Anne had not been accustomed to feasting on a regular basis in Cleves. Accordingly, the first few days at Richmond were trying for her. It seemed that just when her bloated belly began to be relieved its pressure, more food was placed in front of her. While Anne was eager to increase her girth so as to please the King, it was becoming very trying for her to continually stuff herself. The indulgence itself was at odds with the austere Protestantism that she had been raised. Anne knew that she could not persist in such ways. England and the royal court of Henry VIII might have been Protestant in name, but it was far from it in practice. The court with its masques, pageants, and feasts was still linked to the opulence of Catholicism, even if it refused to acknowledge the authority of the Bishop of Rome.
Throughout her early trials, Lady Suffolk and Lady Edgecombe were both supportive of the Queen. "You are doing admirably," Lady Edgecombe said to the Queen after five days of her fattening regimen, "I am sure that the King will be very pleased if you continue your progress."
Anne simply smiled as she took a large bit out of a drumstick of turkey.
The Queen had not been a petite woman to begin with, nor had she been a large woman. Though she was built broadly, she was still fit. It made her body like a canvass on which a masterpiece was to be painted. Admittedly, the changes came only slowly at first, which frustrated and worried the Queen. After a week with only the barest softening of the belly, Anne was near tears.
"Will the King kill me if I displease him?" Anne said.
"His Majesty is kind and generous," Lady Suffolk reassured the Queen, "He would never do a thing. We have months yet and you will not gain weight all in the first week."
Though the Queen was being slowly introduced to the English style of dress, Lady Suffolk had decreed that the Queen should be fitted with loose garments to ensure that her growth should not be hindered by tight lacings and other such devices. It also allowed the servants and noblewomen at Richmond to accurately assess Anne's progress as she continued to stuff herself.
By the end of the second week, it was more than clear that Anne was beginning to sport some extra pounds about the belly, though not many. Had an uninformed observer walked into Richmond Palace, they would have mistaken the broad grin on the Queen's face and the many compliments paid to the small bulge at the Queen's belly to be related to a royal pregnancy, not newly gained weight. Still, Anne was far from satisfied with such minimal gains and she continued to plow through all of the delectable delights placed in front of her.
Thomas Cromwell was beginning to suspect that something was up. The Queen had been removed with haste from Whitehall to Richmond Palace where she was not receiving any visitors, ostensibly for the sake of her health. However, Cromwell had learned that none of the royal physicians had been sent to Richmond to observe the Queen. Though Henry wished to be rid of his wife, Cromwell knew he was not so cruel as to allow her to die out of sight and out of mind. Furthermore, it had been brought to Cromwell's attention that a number of servants had been transferred from Whitehall to Richmond to see to the Queen's needsmuch more than would have normally required. Cromwell suspected that something was afoot, but he did not know what.
The only reliable source of information that Cromwell had was the King, and he had remained mum on the subject. "The Queen is recuperating from the strain of her journey and the excitement of the marriage festivities while she adjusts to our fair English clime. My physicians have informed me that it is of the greatest importance that the Queen be allowed to recover without being disturbed," Henry informed Cromwell, who privately did not accept the King's explanation. However, Henry knew how to keep his Chancellor from becoming too nosy. "After all, Mr. Cromwell, we would not want to do anything to endanger the Queen's life after you have worked so hard to procure her brother's friendship to England, would we?"
Cromwell could only admit that the King spoke wisely and withdraw without any further comment.
To add further exasperation, the Duke of Suffolk seemed to be rather pleased with himself as of late, though not inordinately so. The Chancellor would have preferred that the Duke be smug because it would mean that he was overconfident. The fact that the Duke was happy yet still retained enough sense to be cautious meant that he was definitely up to something. It worried Cromwell, for Charles Brandon had never been a strong supporter of the Reformation, though he had never spoken against it. Cromwell had never believed very much in coincidences, which made him all the more suspicious, not to mention determined to get to the bottom of things.
It was after a Privy Council meeting that Cromwell was able to detain the Duke for a moment of private conversation. "Your Grace, did I hear something about the Lady Suffolk being a frequent visitor to Richmond Palace of late?" Cromwell asked.
"I did not know that the comings and goings of my wife were affairs of state, Mr. Cromwell," Charles said, emphasizing the fact that Cromwell was not nobility, unlike Brandon and many others on the Privy Council.
"I merely wondered if you were privy to any information regarding the condition of Her Majesty the Queen, for whom we all adore and have the highest concern," Cromwell said as casually as possible.
"It is my understanding that His Majesty would be the most informed as to the Queen's current disposition as her husband. I am sure that the King will keep you as abreast as is required for the execution of your duties," Brandon said, "Good day, Mr. Cromwell."
"Good day, your Grace," Cromwell said bowing slightly as the Duke left the room. Though he maintained his formal manner, the Chancellor was furious that he had been so deftly outmaneuvered.
At the end of a month and a half, Anne's efforts were showing up all over. The Queen had become markedly chubby in almost every aspect from her constant culinary consumption. Anne had developed a noticeable pot belly from so many extra calories. When retiring for bed, Anne would marvel at her new tummy, often poking it to see how much she was softening up. Her once slender hips were now beginning to flare outwards and undeniably resemble those of a woman. Anne's ass was also noticeably larger than previously, which was no surprise considering how much time she spent on it these days. Accordingly, Anne's thighs were softening up and spreading outwards. Naturally, the Queen's breasts had also grown in size. Anne's boobs had started out sized like apples but had now become handfuls while still small enough to be pert and bouncy. They earned the jealousy of a few of the ladies-in-waiting who were less well endowed. Her face was also beginning to round out slightly and it was vastly improved by the fact that Anne's cheeks were just the slightest bit chubbier. When Anne smiled, she looked "exceedingly pretty" as Lady Suffolk told the Queen.
Each new pound was a joy for Anne. With nothing to do for an entire month but sit and stuff her face full of food it was no surprise that Anne's weight was marching upward. The day that Lady Suffolk informed the Queen that her dresses had to be let out, Anne wept with tears of joy.
To further assist the Queen's enlargement, Lady Suffolk and Lady Edgecombe had decided early on that dancing lessons were no longer needed in the Queen's curriculum. Ever since Henry had grown obese, dancing had ceased to be a part of his activities at court, making it highly unlikely that the Queen would be required to know the complex dances favored at court. Furthermore, the two noblewomen determined that dancing was too great a physical exertion for the Queen to continue indulging in. It would only hinder the ultimate goal of the Queen's expansion. Anne, for her part, thought that made things much simpler and was very pleased that she had more time with which to eat and practice her English.
After a month, it was taking more and more food to fill up Anne's belly, which the servants and noblewomen noted with pleasure. When the Queen had first come to Richmond, the cooks were pumping out so much food that it was impossible for her to eat it all. The circumstance had been dismaying for Anne, who felt like she was barely making progress. Accordingly, Lady Edgecombe had instructed the kitchen to reduce their output to a more manageable levelthough still producing enough delicacies to make sure the Queen was completely full at the end of her meals. Over the last month the cooks had been slowly making more and more dishes for the Queen and had gotten back to a pretty good pace to satisfy the Queen's grumbling tummy. The Queen had even progressed from three meals a day to four, a fact of which she was inordinately proud.
The drinking water in England was notoriously unsafe, so Anne was given a pint of good English ale with each meal. The kitchen had seen to it that the Queen was provided with the King's favorite draughts. Though Anne had never tasted ale before as the court at Cleves thought it an "unwomanly drink", her first sip awakened a love of ale within the young German woman.
"This is most wonderful!" Anne declared with satisfaction, "I approve of His Majesty's taste most heartily!"
Everyone at Richmond Palace also approved of the empty calories that were going straight to the Queen's belly as a result of so much ale accompanying her meals. When Charles Brandon visited to examine the Queen's progress he was surprised to discover that Queen Anne could hold her liquor much better than other women he knew.
When the Duke queried the Queen about itafter they had both had a few pints between themAnne told him that, "In the Rhineland where I am from, we produce a most wonderful beverage that is called Rhine wine. It is always at table at any occasion in Cleves, for it is the one luxury we allow ourselves, even the women. We know how to hold our spirits in Cleves, your Grace."
Charles smiled by way of response. At this rate it seemed Henry would be quite pleased with his wife when Charles returned his wife to him.
"Charles, I grow impatient regarding the Queen," Henry said to the Duke two months later, "You report continual progress on the Queen's part, but give me no further specifics. It tries my patience Charles."
Brandon knew that Henry was not a man who liked being denied what he wanted. He also knew that Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour had secured their marriages to the King by withholding what Henry had wantednamely, sexuntil they got they wanted. Charles had expected that the King would become impatient and planned ahead.
"While the Queen does progress, it would be unfair to Her Majesty if you were to see her while she is still in the middle of the process," Charles said, having resolved upon this response a number of weeks ago.
"But people at court are beginning to worry. They say that the Queen is not merely ill. In fact, they fear I have had her secretly executed," Henry said, "These rumors are most injurious and must be dispelled instantly for the good of the kingdom. It is imperative that I am able to personally debunk them."
Charles mentally cursed himself for not having thought of such a thing sooner. The King was a wily man and Charles should have known that one rebuff would not have been enough to placate him. He had to think fastand in doing so he came up with a very pleasing solution.
"Such rumors are not only blatantly false, but malicious. Your Majesty is right to quash them immediately," Charles said, "But if Your Majesty was to view the Queen before the end of her program, it would make all for naught. Since that is the case, might I suggest a suitable replacement who could see the Queen and whose report would be beyond reproach?"
After listening to the Duke's suggestion Henry smiled. "I agree. She would be a most perfect substitute for my presence."
Mary Tudor, the eldest child of the Henry, was not pleased that she had been ordered to Richmond to see the Queen. For starters, Mary was not very interested in meeting yet another wife of the King's. Anne Boleyn had been no better than a whore who had displaced Mary's mother, Catherine of Aragon. Admittedly, she had liked Jane Seymour, but her father's latest wife was a Protestant, like Boleyn had been. Mary was a staunch Catholic and did not like her father's reforms, though she kept her protests silent out of respect for her father, whom she dearly loved. Still, she feared that this Anne of Cleves would only bolster Mr. Cromwell's Reformation.
Had it been Mary's choice, she would have stayed away from Richmond. But she was bound to obey her father's wishes, and so Mary went to see the Queen at Richmond where she was met by Lady Suffolk, who embraced the King's daughter most tenderly.
"My Lady Mary," Charlotte said upon receiving the Queen. Mary was not a princess as she had been thrown out of the line of succession, along with her half-sister Elizabeth, but through Jane Seymour's intervention she had regained the King's favor since then and was now recognized as the Lady Mary.
"Lady Suffolk, it is good to see you," Mary said, "I was not aware that you were a member of the Queen's household."
"My presence here is
of a different nature," Charlotte said as she led Mary inside, "It is His Majesty's desire that the Queen become more to his liking and my husband and I are assisting that process. For example, we are all very pleased that she has embraced the Church of England and abandoned her Lutheran ways."
Though Mary was somewhat surprised by this conservative shift, she kept her countenance in check. "That is most welcome news," Mary said.
"She also progresses daily in her command of English and is becoming quite conversant in music, though she lacks your skill in performance, my Lady," Charlotte continued, "Her Majesty had been anxious all day long to see you, my Lady."
The pair came to the doors of what looked to be a dining hall and paused as Mary was announced to the Queen. She composed herself for the sake of diplomacy before proceeding inside.
What Mary found nearly shocked her. The Queen rose from a large table that was filled with dishes of every sort. There was roast mutton, jellies, stuffed turkey, fried cod, roast beef, meat pie, tarts with custard, and manchet bread. Scattered throughout these dishes were bowls full of plums, cherries, apples, pears, and strawberries. There was white sugar from Madeira, England's finest honey, and fresh butter. Good stout ale accompanied the feast. As far as Mary could tell, the Queen was the only one eating, which was the most shocking thing about the feast. That was until Mary got a good look at the Queen.
Anne had become quite plump. Everything about the Queen seemed to bulge softly. Her face was now quite round with large, chubby cheeks. Anne's bust had continued to grow, which the English style of dress enhanced to Anne's credit. Below the Queen's hooters was her belly, which had grown quite large indeed. It was a soft, jiggling mass of flesh that pushed against the confines of Anne's dress, almost as if pleading for more room. As Anne crossed the room to meet her stepdaughter, her belly bounced with each step and her hips, now wide and inviting, swayed from side to side. Though her dress concealed the Queen's thighs, they too were softer and larger like sturdy, pliable tree trunks supporting the hefty Queen.
It was Mary's first meeting with Anne and she was taken aback by the portly figure who took her hands after the conventional welcome. She had expected a stark, austere woman in keeping with the rigors of Lutheranism, not this welcoming, nay, jolly woman. Something inside of Mary was drawn to this tubby woman who was barely older than herself.
"I have been looking forward to meeting you for so long," Anne said. She had not yet lost the guttural quality of her voice, though her English was flowing much better, even if it occasionally here words were not in the proper order. "I am most pleased to meet you. Will you please sit?"
"Yes, thank you," Mary said, though not without some hesitation.
"Please forgive me for my rudeness, but I must not waste any time," Anne said as she lifted some fried cod to her mouth, "I am endeavoring to make myself more complimentarythis is to say pleasing, for Lady Edgecombe has taught me that is the more proper word for what I meanto His Majesty."
Mary was unsure whether or not her father would find the woman before her pleasing at all, but she expressed her approval all the same.
"Furthermore, I know I shall never be able to replace your mother, who was truly a good Queen to His Majesty" here Anne set down her utensils and took Mary's hand, "but I do hope that perhaps we shall be close companions and that you shall be with me often at court so I may always do what is proper and best. That would please me very much."
"I am not always at court, but I will of course be more than pleased to be of what assistance I can when I am there," Mary said tactfully.
"Oh, how wonderful!" she exclaimed, "I know His Majesty will share my joy at your being at court." The conversation paused as Anne forked another mouthful of cod into her mouth. "I am told that a cousin of mine, Philip of Bavaria, has come to the court to see you."
"Yes, so I have heard. Unfortunately, I have been ill for the last few months and unable to receive him, except for once when he first arrived, before I fell ill," Mary said. That was the public story, at least. The real truth was that Mary had no desire to be married off to a Protestant prince and had plead an illness to keep from having to receive him.
"But you are better now, yes?" Anne asked.
Mary sensed a trap. "Well
"Oh good! Philip will be most pleased to meet you so unexpectedly when he arrives here soon," Anne said happily.
" Mary said, trying to find an excuse to prevent the meeting.
"Your Majesty, Philip, Duke of Bavaria, to see you," one of Anne's ladies-in-waiting announced.
Mary turned to Anne with a look of panic. "Please, I could not possibly see him," Mary begged.
Anne smiled kindly. She had been equally nervous upon meeting the King for the first time. "Go hide there, behind the curtains. I promise you he will not know you are here," Anne said. Mary hurriedly complied with the Queen's directions. When she had done so, Anne addressed the lady-in-waiting. "Please send him in."
Mary watched from her concealed position as Philip entered the room. Mary had forgotten that the Duke cut a surprisingly dashing figure. Mary's heart jumped a bit despite herself when she saw him. He was dark haired and handsome, not at all the brute that Mary remembered. Indeed, he had a very attractive countenance
"My dear Anne," Philip said in German to his cousin as he embraced her, "You look so good! What a wonderful figure you have acquired. You obviously find England to your liking."
"Now Philip, what a bad influence you are! I must practice my English," Anne replied in that language as the pair sat down. Anne continued her feasting to increase her robust figure even more. To start, she selected the ripe, red strawberries that had been tempting her for quite some time. "Now, how do you find this country?"
"I like it very much. I could most happily live here, and for that I envy you."
The conversation paused as Anne relished her strawberry. Food had become such a pleasure to her over these last few months that she could not help herself sometimes. "So have you met Lady Mary yet?"
"It was only for a moment, but I relive that moment over and over again in my mind," Philip replied with a quiet earnestness.
In her concealment, Mary's cheeks grew flush and her breathing swift.
"I was told before that she was charming, intelligent, well read, gracious, the true heir of Catherine of Aragon, a true princess
but nothing prepared me for her beauty, a beauty that comes from insight," Philip said, the memory of the meeting becoming all the more vivid, "To me she is the most beautiful creature on God's earth."
Anne simply smiled as she chewed another strawberry. It mirrored the smile that was on the other side of the curtain.
The next day, Mary reported to her father that she found the Queen to be "the most gracious woman in the whole of England" and that she was sure he would be most pleased with his wife when the time came for her to return to Whitehall. That night, Mary danced with Philip during the evening's banquet, having completely recovered from her headache.
Chancellor Cromwell was not the sort of man to sit by idly when events were transpiring. The current situation was no exception. His entire political future was dependent on Queen Anne and the fact that she had now remained almost three months at Richmond Palace away from the King was highly troubling. Furthermore, Cromwell had discovered that the Duchess of Suffolk had no accidental connection to the Queen at Richmond. The Duke was overseeing the Queen while she was residing at Richmond and his wife's presence there was undoubtedly on his instructions. To Cromwell, this seemed a very bad omen.
Ordinarily, Cromwell would have ferreted out what he needed to know by a courtier or a lady-in-waiting, but very few were being allowed in and out of Richmond and none who were could be trusted to provide reliable information. With all of his usual lines of information had been severed there was nothing for Cromwell with nothing to do but wonder about what was going on at Richmond Palace. Indeed, it was in a fit of desperation that he finally realized that there was one source of information that could not be hidden from him.
The good thing about being Chancellor was that there were very few documents one could not view, especially when one was "about the King's business". Accordingly, the exchequer readily sent over the expense statements for Richmond Palace since the Queen took up residence. When Cromwell reviewed the accounts, he was utterly dumbfounded. In fact, he sent a messenger to the exchequer to have an audit performed as the numbers were surely wrong.
The emphatic reply was that they were not. Richmond Palace was ordering enough food to feed half of the gentry at Whitehall, yet only the Queen's household and the requisite number of servants were present at Whitehall.
This sent Cromwell's mind spinning. What could possibly be going on at Richmond that required so much food? The natural process of Cromwell's mind suggested a conspiracy, and one directed against him, but the thought that the Queen, who had barely been in England for six months, should now be the center of a plot against him was absurd. It was equally ludicrous that his enemies were using the Queen as a pawn in some larger plot. Henry held no affections for Anne at all, as evidenced by the fact that he was idly residing at Whitehall without his wife. It would only behoove his enemies to allow the marriage to be annulled, which could easily have occurred if Henry and Anne had been left together.
Cromwell simply could not figure out what was afoot. All the same, he had his most trusted servant arrange for the comings and goings of Richmond Palace to be carefully watched, just in case.
There was now only a little under two months left before the Queen was to return to Whitehall and everyone knew that there was no time to lose. A second kitchen had been opened to increase the production of food for Anne and relieve the overcrowding of the first kitchen. Though this necessitated bringing more cooks into Richmond, a move that might expose Suffolk's plans to Cromwell's spies, Lady Mary volunteered some of her finer cooks to help supplement the Queen's kitchens on a temporary basis. Among her servants, loyalty need not even be questioned. For her part, Mary was quite happy to be of service, especially as she was not using her household's cooks that much. This was mainly due to the fact that she was spending most of her time at Whitehall these days. Coincidentally, Philip of Bavaria happened to be residing at Whitehall.
By this time, Anne was now spending almost all of her waking hours in the banquet hall consuming food. It was not because Lady Edgecombe and Lady Suffolk felt that the Queen had achieved a level of virtuosity in music, literature, and the English language that they were now neglecting those pursuits. The real reason was because Anne's appetite had grown so much that to keep pressing the limits of her belly she had to eat almost continuously. Indeed, even the pace of the Queen's meals (now increased to five daily) was beginning to grow more feverish. The fact that the Duke of Suffolk continually reassured Anne that the King would find her pleasing when she returned to Whitehall now seemed only a side benefit to the joy that she received from her gastronomic indulgences.
It did not take much intelligence to intuit that the Queen was a woman who did enjoy a good meal. All one had to do was look at her these days to reach that conclusion. Anne's plumpness was now a distant memory, for she was a bona fide fatty now. She had a pair of large, generous melons upon her chest that secretly made some of the male servant's mouths water (despite the fact such a thing could well be punishable with death in Henry VIII's England). Anne's mammaries were impressive, but the development of Anne's belly was even more astounding. In fact, calling it a mere belly almost seemed an insult. Anne was now the possessor of a full fledged gut. It sat somewhat contentedlyonly somewhat for it demanded more food quite oftenaround Anne's midsection, receiving everything Anne could give it. Her gut now rested bit on Anne's meaty thighs when she sat. To increase the Anne's ability to eat as much as possible, her immense belly was massaged several times a day to relieve the strain that her stuffing produced. Her tummy had grown so large that it was now progressing sideways as well as forward. The Queen had also developed small love handles on either side. Anne also had plenty of cushion while she was seated for her butt was now quite large indeed. She didn't even need the elaborate train that English fashion decreed dresses possess, for her posterior looked big enough as it was.
Anne was prey to a mixture of emotions. On the one hand, everyone told her how lovely she had already become and how by the end of her stay at Richmond she was sure to dazzle the King with her beauty. Anne was proud of how far she'd come since arriving in England and was eager to return to her husband so that he could be thrilled with her new figure. However, Anne still worried that perhaps she would still displease the King. Though she had ceased to voice her fears to her household, Anne was still afraid that the King would not like her and would have her beheaded like the other Anne he had married. This spurred Anne to continue doing everything that she could to increase her girth so that the King would find her as pleasing as possible.
Charles Brandon visited Richmond Palace to assess the Queen's progress with a mere week left before she was to return to Whitehall. Upon setting eyes on the Queen, he smiled from ear to ear.
"Charles this waiting is interminable!" Henry exclaimed with exasperation, "I have heard so much good of Anne from your lips that I want to ride out to Richmond myself and see her! It is all the more excruciating that she is so near and yet kept from me!"
The Duke of Suffolk gladly took this beating. "I do not envy your position. Knowing full well what awaits you makes me impatient myself," Charles said, "But let me urge you to a few nights more of impatience. After all, consider when you rode out suddenly to see her when she first arrived in England. The moment was
not as wonderful as one had hoped. I guarantee you that your patience now will be rewarded tenfold."
"You guarantee it?" Henry said with some surprise, "Considering I have been disappointed once, that is quite a bold claim to make Charles."
"I stand by my declaration," Charles said.
"Then we shall see in a few days whether or not you deliver," Henry said.
Despite the ominous implication behind the King's words, Charles Brandon simply smiled. "Yes, Your Majesty."
When the day came for Anne to return to Whitehall, Henry could focus on nothing all day. News that the Emperor and Francis had reportedly had a falling out and were set to break the Treaty of Nice did not even register for him. It had become known at court that the Queen had fully recovered from her illness and was now returning to court, anxious to see her husband. It was all anyone could talk about.
Though Chancellor Cromwell made a pretense of executing his business as usual, he too was on edge. He fervently hoped that something might have changed, either in the King or Queen, that would breathe life into their marriage. Anything else would almost certainly bring about his own downfall.
Cromwell's nerves were so strained that upon seeing the Duke of Suffolk he snapped, "The King had better find the Queen in no way further poisonous to him when she returns or I guarantee you that there will be hell to pay for it, your Grace."
"Mr. Cromwell, I hope you are not insinuating that I would wish anything but the most sublime happiness for His Majesty?" Brandon replied.
"Hardly, your Grace," Cromwell said, being careful not to expose himself too much, "I only hope that so long a separation from His Majesty has not made the Queen ill disposed towards her most loving husband."
"Let me assure you that Her Majesty has only sought to please the King in every respect since she has arrived in England. You will find her no different in that respect," Charles said, "Good day, Mr. Cromwell."
"Good day, your Grace," Cromwell replied as the Duke went off, leaving Cromwell alone to wonder and wait.
Though Henry was more than impatient to see his wife and discover if Charles had made good on his promises, the Duke told the King that Anne would not arrive until that evening to ensure that the King would be the first to see her after such a long separation. "It was at Her Majesty's request that it was arranged in this way. She wishes that your eyes be the first to gaze upon her after so long," Charles said, "She feels it would be improper for it to be any other way."
"The Queen's consideration is admirable, though it does not relieve my impatience," Henry replied.
"Rest assured, Her Majesty is just as anxious to be reunited with you," Charles said.
Night came, but seemingly not quick enough for anyone involved. Henry paced about his chamber, as if trying to make the time pass quicker by the effort. Charles had spoken so highly of Anne for the last eight months
it seemed that eight minutes more would be a trial too unbearable.
Henry looked up and found Charles standing in the door way with his wife. "It is our pleasure to present Her Majesty, Queen Anne," Charles said. The two stepped backwards out of the doorway and all eight months of anticipation seemed to weigh upon Henry all at onceand then Anne walked through the doorway and the King caught his breath.
Anne was a sight to behold. She had left fatness far behind her and openly and willingly embraced corpulence. There was nothing about Anne that was not downright fat. Her round face, framed by her loose dark gold hair, beamed a smile at Henry that went straight to his heart. She had the most exquisite breasts that Henry had ever seen. They were large and round, seemingly the personification of the female mammary. Her belly was enormous. It was a jiggling, juicy spare tire even in the confines of Anne's dress. Something about it seemed made for squeezing and jiggling. As Anne approached Henry, her gut bounced rhythmically with each step. The Queen's hips were as round as a globe and Henry instantly recognized in them the potential for childbearing that he so desperately desired and it only served to endear Anne to Henry. Then again, Henry found Anne so physically pleasing that he almost didn't believe this was the same woman. The woman he had married was nothing like the one that stood before him now. The woman who he had stood at the altar with had been a thin one dressed in dubious Dutch fashions. The enchantress who stood before him was a curvaceous beauty wearing in nothing but the most attractive and expensive English styles.
"Your Majesty," Anne said, her voice still with some hints of its former accent, but now just enough to be exotic and somewhat sultry. She curtseyed to her husband and remained low, thus giving the King a view of her inviting cleavage.
The King gently raised Anne with one finger under her chin. "My dear."
"Do you find me pleasing?" Anne asked softly, her large bosom rising and falling quickly with her rapid inspirations. It was the question that had kept her sleepless last night. Now that she looked into the King's eyes, she was certain of the answer before it even left his lips.
"I am very pleased with you, my Queen," Henry said. To make his point, he leaned in and kissed Anne, their bellies pressing together as they shared the first real kiss of their marriage.
When their lips parted, their faces remained close to each other. "His Grace the Duke has arranged for a private supper to mark the occasion
but I thought perhaps a more private celebration was in order," Anne whispered.
"That sounds perfect," Henry replied in an equally seductive whisper.
The royal couple hurried to their bedchamber where they were undressed with all speed by their servants, who quickly withdrew, knowing full well what would happen next.
It was only when Anne was naked, lit by the many candles scattered throughout the room, that Henry was able to fully appreciate the change that had occurred in her. Previously Anne had needed all of the arts of fashion to even give some semblance of size to her bust line. Now her knockers hung large and inviting, like firm ripe melons ready to be plucked from the tree. Her gut was a single pendulous ring of flab, hanging over the remnants of her waist. It jiggled and quivered with the slightest movement. Henry reached out to touch it, gingerly, as if it was a delicate piece of ancient art that might crumble in his fingers. Instead he found the Queen's belly soft, warm, and malleable.
Underneath Anne's belly were all of the details that had been hidden from Henry's view by her dress. Anne's hips in the flesh looked wider than when encompassed by fine cloth and a rear examination of Anne revealed an ass of enormous magnitude. The twin cheeks formed a large pale moon that couldn't even be rivaled by the bright one that shone in the sky that very night. Each undulated up and down with every step, the Queen taking several as she giggled towards their large bed. Anne's thighs had no room between them as she walked. They looked like large, delicious German sausageswhich was not all that far from the truthand her calves were so bovine in nature that they deserved the name.
Henry, in his own obese glory, looking at his naked wife on their bed, was aroused as he had not been since the death of Jane Seymour. A small part of him had wondered if he could still experience such passion (a crippling thought for a man who had once been so virile), but there was no doubt of it now.
"Let us now realize the unfulfilled promise of our wedding night," Anne said as invitingly as possible, spreading her large thighs to give her large husband all the help she could.
The King needed no further invitation. He plunged into Anne, claiming her maidenhood for England. For her part, Anne worked quickly to fall into a rhythm with her husband. She ran her chubby hands up and down his flabby chest, reveling in his body as much as he was in her own obese bulk. Henry had always had a weakness for buxom women and the pair of jiggling jugs in front of him mesmerized him as he pumped away. Their large bellies slapped up against one another over and over and over again and the sound only seemed to increase the pleasure for each.
Each new wave of pleasure seemed a liberation from Anne's austere upbringing at Cleves. She moaned softly in ecstasy as she ran her nails lightly down her husband's back, raising goosebumps and eliciting a similar reaction from her corpulent husband.
"Oh Anne, oh Anne!" Henry cried, "Anne, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen!"
"Henry! I love you Henry!" Anne replied in equal bliss. Her husband could only guess the general drift of her thoughts for she had been transported to such a heavenly plane that she had forgotten to speak English.
Their lovemaking began to acquire a sense of greater urgency, half stimulated by their own rapturous vocalizations of love. The weighty couple had now worked up a good sweat, for this was easily the most physical exertion either of them had engaged in for quite some time. The bed, which had been made by the finest carpenters in England, was beginning to shake and groan from the movement of so much weight. Both King and Queen were jiggling so much it was as if their bed was the epicenter of an earthquake that was shaking England to its core.
It was then that Anne experienced the firstand certainly not the lastorgasm of her life and she let Henry know it too with a loud cry. The event spurred Henry to an orgasm of his own and when he finished Anne's tubby hubby collapsed onto her and the two could only lay there as they caught their breath after having achieved such heavenly heights.
When the King finally rolled off his wife, Anne cuddled up next to him, though admittedly her own belly was a slight obstacle to this. She put one arm around Henry at his own impressive gut and softly ran her hand along his rolls.
"Do you find me very compatible?" Anne asked.
Henry rolled over and took his enormous wife in his arms. "Oh yes. Quite compatible indeed," he said with a smile as wide as his waist.
The next morning Henry set plans in motion for the long overdue coronation of his wife, which took place a little under a month later at Westminster Abbey. The silver and gold dress that Queen Anne wore for the event surpassed the cost of the dress worn by Anne Boleyn by leaps and bounds, largely because of the fact that much more fabric was required for this Anne than the first one.
Eight months later, Anne bore Henry his long awaited second son, Richard who was proclaimed a healthy boy. The birth of Richard was greeted with great rejoicing throughout Britain and fireworks in London. A year and a half later, Anne bore Henry twins, Eleanor and William, thus securing the Tudor dynasty's succession for generations to come. Of course, this did not stop Henry and Anne's passionate lovemaking, but it did mean that it was purely recreational, rather than a matter of state.
The surprise success of the marriage of Henry and Anne gave Thomas Cromwell the hope that he had escaped his perilous position. His hope was short lived, for Cromwell was removed as Chancellor two months after Anne's coronation. Henry was still displeased with Cromwell for failing to find him a suitable wife. Though Cromwell was demoted, he kept his life (which was more than could be said for others who had displeased Henry) and he worked tirelessly for the remainder of his life in the King's service to try and regain Henry's trust. He never did.
Charles Brandon was richly rewarded for his service to the King. He declined the open Chancellery, professing to the King that other men were better suited to that work. Instead, Charles's lands were expanded greatly by the King. This made him one of the wealthiest men in England, after the King himself. He remained a close confidant of both the King and Queen for the remainder of his life, until he died in 1545.
Henry's happy marriage to Anne had political ramifications. It drove Henry to further embrace the Schmalkaldic League, even if the Church of England remained close in religious practice to Catholicism. Eager to tie England closer to the German Protestant states, Henry gladly approved the marriage of his eldest daughter to Philip of Bavaria. Philip, who had negligible lands of his own and no claim to any great inheritance, remained in England with Mary where her doting husband allowed Mary to continue in her private Catholic worship, having no great religious affinities one way or another. Though Mary never ascended to the throne, she and Philip remained prominent figures at court and were happily married for the remainder of their days.
Anne grieved at Henry's death with all of England in 1547. His death saw Anne's stepson Edward VI rise to the throne, albeit under the guardianship of his uncle, Edward Seymour, as Lord Protector. Edward would never claim the throne in his own right, dying at the age of 15 in 1553. This brought Anne's eldest son to the throne, who was crowned Richard IV at the age of 12. For the next five years Richard, who had been groomed from birth for such an unfortunate occurrence, continued both his formal education and his education in the affairs of state under the supervision of his brother in-law and the new Lord Protector, Philip of Bavaria (who was now a confirmed Englishman in all but ancestry). His mother was a continual and guarding figure at court and helped to mould her son as Jane Seymour had never had the ability to do with Edward.
Anne died in 1557 before seeing her son turn 18 and claim the rule of England in his own right. Her death was mourned throughout all of England. She was laid to rest with Henry VIII in St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle according the dying wishes of both.
As King, Richard reversed Edward's radical changes to the Church of England, restoring it to the faith that Henry VIII had left it upon his death. Though this disgruntled some of the nobles who wished to see even greater reform, it kept the country as a whole happy. Richard repaired England's finances after the wanton spending of his father. This did make Richard's court from being dull, however. Richard became known for holding great banquets to which noblewomen were invited to eat their fill. This was very likely linked to the fact that Richard was a notorious chubby chaser at court. When he married Jane Grey, his second cousin, she was a very plump bride.
The rest, as they say, is history.