Since that carnival things had gone from bad to worse (дела шли все хуже и хуже . The princess was sent away from London and the King didn't invite her to come again. She wasn't called the Princess of Wales anymore, and we had to move to a smaller castle. She asked me about these changes, but I told her nothing, though I knew the truth. My friends at court wrote to me regularly.
"The King is madly in love with Anne Boleyn. He went to her castle and spent a week with her family. He wrote a sonnet for her. She wants to become his wife and the Queen of England," one letter said. "Nobody sees Queen Catherine anymore. Anne Boleyn always sits next to the King," I read in another letter. And finally I learnt that the King was trying to get a divorce from Queen Catherine. The only problem for the King was the powerful relatives of his wife. They wrote to the Pope in Rome and he refused the King a divorce. That was good news. What could the King do against the Pope?
One day we were told that the King was going to visit us. That was a surprise: the King hadn't visited his daughter for years. He even forgot to send money for new clothes. The night before the visit Mary couldn't sleep. "Why doesn't my father talk to me? What have I done wrong?" she asked. "It's because you're not a boy, Mary," I sighed, "The King doesn't believe that a woman can rule England." "It's not fair," Mary said, "No, it's not, but your father is thinking about England, not you. Not long ago there was a terrible war in England, the War of the Roses. It started because the last king hadn't left an heir. The War of the Roses continued for thirty years. Your grandfather ended that war and became a strong king, your father is also strong and he needs a strong son to rule England," I explained.
Next morning the King arrived, but he came with Anne Boleyn! When Mary saw that, her eyes filled with tears, but she was a princess and said nothing. The King took his daughter to another room for a private talk.
Later she told me everything. The King told her that he wanted to divorce her mother. He said that their marriage was not right because Catherine had been his brother's wife. "That was against God's law," he said, "That's why I didn't have any sons. This marriage is cursed."
"But what will happen to me, Father?" Mary asked. The King looked away. "If the marriage was not right, you can't be a real princess, Mary. I'm sorry," he sighed.
"So you're making me a bastard, your Majesty?" she said calmly.
"What does it matter to you?" the King shouted, "You're a useless girl and will never rule England. I need a son and I'll have what I want!" he shouted. "I'll never agree to that! I am your daughter and one day I will be queen," Mary answered proudly, but the King was already gone.
Seven years passed. Mary had no money, the castle where she lived was almost a ruin, but she was still a princess. The King had been trying everything to get a divorce from Catherine, but the only (единственный) person who could Sir Thomas More) decide, the Pope in Rome, said "No."
In the end nothing mattered for the King anymore. He divorced Catherine and married Anne Boleyn. When the Pope found out, Henry was excommunicated. Then the King declared himself the head of the church in his own country. England was not a Catholic country anymore. Henry called his new church the Church of England. The people didn't like the new religion and hated Anne, but anyone who didn't agree with the King was executed.
It was all done for the love of Anne Boleyn. The King had promised to marry her and he kept his word. Anne was crowned Queen of England. Three months later she gave birth to a child... The news brought a smile to Mary's pale face for the first time in many years. The child was a girl.
Soon after her half-sister was born, the Princess was sent for. The King's messenger Lord Norfolk was very rude: "Lady Mary is not a princess anymore, she's a bastard," he said. "There is only one princess in England: Elizabeth, the Princess of Wales. Queen Anne is very kind to Lady Mary: Mary will be a servant for her daughter, Elizabeth. She must pack her things and go with me. Because she's now a servant herself, her ladies-in-waiting can't go with her."
Lord Norfolk took Mary away, and I didn't have time to talk to her. I heard that she was at Hatfield House and Anne Boleyn's relatives were horrible to her (ужасно относились к ней) and made her do the dirtiest work. But that didn't worry me as much as the news from London, from the court.
My world and the world of thousands of other people was falling apart. The King was becoming a monster. All the good that was in him had gone. It was all Anne Boleyn's fault. She had taken away our kind, handsome knight.
The King wrote a paper, which everybody had to sign. He called it a double oath. People had to agree that the King was the head of the Church of England and that the children of Anne Boleyn were the only heirs to the English throne. Those who refused to sign were executed. One of them was Sir Thomas More, the King's best friend and advisor. Mary was the only person who hadn't signed it and was still alive.
But I felt that Mary's life was in danger and I was right. The King himself was going to Hatfield House to visit Princess Elizabeth and talk to Mary about the double oath. This time he might forget that she was his daughter. Only my father's ring could protect Mary. I had to find a way to give it to her.
I couldn't get into a house where everybody knew my face, so I sent the ring with a reliable friend. I also wrote a short note "Wear it until you see me again". After the letter was sent, I went to a little village near Hatfield. I wanted to be sure that Mary was alive.
Two days later I saw her. She was playing in the fields with a little girl. When I came up, I couldn't believe my eyes. Mary looked well and even happy. "I got your message and the ring," she said and smiled. "I put your ring on and felt happy and safe. Then I signed that stupid paper. I didn't want to sign, but something told me to do it. At first I felt awful about it. I thought that I had given up my last chance to wear the crown
of England. But then I understood that there is always hope as long as you are alive. And I am alive, so I still may become queen one day."
Suddenly Mary was interrupted: "I will be queen! I will be queen!" A little girl was running towards us. "That's my sister Elizabeth," Mary said proudly. "She is the Princess of Wales, but I don't care. (Это не имеет значения.) I love her. She is so beautiful, isn't she?" I turned to the little princess. Did she remind me of her father... or her mother? The girl was looking at me with her bright blue eyes and her beautiful golden hair was shining in the sun. And then I remembered: "The girl with beautiful red hair... the sun behind the girl..." That was the girl from the horoscope. I had made a terrible mistake. All my life I had been helping the wrong princess.
I knew that I had to do something, but I couldn't. Mary was my best friend. I went back to Scotland and gave the ring to my younger brother. He asked me to live with him, but I refused. I built a little cottage in an ancient forest where my Druid ancestors used to live. But if you think that I found peace there, you're making a mistake. I tried to forget everything, but the magic trees told me the stories which I didn't want to hear. At first there were storms and rain in my forest.
I saw Anne Boleyn. ...She was in terrible pain... her baby son died. I saw the King's angry face. He didn't love Anne Boleyn anymore and wanted to get rid of her. She was accused of adultery (ее обвинили в измене мужу) and executed. The King wanted to forget about that wife: Princess Elizabeth was declared a bastard as well as (так же, как) Mary.
Then I saw the King again. He was happy and in love. He married the queen's lady-in-waiting, Jane Seymour, just twelve days
after Anne Boleyn's execution. I saw Jane Seymour. She was nice and kind. Then I saw their son Edward. Finally, the King had what he wanted. And then the trees in my forest cried. Jane died.
King Henry married three more times (еще три раза , but his marriages didn't last long. He quickly divorced his fourth wife, a German princess called Anne of Cleves, because he didn't like her. His fifth wife, Catherine Howard, was Anne Boleyn's cousin, but she was too young and beautiful for him. The King was old and jealous. Catherine was accused of adultery and executed like Anne Boleyn. Henry's sixth wife, Catherine Parr, looked after him like a mother and he died in her hands.
After that I finally had some peace in my forest. I saw Prince Edward... he became king. He was only ten, but clever and kind. He looked after his people and opened schools for the poor. He loved both his sisters, Elizabeth and Mary and all of them were great friends. But one day all the leaves on my trees turned yellow. Edward died.
After Edward, Mary had become queen. She was 37. In the beginning she was fair and popular with her people. She was a Catholic, but she was ready to compromise with the Church of England too. Then things started to change. The next five years were the worst time in my life. The magic trees cried and groaned, and the ground was covered with blood. Mary became the worst queen England had ever had. People who refused to become Catholics were burnt at the stake. There were thousands and thousands of them. Like a maniac (подобно маньяку) Mary was trying to turn the clock back and wipe out the memory of her father Henry and Anne Boleyn.
Mary forgot her friendship with Elizabeth. She didn't trust her sister and thought that Elizabeth wanted to be queen. Elizabeth was put in the Tower of London.
One day I heard Mary's voice. She was calling me. I had to go and see her, that's why I was in Greenwich Palace on that grey, gloomy morning, 16 November 1558..."
The council waited by the Queen's bed. She opened her eyes, saw me and smiled. "The heir," she said quietly. "Of course, gentlemen. Let it be Elizabeth... My SISTER."