It was a very experimental time in pop music. People realized songs didn’t have to be this standard drums-guitar-bass-whatever. We can make a song with synths and a drum pad. We can do group vocals the entire song. We can do so many different things. And I think what you saw happening with music was also happening in our culture, where people were just wearing whatever crazy colors they wanted to, because why not? There just seemed to be this energy about endless opportunities, endless possibilities, endless ways you could live your life. And so with this record, I thought, ‘There are no rules to this. I don’t need to use the same musicians I’ve used, or the same band, or the same producers, or the same formula. I can make whatever record I want.’
Mary I was the first Queen Regnant (that is, a queen reigning in her own right rather than a queen through marriage to a king). Courageous and stubborn, her character was moulded by her early years.
An Act of Parliament in 1533 had declared her illegitimate and removed her from the succession to the throne (she was reinstated in 1544, but her half-brother Edward removed her from the succession once more shortly before his death), whilst she was pressurised to give up the Mass and acknowledge the English Protestant Church.
Mary restored papal supremacy in England, abandoned the title of Supreme Head of the Church, reintroduced Roman Catholic bishops and began the slow reintroduction of monastic orders.
Mary also revived the old heresy laws to secure the religious conversion of the country; heresy was regarded as a religious and civil offence amounting to treason (to believe in a different religion from the Sovereign was an act of defiance and disloyalty).
As a result, around 300 Protestant heretics were burnt in three years - apart from eminent Protestant clergy such as Cranmer (a former archbishop and author of two Books of Common Prayer), Latimer and Ridley, these heretics were mostly poor and self-taught people.
Apart from making Mary deeply unpopular, such treatment demonstrated that people were prepared to die for the Protestant settlement established in Henry’s reign.
The progress of Mary’s conversion of the country was also limited by the vested interests of the aristocracy and gentry who had bought the monastic lands sold off after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and who refused to return these possessions voluntarily as Mary invited them to do.
Aged 37 at her accession, Mary wished to marry and have children, thus leaving a Catholic heir to consolidate her religious reforms, and removing her half-sister Elizabeth (a focus for Protestant opposition) from direct succession.
Mary’s decision to marry Philip, King of Spain from 1556, in 1554 was very unpopular; the protest from the Commons prompted Mary’s reply that Parliament was ‘not accustomed to use such language to the Kings of England’ and that in her marriage ‘she would choose as God inspired her’.
The marriage was childless, Philip spent most of it on the continent, England obtained no share in the Spanish monopolies in New World trade and the alliance with Spain dragged England into a war with France.
Popular discontent grew when Calais, the last vestige of England’s possessions in France dating from William the Conqueror’s time, was captured by the French in 1558.
Dogged by ill health, Mary died later that year, possibly from cancer, leaving the crown to her half-sister Elizabeth
Royalty Meme ♛ [1/5] Royal Siblings
↳ The three “Sons of York” (Edward IV; George, Duke of Clarence; and Richard III)
Edward, George, and Richard Plantagenet were the sons of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville. They inherited strong genealogical claims to the throne of England from both of their parents. When their father died in 1460, they became the primary claimants of the House of York. After the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross in early 1461, Edward saw a vision of thee suns in the sky, which he believed symbolized himself and his two surviving brothers.*
Edward became king in 1461 when his brothers were still quite young (George was 11 and Richard just 8). He soon invested them with handsome titles and estates: George became the Duke of Clarence and Richard, the Duke of Gloucester and Governor of the North.
George and his father-in-law, the Earl of Warwick, supported an an uprising against Edward in 1470, but ultimately, he returned to Edward’s side and was given a full pardon. During the rebellion—which temporarily restored Henry VI to the throne—Richard went into exile with Edward. He later proved both his military skill and his loyalty to Edward in the Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury.
Tensions boiled over once more, however, after the death of George’s wife. He again plotted against Edward. and was finally convicted of treason. Despite the fact that Richard pleaded for his life, he was executed in the Tower in 1478.
Five years later, in the spring of 1483, Edward fell gravely ill. Prior to his death, he entrusted the care of his twelve-year-old son to Richard. However, the boy had been raised by his mother’s family. The clashing wishes of the late king and the dowager queen caused a further escalation of familial and political tension. That summer, Parliament declared Edward IV’s marriage invalid and his children illegitimate, leaving Richard to claim his throne.
Richard’s brief reign was remarkably successful but fraught with upheaval. He successfully put down an uprising in 1483, but was defeated and killed by Henry Tudor’s forces at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. His death effectively ended the Wars of the Roses—and the Yorkist dynasty—as the fate of Edward IV’s sons remains unknown to this day.
*The second of the Yorks’ four sons, Edmund, was executed after the Battle of Wakefield in 1460.
Royalty Meme ♛ [1/7] Pairings
↳ Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette
Maria Antonia, the daughter of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, became the Dauphine of France when she married Louis Auguste, grandson of Louis XV, in 1770. The marriage was intended to cement an alliance between Austria and France and was somewhat unpopular at the French court. Though Antoinette was sweet and charming, her new husband was shy and somewhat reserved. Despite their striking differences—Louis was tall, bookish, and introverted while Antoinette was petite, fun-loving and personable—they eventually became close friends.
In 1774, Louis Auguste was crowned Louis XVI after his grandfather died. Though the new king and queen’s relationship was an affectionate one, it would still be nearly three years before the marriage was finally consummated. In 1778, Antoinette gave birth to their first child, a daughter they named Marie-Therese Charlotte. They went on to have three more children—two sons, Louis Joseph and Louis Charles, and a short-lived daughter, Sophie-Helene Beatrice. Both Louis and Antoinette were devoted parents. Though Antoinette’s sex life was the source of much gossip and speculation, most evidence suggests that she and Louis were loving, faithful partners.
In the summer of 1789, the Dauphin Louis Joseph died shortly before the storming of the Bastille. Though his parents were devastated, they were now in the midst of revolution. That fall, the royal family was forced to move from Versailles to Paris. Desperate to regain control of the country, they attempted to flee to Austria in 1791, but were stopped in Varennes near the border. The remaining goodwill of their people dissolved. What remained of Louis’ royal power also dissolved over the course of the next year and a half, leaving his family veritable prisoners in Paris.
The National Convention declared an end to the monarchy in the fall of 1792. Shortly thereafter, he taken from from his wife and children and put on trial for treason. He was found guilty and executed by guillotine in January the following year. Antoinette, whose health was failing and who was now called the “Widow Capet,” was devastated by his death. Her children were separated from her during the summer of 1793, and in October, she was also put on trial for treason. She, like her husband, was executed just days after the trial.
Royalty Meme ♛ [1/8] Royal Children
↳ Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Margaret was the eldest surviving child of George, Duke of Clarence and Isabel Neville. Her mother died when she was three years old, and her father was executed for treason two years later, leaving Margaret and her brother Edward in the care of her aunt, Anne Neville, After the deaths of Anne and her uncle, Richard III, Margaret became one of the last Plantagenet survivors of the Wars of the Roses. The new king, Henry VII, married her to his cousin Richard Pole to neutralize her as a potential political threat. (Her brother Edward was eventually executed in 1499.) She later served Katherine of Aragon during her brief tenure as Princess of Wales.
Margaret had five children by Richard. His death in 1504, however, left her nearly destitute. When Henry VIII took the throne, however, Margaret again became the now-Queen Katherine’s lady-in-waiting. Parliament restored her to the earldom of Salisbury and made her a countess. She became a wealthy patroness of Renaissance scholarship and, in 1520, she became Princess Mary’s governess.
By 1538, however, Margaret had fallen out of favor once again. She was a devout Catholic and had been a staunch and vocal supporter of Queen Katherine and Princess Mary. Despite her advanced age, her Plantagenet blood made the increasingly paranoid Henry VIII see her as a threat. She was stripped of her land and titles and imprisoned, along with her grandson Henry, in the Tower of London in 1539, where would spend the last two years of her life.
Margaret was finally sentenced to death in 1541, despite being by then a frail and elderly woman. Her execution was a grisly, botched affair. She was buried in the Tower chapel. In the nineteenth century, she was later beatified as a Catholic martyr by Pope Leo XIII.