Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Margaret of Anjou


Happy birthday to Margaret of Anjou, born on March 23, 1430! Margaret remains one of England's most controversial queens, about which myth and unsubstantiated rumor abounds. As it's her birthday, though, I'll share this charming story about her first meeting with her future husband, Henry VI:

"When the queen landed in England the king dressed himself as a squire, the Duke of Suffolk doing the same, and took her a letter which he said the King of England had written. When the queen read the letter the king took stock (amirò) of her, saying that a woman may be seen over well when she reads a letter, and the queen never found out that it was the king because she was so engrossed in reading the letter, and she never looked at the king in his squire's dress, who remained on his knees all the time. After the king had gone the Duke of Suffolk said: Most serene queen, what do you think of the squire who brought the letter? The queen replied: I did not notice him, as I was occupied in reading the letter he brought. The duke remarked: Most serene queen, the person dressed as a squire was the most serene King of England, and the queen was vexed at not having known it, because she had kept him on his knees. . . ."

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