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The Royal Marriage

Chapter Fifty: Seeking an Alliance

“Scotland are seeking an alliance,” Fernando mused reading the letter that had arrived that morning, it had been several weeks since Princess Margaery had been born and things seemed to have settled down.

Iker had insisted that there be celebrations across the country for his youngest daughter; just as there had been for his other children in the days since they had been born.

The little princess was a most welcome addition to the royal nursery and Fernando was pleased to see that Iker had come back to himself after being lost to the grief of losing his mother.

“I have heard,” Iker replied with a frown, he knew that Scotland must be extremely desperate to write to him; he was sure he wasn’t the only Monarch to receive such a letter.

Queen Mary of Scotland was only a couple of weeks older than Margaery and Iker couldn’t imagine what that must be like; rumours were circulating that there were already disagreements on who should be regent.

The news of King James death had come as a surprise, he had only been twenty-nine and his daughter had been born only days before his death leaving Scotland with an infant Queen.

“They propose that the young Queen would make a perfect match for the Prince of Asturias,” Fernando continued, he worried what would happen if such a thing did happen or the young Queen became engaged to another prince.

Iker looked up from his paperwork and frowned, if they were writing to him then they must truly be worried; he was sure that Prince Edward of England would have been offered as a choice first before his own son.

France had no sons to offer of an appropriate age right now and it seemed strange that they would turn to Spain so quickly when the young Queen had only just been crowned.

“King Henry wishes to gain control of Scotland by forcing a marriage between his son and the young Queen,” Fernando stated with a frown, he couldn’t imagine that the English King was happy at being told no.

Iker set down his papers and looked at Fernando, he felt uneasy about the idea of the English threatening Scotland to get what they desired, he knew that King Henry wasn’t likely to back down until he had what he wanted.

He thought of his only son and frowned, Felipe was a fine boy and reports from his governess assured him that the young prince was a very bright young child.

It was hard to think of the fact that one day, Felipe would be King of Spain and would be in a situation like Iker was now; he would have to do what he thought best for his people.

Iker had known when he was a child that he was to be married to Katherine, they had been betrothed as children to unite the Kingdom of Spain and stop further war breaking out.

They had done that, and Iker couldn’t have imagined his life without her at one point, they had been married for twenty years and had two beautiful daughters to show for it.

Now he was married to Charlotte and she was now just as important to him as Katherine had been; the two Queen Consorts had shaped his reign in their own way.

It would be nice to know that his own son would have a wife that he could count on when he needed her like Iker had been able to do and still could.

The fact that his son could if he agreed to the alliance be a King Twice over, King Felipe II of Spain and Scotland; it would be a height that none before him had reached before.

“I must speak with the Queen,” Iker decided, he wouldn’t marry his son off without speaking to Charlotte first about this; this was a delicate subject that they couldn’t rush into.

***

“They wish to marry the young Queen to our son?” Charlotte questioned nervously, she didn’t know what to think of such a thing and she knew that things like this were done all the time around Europe.

She couldn’t imagine what position the young Queen was in and that she wasn’t much older than Margaery was right now; it was hard to think of her as anything but a child.

“They need forces to defend themselves against the English,” Iker confirmed sitting back and watching Charlotte, a smile on his face as he watched her move around her apartments.

She looked radiant since the birth of their daughter and Iker was pleased that she had recovered well from the birth; he was sure the princess would be the image of her mother.

Charlotte nodded her head, her blue eyes sweeping her room as she thought about betrothing their son at such a young age; he had only turned one back in October.

“It would put us at war with England,” Charlotte murmured turning to face her husband, she feared a war more than anything especially if it meant that Iker had to leave Spain to fight.

King James V of Scotland had died because he had been fighting against the English and now his infant daughter was Queen while the English continued to attack Scotland.

“We already have problems with England,” Iker mused with a shrug, he knew that King Henry was in the process of disposing of his fifth wife; a woman who was a distant cousin of Charlotte.

A fact that the English parliament weren’t pleased with, they were planning to execute Catherine Howard like they had done Anne Boleyn; both of whom were related to Charlotte and it was a slight against the English King that she was related to those who had betrayed him so.

Charlotte took a deep breath, she was forever glad that her mother had insisted that they live in Spain and her father serve here; she couldn’t imagine what her life would have been like at English court.

“What will you do?” Charlotte asked moving to sit down, she knew that Iker cared not for what the English thought and she very much doubted that with two healthy children in the nursery that he would divorce her.

There was nothing that the English could do about that without bringing down the full force of Spain on them; Iker had lost one wife, he would not risk losing another for anything.

“I will write to Scotland in agreement of an alliance,” Iker replied, alliances could shift at any moment so there were no guarantees that the alliance would hold until Felipe and Queen Mary were of a marriageable age.

He would only hope for the best and offer his help to Scotland to defend themselves against the forces of England that sort to take control of the country from the young Queen.

Charlotte nodded her head, she didn’t know how this would work and she knew that Mary of Guise would want what was best for her daughter; just like Charlotte wanted the best for her children.

She couldn’t imagine being in the same situation as Mary of Guise, she had lost her husband so soon after producing a healthy daughter who was now a Queen.

“Any news from the nursery?” Iker asked knowing that Margaery would have settled by now, he was sure that Felipe had been thrilled to welcome his baby sister into the nursery.

It made him think of the future and maybe adding another child or two to the royal nursery; his council were hopeful that Charlotte would perhaps give him another son soon.

Charlotte seemed to light up at the question and produced the letter that had arrived that morning from the nursery; she loved any news about her children that arrived.
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So Iker is agreeing to an alliance with Scotland... what will happen next?

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