The story behind the story……………..
I have long been intrigued and fascinated by Elizabeth 1st and would have loved to have been able to ‘get inside her head’ at certain points in her life. So an interview with Elizabeth is my attempt to do just that.
So without further ado:
An interview with Elizabeth 1st
“So your majesty, or can I call you Elizabeth?”
I imagine that her reply would be no, I imagine Elizabeth would still want all the proper protocols, rites and procedures fully observed. So why would she then agree to an interview, with a ‘lowly’ scribbler?
Maybe from curiosity, but mainly I suspect to meet her own ends, like her father Elizabeth was highly ‘political’ and more than capable of playing the game. So in our modern day terms, she would I think be looking to ‘spin’ a certain tale, present herself in the best possible light.
“Your majesty, will do.”
Elizabeth is in full regalia, this ‘scribbler’ would not be allowed to get too comfortable with the queen’s person. She would want him to record the scene, the splendour and the fact that the people’s queen was accessible up to a point to her ‘subjects’.
By now Elizabeth is a few years into her reign, and quite probably in the market for a ‘husband’ or at least appear to be so.
“So, your majesty, I think your ‘subjects’ the people would like to know, a little of the daily life of their most illustrious queen.”
The scribbler, whose publication is known as the ‘Quill and Ink’, would quickly realise that overblown flattery is more likely to get him what he wants. Better to build some rapport first and see if he can get some more interesting and personal facts later. Best give her majesty an opportunity to relax and settle into the interview.
“My day, is one of work, prayer, discipline and statecraft.”
Announces Elizabeth, a little pompously.
“I am completely devoted to protecting my realm. Maintaining peace and stability in this day and age is no mean feat, and one that requires my constant attention and focus every day.”
Perhaps by now the ‘scribbler’ is worried about just how tedious this interview could be. How can he spice things up a bit? Describing the surroundings the splendour, the dress, the jewels is all very well, but what he really wanted was the ‘inside scoop’ on the queen herself.
So he takes a big risk, he has done his homework and followed the queen’s life from princess to queen and is aware that her ‘beloved’ servant, companion and trusted friend has very recently passed away.
So he takes a breath, because what he is about to do, is highly presumptuous and dangerous:
“Your majesty, I am deeply sorry to hear about Kat .”
He pauses, he dare not stare directly at the queen.
He can feel her anger at his presumption, but then something else. In some ways like her father, Elizabeth’s emotions change quickly and can sway with the wind.
“Kat was a good and faithful servant.”
Elizabeth isn’t going to be drawn any more than this or so she thinks, so the scribbler takes another risk.
“I have followed your ‘career’ with love and concern over the years, I admire the way you lead and rule. Forgive me your majesty, but I truly admire courage and I have always admired the courage you showed in your early days as queen. We could learn so much from this time and perspective”
“What would you say to that young queen?”
He holds his breath, wondering if he is going to spend a night or two in the ‘Tower’.
But to his surprise, Elizabeth simply sighs and closes her eyes for a moment.
“Oh yes”, she murmurs. “What indeed would I say to that young queen?”
The scribbler dare say nothing he can feel he is on the edge of something. He doesn’t want to break the spell, lest he lose her.
“Kat, was one of my rocks, my haven in difficult times. I would say know your friends, know the people you can really trust. But know your enemies even more and keep them close.”
From the change in her tone and stance, the scribbler can tell that he will get no more from her this day.
“You are dismissed, be sure to leave your ‘scribblings’ with my adviser before it is circulated. I want to enjoy what you write before my people do.”
And with this, the scribbler, bows and walks backwards from her presence.
I’ll be back he thinks