The above letter is from Princess Elizabeth ( later to be Elizabeth 1st ) to her brother, Edward VI of England wishing him a happy reign, wise in days and years; fruitful and wealthy in friendship and children and the love of his loyal subjects.

None of which came to pass. Edward died in 1553 at the tender age of sixteen, as the dark sins of the father came home to roost on the family escutcheon big time.

Elizabeth wafted in and out of favour with alarming regularity before she finally became the last Tudor standing as Queen after her sister Mary`s death in 1558. To be out in the cold at the court of the Tudors was a dangerous position to be in – even for a princess of royal blood: Elizabeth had to do everything she could to keep herself beyond the clutches of her enemies, and in the good graces of her brother and sister to survive; one such way was to write charming letters ingratiating herself into her sibling`s thoughts, to nullify any fears of insurrection, and to promote herself as the most enthusiastic of their subjects. It was a titanic game of chess: to lose was to lose her life.

It worked for her.

They died, and she lived to become Queen Bee.



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