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Queen Mary of England (Bloody Mary)

I doubt you were ever a happy woman.

To be born of parents who cordially disliked each other
Into a world where you were regarded as nothing
Is not a fate I would wish on any child.
To survive to see your parents divorce
Under circumstances which were
Conducive to happy family relationships
Would not have helped either.

A sister thirteen years younger than yourself
A brother sixteen years younger
And a throne to contend for.

A faith in exile
A life in seclusion
And the knowledge that your life was merely a political pawn.

I imagine you were content to see your brother take the throne
After all, he was the male heir
He had the right
And even you could not have disputed that.
The turning would have been when you were passed over
And the throne given to a mere cousin
By an ambitious connection of the family.
Those nine days
Must have been the crucible
Which forged your determination
To never again be denied of your birthright.

You'd learned the lessons of your father and grandfather well.
The Tudor way was never to allow a rival
Never allow there to be dissention
Or doubt
Or treachery.
Your sister, child of the woman who supplanted your mother
Was rapidly put out of the way
(Although, not quite far enough)
And you turned to your task
Of avenging the ills which had been done
Yourself and your mother, and your faith.

There must have been such a store of anger
Of rage and pain and hate
There within you
To earn you the sobriquet
Of "Bloody Mary".

10 April 1999

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