Anne felt increasingly uncomfortable as the period of official mourning for King Edward came to an end and the date of her husband’s coronation—and hers—drew nearer. It had been nearly two months and England was ready to rise up from the ashes of civil war and a dead king; they had had their share of gloom, though they mourned Edward in their own way. Richard was not as popular as Edward had been, especially in the south, but London had embraced him, at least.

The dowager queen did not make things any easier. She insisted she would still be Anne’s friend through thick and thin, pretended that she was happy for her, but Anne saw her dark looks, the way she eyed little Edward, as if she thought he should be her son, not Anne’s, and thus the king in place of Richard.

But there were plans to be made and she was making them. One thing that was especially frustrating, however, was her coronation gown. It would be made of cloth of gold, naturally, but the dressmaker wanted ti to be looser than did Anne.

Finally, one day, two weeks before they were due to be crowned, she marched into Edward’s rooms looking glum. Her arms were crossed over her chest and she observed him with a look that was almost accusatory.

“I hope you are pleased with yourself, Your Majesty,” she murmured in a cool voice.