Queen of This Realm, стр. 145

On that occasion my father gave Franois a valuable jeweled collar, and Francois responded by giving him a bracelet of even greater value. That was how it was at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Each king had to outdo the other; and because of the shift in interests, because of the wily and unpredictable games they played, very soon it became clear to both participants that the entire venture had been an enormous waste of time and riches.

When my mother returned from France, young as I was, I detected that she was not happy. I understood later that she did not like the French; she did not trust Franois—and how right she was proved to be in that. Moreover, she had been most uneasy because the entire farce of the Field of the Cloth of Gold had been an act of defiance against the Emperor Charles. My mother was Spanish and, although she was devoted to my father, she could not forget her native land. She had loved her mother as passionately as I was to love her and she me. It could not give her any pleasure, considering her strong family feeling, to witness her husband joining up with an ally in order to stand against her own nephew.

At this time there were three men of power astride Europe; they were Franois Premier of France, Charles, Emperor, the ruler of Spain, Austria and the Netherlands, and my father, the King of England. They were all more or less the same age—young, ambitious, determined to outdo each other. There was a similarity between Franois and my father; Charles was different. Not for him the extravagances, the lavish banquets, the splendid tournaments, the glittering garments. He was quiet and serious.

My mother was torn between husband and nephew. It grieved her greatly to think of them as enemies. She could not, of course, explain this to me at that time.

When my parents returned from France, after a short stay with them I went back to Ditton Park; but the following Christmas I was with them. Although I dearly loved the Countess of Salisbury, Lady Bryan and all my household, I looked forward with great pleasure to being with my parents. My father was such a glittering figure, and it delighted me, even at that early age, to see how he inspired a certain awe in everyone near him; even the greatest men, like the Cardinal, whom all respected and feared, bowed to my father. He had a loud laugh and when he was merry his face would light up with joy and everyone around him would be happy. I had seen him, though rarely, in a less than merry mood. Then his eyes would be like two little points of blue ice and his mouth would be such a small thin line that I thought it would disappear altogether. A terrible fear would descend on the company, and it appeared to me that everyone would try to shrink out of sight. It was awesome and terrible. Someone usually hurried me out of the way at such times.

So, while I worshipped him, I did experience a little fear even in those days. But that only made him the more godlike.

COPYRIGHT

Copyright © 1984 by Jean Plaidy

All rights reserved.

Published by Three Rivers Press, New York, New York.

Member of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

www.crownpublishing.com

THREE RIVERS PRESS is a registered trademark and the Three Rivers Press colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Plaidy, Jean, 1906–1993.

Queen of this realm.

Includes bibliography.

1. Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533–1603—Fiction. I. Title.

PR6015.13Q44 1985 823'.914 84-17896

eISBN: 978-0307497451

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