The most shocking occurrence at the feast celebrating Margaret of Anjou’s birthday is the young Princess of Wales asking King Henry for safe conduct for her cousin Lord Richard Plantagenet –
the one-time Duke of Gloucester and most beloved brother of a beloved king, now the last son of York and an attainted traitor – to return to England from his exile in Flanders.
But Isabel is not shocked. Isabel was prepared for this; she knew what Anne meant to do.
For the king’s benefit, Anne touchingly recalls how they were “close as siblings” during Richard’s years at Middleham.
It is a lie anyone who knows them well could hardly credit without laughing, knowing that Anne’s feelings for Richard by the time he fled to Flanders were hardly sisterly,
but King Henry does not know that and Anne makes sure that he
know that Richard’s mother is dying.
Likely of a broken heart, having outlived her husband and nearly all her children, including her favorite, Isabel's own husband. She does not know how her mother-in-law has borne it.
Her children, Isabel thinks. Duchess Cecily had sons and daughters who needed her to carry on without their father. Isabel has not even that consolation in her grief.
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