez and I have been sent by His Holiness as Lady Catherine's confessor and chaperone."
His hard, beady black eyes are cold and he barely bows to the King.

I know that he has been sent as a spy and as my jailer.
During the entire voyage, he spent hours telling me what was expected of me and the exact details of the rules that I must abide by or I shall ,again, be whipped by the priest.
It is no secret that he has tried to persuade my uncle to have me marry a prince of Spain, his homeland.

I hate him.
He continues to look at Henry as though The King of France is beneath him and I feel shame flood by body at the rudeness that is being shown.

For a moment, I expect Henry to say, " No, she won't do. " and send me away.

Then, Henry pulls me closer to him, his green eyes looking at the priest so hard that Suarez has no choice but to lower his gaze.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Wed May 30, 2018 6:56 am

After kissing the young Catherine i then look to Father Suarez.
"My lord lady Catherine will be fine here by my side.
Now my lord confessor please leave us
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Claude of France on Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:18 am

The priest positively looks apoplectic, his face flushed with anger.
I know that he wants to protest but Henry of France is a strong King.

I motion to our steward who steps forward.
"Please, escort the good father to his room and see to it his bags are brought to the room."

I turn to the priest.
"I am sure that you wish to rest before our evening meal, Father. We have prepared quite the feast for our Catherine." I stress the word "our" so he knows where he stands.

He gives the barest of bows, his eyes glaring at Catherine with such intensity, I see Henry hold her closer to him.

I smile at her and walk inside.
"Well, that's enough of THAT little Spanish toad, " I say, leading them to my personal salon.

Catherine laughs softly. " I am so sorry that he was rude to you both. I begged His Holiness to send someone else but he refused. " She motioned for one of her servants to follow with a beautiful inlaid box.

My steward had returned to inform me that the priest had been shown his rooms.
" Please show Lady Catherine's servants where her chambers are and make sure the baggage is to follow. Then, please inform Cook that the servants will be needing food and shown where the baths are."

The steward left, the servant girls following him.

The one servant placed the box on a table that was a gift to me from the King of Greece.
Catherine dismissed the servant and turn to us with bright eyes.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Catherine of Medici on Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:16 am

With Henry and the Queen seated, I open up the box.

They both looked at me in confusion.

"They are eating utensils, " I hurriedly explained, taking one out of the box to show them.
"While everyone uses spoons and knives, not everyone has this. "|

Henry smiled. " A trident?"

I shook my head.
"It is called a "fork". It is so much better at spearing small pieces of food than a knife."

The Queen lifted another out of the box. The handles were made from of solid gold and encrusted with emerald while the metal part was made of pure silver.

"Where did you get these," she asked.

I lowered my eyes.
" Suleiman the Magnificent gifted them to my father and he presented them to my mother on their wedding day. It is my gift to your Graces for the kindness I have been shown. "

It hadn't been easy hiding them from the spies of Rome > my uncle would have confiscated them and melted them down.

I look up at them, lifting my chin higher.
" I know that I am unworthy of being the wife of the King and I know that His Holiness has promised my dowry .  But this," I indicated to the forks. " This is my gift to my future husband. It may not be worth all the riches in the world but it is very dear to me. "
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:10 am

I look towards Catherine following her words.

"They are a truly stunning gift my lady and i and my mother are most grateful that you have bought them to us."
I nod to the servant and he takes them to the kitchen.
"My dear Catherine you do not have to worry about your uncle for here in France i set the laws and he cannot keep controlling you.
"I do hope that the chambers i have arranged for you are to your liking Catherine for they are the royal guest chambers and you deserve them.

I then turn to my mother.
"Lady mother i did not like that attitude of Catherine's uncle and i do not trust him. I was wondering mother wether you could assign a man to watch him as i trust your men and i will be busy with court. Can you do this mother?"
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Claude of France on Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:41 am

I nod to my son.

" The Pope is quite powerful. However, it wasn't that long ago he was the prisoner of the Holy Roman Emperor.
So,he is not untouchable. I,too, do not care for his treatment or the tone of his words in his letters. I shall send    my best man from my personal guards to see to it. We shall know every move he makes. I shall also have someone watch Father Suarez. Priest though he may be, I do not trust him."

Catherine looked worried. " Oh, please," she implored. " I do not mean to cause trouble. Father Suarez will report everything to my uncle and then he will have Father Suarez carry out my punishment."

Henry looked at me, anger in his eyes.
I take Catherine's small hand in mine.
"I know not what punishments you endured in Rome, but this France. Our King does not take his leadership from Rome. You are safe here, little one," I say gently.

I turned and walked from the room.
At the doors to my bedchambers, I tell the captain of the guard to send for Vincent, my personal body guard.

I entered my room and sat at my writing desk to await him.
As usual, Vincent arrived.
He bowed to me and rasped, " You sent for me ,my Queen?"

I looked at him.
He stood over seven feet tall, with broad shoulders and thickly muscled arms and legs. His copper colored hair hung straight as an arrow past his shoulders.
One of his huge hands rested on the hilt of his sword , Widow-maker.
He was not handsome. A large jagged scar ran from his left eyebrow down to his cheek and his arms were also marked with numerous scars from daggers and swords.
A man with such a description would cause fear in most people.
But, it was his eyes that truly caused terror.
They were a deep, cold grey> the color of a churning sea and it was rare, if ever, those eyes showed warmth or compassion.

I smiled at him.
" Yes,Vincent, I did . As you know, the Lady Catherine has joined us for the time being. Her uncle, the Pope. has also sent a Father Suarez as her confessor and guardian. I will tell you know that I do not like nor trust him. I want you to watch him. Any correspondence he sends or receives should be confiscated , copied, and then given to him. The King and I want to make sure that he never alone with Catherine. And any threats he gives are to be reported immediately to the King and myself. I shall be sending Gaspard to Rome to keep an eye on the Pope. I trust him not."

Vincent said, in his deep rasping voice, " If the priest shall insist on being alone with her or in punishing her?"

" Should that happen, I give you leave to....remove him from the area and escort him to his chambers."


I help it up to the lit candle on the desk, setting it on fire. Once the flames caught, I dropped it into a bowl.

"This is what France thinks of your rules, Clement, " I said to the empty room.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Catherine of Medici on Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:08 am

Henry leads me to a bedchambers door.
With a knowing smile, he throws open the door and I walk inside.

The walls were covered dark,forest green tapestries , embroidered with scenes of of rose gardens.
The four poster bed and the curtains surrounding where the same dark green  > the bed was larger than my chamber in Rome.
The writing desk and  several chest were of the darkest mahogany .
Upon the desk were stacks of papers, quills, and salt.
Large opened windows allowed a gentle breeze to come in and the fireplace was made of marble.

In a corner sat a huge brass tub and on the table near it, several bottles of soaps and shampoos and bathing oils.
There was also a vanity with a large polished mirror while a another nearby table laden with solid silver hairbrushes, combs, and powders.

Next to the window was an easel with paints and charcoals on the shelf next to it.
"How did he know that I liked to draw and paint?," I thought to myself

I stood there, staring like the unrefined oaf Clement called me many times.

"Do you like your room, Catherine?," he asked.

I will never know what possessed me that day to act upon my feelings.
I threw my arms around his shoulders and hugged him close, no doubt scenting his clothes with the white rose perfume I wore.

" Like it?, " I asked incredulously . "Oh, my King, I love it !"
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:00 am

"I qm pleased you like them Catherine i had them prepared especially for your arrival and here in France you do not have to worry about any one controlling.
Here mother and i try have tried to create a unified France and you will make a superb queen for France."
I kiss her softly
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Catherine of Medici on Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:06 am

The days have flown by quickly.
At every turn, Henry and Claude have made sure that I have been treated like a Princess.

Each morning, Henry spends time with me before he begins his day of running a kingdom.
Queen Claude also includes me in her day-to-day duties. She says that it is in order to prepare me to being Queen.

My ladies have also enjoyed being here.
Gone are the sullen faces of the priests and staff of the Vatican.

Except for Father Suarez.

At every meal and at every turn, his small eyes glare at me.
Per Henry's decree, Father Suarez is not my confessor.  
Father Allemand is the Royal Confessor and he is so much kinder and more loving.
No sermons on the frailty of women and how we are last in God's love.


After breakfast , Henry and Claude retired to the King's study to speak with their ambassadors so I decided to dismiss my servants and peruse the library.

Henry's library was immense : I had always loved reading but my uncle was very strict on what he deemed was proper material.

I pulled a book from the shelf.
The book was on the life of  St. Paul and I thought it was be the perfect book to spend my time.
As I turn from the bookcase, Father Suarez was there.

I opened my mouth to scream in surprise, but he clamped his clammy hand across my mouth and pushed me against the wall.

His eyes were narrowed and wild.
" You may think that your King Henry can stop me from fulfilling my instructions from His Holiness but , like most women, you are stupid to believe so. I have sent letters to His Holiness, informing him of your brazen whorish ways and have suggested that he forbid the marriage and send for you to return."

I bit his hand and he pulled it away.
"Bitch," he hissed and he pulled his hand back.

I felt the slap across my left cheek and my head flung back.
Before I could catch my breath, he slapped the other check.
Then, everything went black.


As Vincent

The damned priest was able to elude me after breakfast by slipping out during Mass.
I searched for him in his room but it was empty.
The same for the salon and the gardens.
I stopped a passing page and said, "  Come with me, boy. I may need you to get into smaller  places."
The boy and search further until we reached the library. I could  hear a harsh tone and then a loud slap and a soft cry.
I looked at the boy.
" The King is in the Royal study. Run and tell him that I believe the Lady Catherine is being abused."

The boy took off running.
I yanked opened the doors to the library
 
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Claude of France on Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:15 am

Henry sat his desk, reading over the reports sent to him from Gaspard in Rome while I sat n a nearby loveseat.

" Henry, " I began. " We must take the steps to remove Suarez. Vincent has reported that he has been seen stalking some of the younger chambermaids. He also stalks Catherine until he sees Vincent. I do not trust him."

Henry looks up to answer when a young page runs into the room. His eyes are wide with fear.

Henry stands and walks to the boy.
"What is it, child," he asks gently, not wanting to scare the child more.

The boy's eyes fill with tears.
" He's hurting her, Your Majesty," he said . " He's hurting the Lady Catherine. "
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:24 am

"Hurting lady Catherine. Right that is it with him. Mother you are right we must take action against him."
I look to the boy.
"Dear boy please inform my guards at once to arrest that Father Suarez and have him taken to the dungeons and please deliver this to the lady Catherine."
I hand him a lovely sapphire necklace.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Claude of France on Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:23 am

The doors to room burst open and Vincent stormed in, dragging Suarez by the neck, with him.

" I found the bastard striking Lady Catherine, " he said grimly while all the while  Suarez was trying desperately to claw himself free from Vincenet's grip.

"I ...dem... demand... you release me, " the priest gasped.

Henry stood quickly and stood before the priest, his hands out to wrap around the priest's throat.

"Your Grace!," I yelled in order to stop him.
Henry stopped a mere inch from the priest, breathing hard as he tried to control his anger.
I placed my hand on his arm. " Catherine needs you now, " I said gently. " Do not sully your hands with this ...thing."

Henry nodded slightly then looked at Vincent.
"Where is she?"

Before Vincent could answer, Suarez rasped . " The whore shall ...be sent back to Rome ! Mark my words that she and France will rue the day....."

Before he could finish, Vincent shook him like a rag doll, silencing the priest and them looked at Henry. "I called for the Royal Guard to carry her to her chambers and sent for her maids and the doctor. He slapped her , with his fist, until she fainted."
Vincent, who had trained Henry with sword and dagger, looked at my son with a knowing look.

"Release him, " The King said and Vincent did slow. The priest stood on shaky legs but he stood and his small eyes glared at Henry.

"Father Suarez, " Henry said. " You are hereby arrested for the assault upon the Lady Catherine. You shall placed in the Cells at my pleasure. As of this very moment, you are persona non grata  and will remain so until I decide your punishment. "

The Cells : in the dungeons where there is no light or fresh air. Only the very worst of criminals were sent there.

He stepped closer to the priest and gone was the King and now it was just the man.
"Law requires that I weight the evidence. As King, I must follow this. But, as a man, I must follow my own self."

Then, Henry drew his fist back and it connected to the priest's nose.
Blood squirted and I could hear the bone and cartilage breaking.
The priest's hands went to his nose while Vincent grabbed him by the scruff.
Even I could see the pride in Vincent eyes as he asked," And what is Your  Grace's command ?"

Henry spit at the floor at the priest's feet.
" Take him to the Cells, Vincent.".

Henry turned to go but stopped to look at me. "I'm sorry, Marman.." He began.
Tears filled my eyes and I smiled and shook my head.
"No," I said. " You are in the right. My tears are because , in that moment, you reminded me of your father and I couldn't be more proud of you."

Henry kissed my cheek and quickly left the room to go to Catherine's chambers.

I looked at the priest with disgust.
"Take this filth out of my sight, Vincent."
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:58 am

I kissed my mother softly on the cheek then before i leave i speak to her.
"Whilst i am seeing to lady Catherine my lady mother perhaps for me you would like to start the punishment of that bastard by whipping him until he bleeds for what he has done" i whisper to her.
"I will return later but first I must write a couple of letters when i have seen to Catherine."
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Claude of France on Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:53 pm

I made my way down to The Cells, Vincent holding a torch and leading the way.
The guards had taken the priest down to The Cells and I was here to make sure he was punished accordingly.

As we made our entrance , I could see that the priest was tied to a pole, his back exposed.

I walked until I was in front and he could see me.

Dried blood stained his face from where Henry had punched him and his face was red with anger.

"I demand that I be released!," He shouted. "I am an envoy of His Holiness The Pope! "

" You are nothing more than a vile little man who hides behind his robes to hurt a young girl.," I said coldly.
" You are here because you dared to lay hands upon the betrothed of the King of France. King Henry rules France, not Clement."

Suarez struggled against the ropes to no avail.

"You bitch!," he screamed. " Pope Clement will excommunicate the entire country when he hears of this!"

Vincent moved closer but I held my hand up to stop him.
A bottle of wine sat at a nearby table along with a cat-o-nines.

I smiled at Vincent.
"Vincent, for every sip of wine you take, administer one lash to the prisoner."

Vincent smiled as I made my way to the door to leave.
I turned once more to smile at Vincent.
"And feel free to drink that entire bottle of wine. If you are still thirsty, send for another bottle."


As I walked up the stairs that lead me away from The Cells, I heard the brisk snap of the whip and the first scream of Suarez.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:22 pm

Later that evening i entered my mother's rooms with lady Catherine who was still crying and i go over to mother.

"I trust Vincent is carrying out my orders accordingly mother and how dare Suarez dare to even hurt my bride here.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Claude of France on Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:07 am

I held my arms out to Catherine and she rushed into them.
"Hush, now, little one, " I soothed her,stroking her hair. " No tears. You are safe here. No one shall ever hurt you again."

I looked at Henry. "Vincent is enjoying a bottle of wine. For every sip he takes, he's administering a lash to the priest."

Henry smiled. "And Vincent can down two bottles of wine in one sitting."

Catherine pulled back to look at Henry and I.
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Catherine of Medici on Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:05 am

I was so ashamed.
Suarez fist had left a bruise upon my cheek and caused it to swell.
After the guards had brought me to my chambers, I cried tears of shame.
I knew that the priest would condemn me to the King and the Dowager Queen.
Surely, I would be sent packing back to Rome and then Suarez would plead his case to marry me to a Prince of Spain.

My door had flung open and Henry strode in, his handsome face worried.
Ignoring my maids and what others might call inappropriate, Henry walked to the bed where I lay, sitting upon it.

" My heart," he said softly. " I'm so sorry that Suarez hurt you. Rest assured , he will hurt you no more."

Now, I sat in the Queen's salon with her holding me close.
I heard what Henry said about Vincent and I pulled away to look at them.

" His Holiness will be angry," I whispered. "Suarez said that he will tell my uncle that I have acted like....a.... whore for the King and that I will be called back to Rome."

Queen Claude smiled a gentle smile. "No, my child. You are home now. The King has made his choice for Queen and I. for one, could not be happier. You are already the daughter of my heart."
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Re: King's Reception Room

Post by Henry II of France on Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:30 am

I smile at Catherine.
"That is right my dear girl i have chosen to marry you and have you as my queen and from now on Catherine France will be your home.

Please do not worry about his holiness as no word will reach him.

You are safe here with us and you will be a fine queen. Your face must be stinging Catherine let me help you" i look towards the maids.
"Bring a bowl of hot water with some soap" i say to them.
As i thought of what i was going to say i then looked towards both mother and Catherine and then spoke.
"Mother can you send word throughout the kingdom on my behalf that a marriage is to take place?
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