The Flanders Mare

My brother assured me I would be happy in my new marriage, that this marriage will make all of Germany happy, too.

He told me my mission is to plant the seed of our Lutheran faith in my new country. But how will I be able to do this, I asked, when I don’t even speak the language? He responded by reminding me that the king chose me based on my portrait, not my intelligence. I smiled at this but inside I cringed.

I don’t want to be valued for whatever beauty I might possess because I know it will not last forever. I’d rather be valued for my thoughts and opinions. But I know there is no point arguing with my brother. Besides, I am in England married to an English king now and far away from the assurances of my brother.

The one thing he did not advise me on was what to do if my husband detested me on sight or became repulsed by my very smell. I’ve heard he calls me “the Flanders Mare.”

Meanwhile the ghosts of his previous wives haunt my dreams, reminding me of the importance of staying in the king’s favor.

The End

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