Katerina Aksonova. King's wife.


    More about play.










    Geraldine – maid of honour.


    Salina - maid of honour.




    Scene 1.

    Room in the royal castle.

    Enters Queen, beautiful, not very young woman, wears expensive dress.

    After her enters Nanny, older, in simple dress.

    QUEEN: Are you sure that he will be fine?

    NANNY: Doctor said that is nothing to worry about, your Majesty.

    QUEEN: Our fifth child, he is so delicate.

    NANNY: Older boy is big enough to go with King haunting.

    QUEEN: Yes. It’s sad. Children grow.

    NANNY: Not only about children is unhappy our Queen.

    QUEEN: Queen. You are the last, Nanny, who call us that. Everyone else only “your Majesty” and I am afraid soon I became “King’s wife”.

    NANNY: You are our Queen.

    QUEEN: Not any more. All changed drastically.

    NANNY: I can’t help you to forget about all your sorrows. Why then I still near you? With kids are another women.

    QUEEN: We need to talk with someone. We can’t talk with ourselves. Not any more.

    NANNY: Do you need a listener? I am near your feet.

    QUEEN: We want to be noticed.

    NANNY: Your husband – King. Your children.

    QUEEN: We remember all of them. Husband – King, he didn’t care about me for a long time, since... since fifth child. Children – they are honest till begin to speak. After they start to plot, or they are used for plotting.

    NANNY: And Baby?

    QUEEN: He is lovely, but not healthy. Only with him I could talk frankly, I believe that he understands all.

    NANNY: Should I bring him here? Doctor won’t mind.

    QUEEN: No. We are too tired for speak the truth. Let go away from here. Everywhere we feel people who wish us death.

    NANNY: Today is sunny day, my Queen could rest in garden.

    QUEEN: To the sun.

    Queen and Nanny exit.

    Scene 2.

    From the dark corner enters Maid of honour, Geraldine, young woman. Looks at both sides.

    GERALDINE: Went away. They could notice me. (Mocks the Queen). I am afraid soon I became King’s wife. I need attention of husband.

    (nervously) King will came at any moment. He asked for a date.

    No matter that Rosabell showed me letters from the King. Today he choose me. How sweet are this letters! Forgive and think, Geraldine.

    Husband. I want to became a Queen myself. For that I need to marry a King. How to make my way if she is still here? Queen is healthy, no hope.

    Is it my heart beat or sound of King’s steps? No one.

    I have to hatch a plot. I will use all my abilities to convince King in my right. How long he will live in shadow of his wife? He never was a real ruler. Five, seven years and older boy could be a king himself.

    King’s steps. I must try.

    Scene 3.

    Enters King.

    KING: How beautiful is my flower, Geraldine, in sunny day!

    GERALDINE: My King is so kind for poor girl.

    KING: Are you happy?

    GERALDINE: My King, all is shining when you are near me.

    KING: I noticed, some dark thoughts are giving shadows to that pretty face.

    GERALDINE: Your wife, she didn’t answered to my greetings.

    KING: My wife?

    GERALDINE: Queen.

    KING: I still remember. You can’t disapprove the Queen.

    GERALDINE: You are ruler of the country and is time for everyone to see that.

    KING: See what?

    GERALDINE: All your accomplishments which Queen misappropriate to her.

    KING: I am a King, she is a Queen, not of your mind...

    GERALDINE: My King I just wanted to prize all your achievements to our blessed country.

    KING: It sounds in your pretty mouth like you didn’t want to have a Queen as ruler.

    GERALDINE: You are above all us. When the Destiny will give you chance? Before too late.

    KING: Too late?

    GERALDINE: God brings to Queen long years of life and health, but she is fragile. Your oldest boy, in year or two he could be King himself. No one will appreciate your daily endeavours as King and will forget...

    KING: Shut up!

    GERALDINE: My King, I was so wrong and I am so sorry.

    KING: Not here. Not today. In your mind are audacious thoughts which are worthy of tiara.

    GERALDINE: My King!

    KING: Go away. I need to think. Till I don’t ask, you will be in shadow. The vicious of my mistress.

    King passionately kisses Geraldine.

    KING: Not bad.

    GERALDINE: My King!

    KING: Now, run from here.

    Geraldine exits.

    Scene 4.

    King wanders on stage. He is so pensive, that didn’t notice that crown slips on his ear.

    KING: How she could? So openly... I was so wrong. One her word and Geraldine changed me. Rosabell never was so honest. I wrote her letters. She could propose this idea to me, be a supporter, became a Queen some day. Rosabell didn’t understand. I will return my letters and than I don’t care what will be with her.

    She could marry a gardener. Too good for such timid heart. She will became a laundress and will be glad to be with soldier if she didn’t give such well-timed advice to me.

    I need this letters. Till our Minister won’t check her bedroom. He everywhere search for evil plans. I was not fair to him, he also talk about fear of plots to murder a Queen. In my nature is to listen prospect from mouth which I want to kiss.

    I have to hurry. Geraldine could be right.

    King exits.

    Scene 5.

    Enter Minister and Nanny.

    NANNY: It could wait, Queen finally smiles on the sunny day.

    MINISTER: Not for long.

    NANNY: It could be postponed.

    MINISTER: You will bring her Majesty here or I’ll do it instead of you.

    NANNY: Calm down. Now it’s quiet hour when...

    MINISTER: Her Majesty think what entertainment she wants at the evening. I know that. This papers can’t be put back. They already burn in my hand.

    NANNY: I will try. Papers burn... News not good.

    MINISTER: How do you know?

    NANNY: If it will be on other way, you will be on the knees near Queen to receive encouragement.

    MINISTER: Do what I say you to do!

    NANNY: Queen wanted to meet a tailor after quiet hour.

    MINISTER: Another dress. This tailor is richest person in our country.

    NANNY: Did you count his money?

    MINISTER: Why not?

    NANNY: And?

    MINISTER: Queen paid him, King paid him, I paid him. Maids of honour paid him, money which they receive from King. Don’t look at me like that, you know all.

    NANNY: What I know, I didn’t say aloud.

    MINISTER: Bring a Queen, go.

    NANNY: You order is to bring despair.

    Nanny exits.

    Scene 6.

    MINISTER: If she wasn’t a Nanny of the Queen and all royal children... That woman thinks she could talk to me in such tone.

    Calm down, First Minister, calm down. She is right, Ministers changed, she stays. And she will bring a Queen.

    Scene 7.

    Enters Queen.

    MINISTER: Your Majesty, our Majesty.

    QUEEN: Minister, what happened if you dare to annoy us in time when we choose what we will do today.

    MINISTER: My Majesty. Case of royal importance.

    QUEEN: Go with that to King, like always did.

    MINISTER: I can’t.

    QUEEN: What?

    MINISTER: It’s about your... our King and I can’t go with this to him to ask what to do, because it’s him.

    QUEEN: Minister, you give us morning headache, move on.

    MINISTER: Our spies, with help of unknown friend, found this letters...

    QUEEN: Our spies?

    MINISTER: My daily responsibility is to be on guard if someone will have an attempt to do something against your Majesty.

    QUEEN: And all is inside letters, which you want to show us.

    MINISTER: It’s letters written by King’s hand and we found them in the room of one of maid of honour.

    QUEEN: Who?

    MINISTER: Doesn’t matter.

    QUEEN: We asked.

    MINISTER: It’s really not important, now she executed. Rosabell.

    QUEEN: Another one.

    MINISTER: We prevented. My duty to be on alert...

    QUEEN: Letters.

    MINISTER: It won’t be pleasure for you, our Majesty, to hear.

    QUEEN: Why then you bring them?

    MINISTER: It’s important to my Majesty to know content of them.

    QUEEN: Did you read them?

    MINISTER: It was necessary.

    QUEEN: Read to us aloud. We’ll listen.

    MINISTER: I can’t.

    QUEEN: Like you wish. Go with them to the King.

    MINISTER: Your order, your Majesty. (reads with pauses and deep sighs) “It is absolutely necessary for me to obtain this answer, having been for above a whole year stricken with the dart of love, and not yet sure whether I shall fail of finding a place in your heart and affection, which last point has prevented me for some time past from calling you my mistress.” Sorry, my Majesty.

    QUEEN: Something else?

    MINISTER: I’ll continue. "to give up yourself body and heart to me, who will be, and have been, your most loyal servant... I will take you for my only mistress, casting off all others besides you out of my thoughts and affections, and serve you only. ...I may know on what and how far I may depend.”

    QUEEN: Written by the hand of him who would willingly remain yours”.

    MINISTER: My Majesty had read it before.

    QUEEN: We predicted how he will end letter. Will you read more?

    MINISTER: If your Majesty is ready for that.

    QUEEN: We are. Henry wrote emotional letters.

    MINISTER: My Majesty, let me remind to you, that our King, yours royal husband’s name is Albert.

    QUEEN: We wish we could forget. Next letter.

    MINISTER: “for by absence we are kept a distance from one another, and yet it retains its fervour, at least on my side; I hope the like on yours, assuring you that on my part the pain of absence is already too great for me. ...hoping that it is not your will that it should be so; but if I knew for certain that you voluntarily desired it, I could do no other than mourn my ill-fortune.”

    QUEEN: "Written with the hand of him which desireth as much to be yours as you do to have him.”

    MINISTER: My Majesty!

    QUEEN: Silent. We need to think.

    MINISTER: Shall I read further or go away?

    QUEEN: Have you a lot?

    MINISTER: Just few more lines which prove King’s infidelity. If I may say this in presence of our Majesty.

    QUEEN: Already did, than finish.

    MINISTER: Your Majesty wish. No more to you at this present, mine own darling, for lack of time, but that I would you were in mine arms, or I in yours, for I think it long since I kissed you.”

    QUEEN: Not all.

    MINISTER: It was enough to prove...

    QUEEN: What are you waiting for?

    MINISTER: Your orders, your Majesty.

    QUEEN: Yes. We will spend time with a tailor, like we wished before. We need new dress. Maybe something green or blue, we didn’t choose.

    MINISTER: Shall I call a tailor?

    QUEEN: Nanny will bring him.

    MINISTER: What about letters?

    QUEEN: Destroy them and didn’t say a word about it to no one.

    MINISTER: And King?

    QUEEN: He could visit us after tailor, we could be in a better mood.

    MINISTER: Is that all from our Majesty for today?

    QUEEN: Yes. Why you ask? You could go.

    Minister exits.

    Scene 8.

    Enters Tailor with blue fabric in hand, looks with affection on the Queen.

    TAILOR: Our Majesty has a moment to see your servant.

    QUEEN: Blue fabric. We can’t decide between green and blue. You made that choice. We like it.

    TAILOR: It will be perfect to your Majesty skin. We could try.

    QUEEN: Immediately.

    Tailor with tenderness wraps Queen into fabric.

    TAILOR: Beautiful as sun and moon.

    QUEEN: We heard a poet.

    TAILOR: How could I?

    QUEEN: You always wanted to be a tailor. Create dresses and play with fabric.

    TAILOR: If only I could tell.

    QUEEN: We asked and wait for answer.

    TAILOR: “If I could be anything in the world I would want to be a teardrop because I would be born in your eyes, live on your cheeks, and die on your lips.” Mary, Queen of Scots.

    QUEEN: Not a tailor.

    TAILOR: If your Majesty will forgive my impudence.

    QUEEN: You are sorry about words which told to us.

    TAILOR: Not for a moment.

    QUEEN: Why excuses?

    TAILOR: Your Majesty.

    QUEEN: We are glad that not only our husband knows where is library in castle.

    TAILOR: I never could find proper own words.

    QUEEN: Is it true that our Tailor is richest man in country?

    TAILOR: I can’t say that for sure.

    QUEEN: Not poorest.

    TAILOR: Not. I could create dresses for your Majesty without money, only for...

    QUEEN: Don’t say more, we will be regret that.

    TAILOR: My Majesty!

    QUEEN: Richest man in country, hope you are among our ally.

    TAILOR: My heart is yours till last breath.

    QUEEN: Not bad. But some times people, even Queen, needs money.

    TAILOR: My purse belongs to your hand.

    QUEEN: Generous.

    TAILOR: If you need armour, soldiers, all money is for you.

    QUEEN: We don’t begin a war. Sometimes all conflicts could be solved by huge reception for ambassadors.

    TAILOR: My money and dress for you will wait, at any time.

    QUEEN: We will accept such gift from dearest friend.

    TAILOR: Your Majesty.

    QUEEN: Now back to work. No one know when we’ll need a mourning dress.

    TAILOR: Mourning, my Majesty.

    QUEEN: Morning, morning dress, tailor. Long years in health for our King.

    TAILOR: Long years to King.

    QUEEN: King, we have to go.

    TAILOR: Your Majesty.

    Queen exits.

    Scene 9.

    Enter maids of honour, Geraldine and Salina.

    GERALDINE: Now you will spend time with us.

    TAILOR: Sorry?

    SALINA: When Queen is gone we could talk about our dresses.

    TAILOR: Your dresses. New one?

    GERALDINE: Of course.

    TAILOR: I have no idea what to propose you. Do you have money?

    SALINA: Not now.

    GERALDINE: Will have soon.

    TAILOR: That way I could suggest you dresses which I made for Rosabella. She didn’t ask for them.

    SALINA: Didn’t your hear? She became terribly ill and died immediately.

    TAILOR: Who would predict!

    GERALDINE: I will have her dress.

    TAILOR: At first you have to paid for them.

    SALINA: It’s not fair.

    TAILOR: It’s life. I go.

    Tailor exits, after him run Geraldine and Salina beg for dresses.


    Scene 10.

    Enter Queen and King.

    QUEEN: Minister showed us letters for your mistress.

    KING: How could my Queen think that about me. Me not be faithful for our marriage.

    QUEEN: We recognized your style.

    KING: Where is letters?

    QUEEN: You can see them on the table. We changed our mind and didn’t destroy evidences.

    King quickly reads papers.

    KING: That’s all what found our Minister. It’s from The Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. What I could have common with it?

    QUEEN: Reading this letters I remembered about your love confession to me. Can you repeat it?

    KING: It was years ago and I think it was something unforgettable if Queen of that land said yes.

    QUEEN: Like always it wasn’t your words, but I liked so much how you tell them to me. I believed that reason is your modesty and shyness, you chose famous words.

    KING: With years my memory became weak. I don’t really remember... And why it’s prove to my guilt.

    QUEEN: We will evoke words to you.

    Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms

    Such as will enter at a lady’s ear

    And plead his love suit to her gentle heart?”

    KING: Glad, that you remember. Words never were my strongest part.

    QUEEN: It wasn’t all.

    KING: My Queen, you will continue.

    QUEEN: "I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say, “I love you.” Then if you urge me farther than to say, “Do you, in faith?” I wear out my suit. Give me your answer, i' faith, do; and so clap hands and a bargain. How say you, lady?” And than you added: I cannot look greenly nor gasp out my eloquence, nor I have no cunning in protestation, only downright oaths, which I never use till urged, nor never break for urging...  I speak to thee plain soldier. If thou canst love me for this, take me. If not, to say to thee that I shall die is true, but for thy love, by the Lord, no. Yet I love thee too. ... a good leg will fall, a straight back will stoop, a black beard will turn white, a curled pate will grow bald, a fair face will wither, a full eye will wax hollow. ... And take me, take a soldier. Take a soldier, take a king.”

    KING: Good words if you repeat them till now.

    QUEEN: Not yours, like in that letters. This is how we knew it was all truth and it was you.

    KING: You liked what I told you than and now.

    QUEEN: We didn’t notice that you forget one line, when you proposed to us.

    KING: Which line?

    QUEEN: Important one, which will explain everything in our life. You never think about it, because of your nature, you didn’t say that.

    KING: My dear Queen if you will help me here...

    QUEEN: "take a fellow of plain and uncoined constancy, for he perforce must do thee right because he hath not the gift to woo in other places.” You have that gift, we closed eyes at every women.

    KING: What changed now?

    QUEEN: Such proper question. Nothing. We warned you. Now knew about that Minister, he will be follow you and look for another mistake which you will do.

    KING: I heard advice of friend, not woman.

    QUEEN: We are a Queen, not friend or woman. Go away and behave.

    KING: Our Majesty.

    King exits.

    Scene 11.

    Enters Minister.

    MINISTER: My Majesty.

    QUEEN: You again.

    MINISTER: I will deserve execution, but I heard that you warned King.

    QUEEN: Love letters it’s not what we will need.

    MINISTER: I didn’t stop the search. Maids of Honour.

    QUEEN: Another execution.

    MINISTER: Not yet.

    QUEEN: But...

    MINISTER: Was incident with tailor.

    QUEEN: Tailor? What about?

    MINISTER: Maids of honour were arguing about not finished dresses of Rosabella, who will receive them.

    QUEEN: My royalty have to listen that.

    MINISTER: One of them was so angry that said that she will be next Queen. And all dress will be hers.

    QUEEN: Next Queen. What about us?

    MINISTER: King will take care of that.

    QUEEN: What do you want?

    MINISTER: We are in investigation, our executioners work already two hours.

    QUEEN: Without details. Someone confessed?

    MINISTER: Both of them.

    QUEEN: Which one will be next Queen?

    MINISTER: Geraldine hoped, but Salina overheard talk with King.

    QUEEN: When you tell this to King?

    MINISTER: Only your Majesty can speak with King about King’s high treason. It’s case of huge importance.

    QUEEN: Do you want that we ask him: is it true?

    MINISTER: All evidences are against him.

    QUEEN: We could tell him only one thing in that case. “I will make you shorter by the head. Elizabeth I.”

    MINISTER: Your Majesty decided that.

    QUEEN: We don’t know. We have to be angry with his cheating and say something: “I do not want a husband who honours me as queen, if he doesn’t love me as a woman. Elizabeth I.”

    MINISTER: My Majesty.

    QUEEN: Forget. We already old for such games.

    MINISTER: Queen in your age, you still can rule, even after all attempts of your husband.

    QUEEN: “How old! And yet how far am I from being what I should be. Queen Victoria.”

    MINISTER: You were born to rule our country, my Queen. And now it’s time to came back to it.

    QUEEN: “I love peace and quiet, I hate politics and turmoil. We women are not made for governing, and if we are good women, we must dislike this masculine occupation. There are times which force one to take interest in them, and I do, of course intensely. Queen Victoria.” Are you sure my husband is guilty?

    MINISTER: My heart was broken by that news, like yours. Yours marriage was example of unite of wisdom and beauty, power and kindness.

    QUEEN: And so on. We remember all about that. “I feel sure that no girl would go to the altar if she knew all. Queen Victoria.”

    MINISTER: In this circumstances it could be right, but late decision. Back to monarchy. Do you agree to return royal power in your Majesty’s hands?

    QUEEN: How dare you to have doubts about our abilities. “I will govern according to the common well, but not according to the common will. King James I”

    MINISTER: Royal wisdom of our Majesty.

    QUEEN: Minister, really we are not big or kingdom with exceptional history, but we still have good library. And when King die in prison, you could time to time visit our room with books.

    MINISTER: What we will tell to people?

    QUEEN: We need to say something reassuring at the beginning of our speech.

    MINISTER: About uncovered conspiracy against your life. Future execution of King, perhaps.

    QUEEN: You have to be wiser, Minister. Execution of King. How horrible! Suddenly illness came to the bed of our beloved husband and King. Queen grieves.

    MINISTER: What?

    QUEEN: It’s country, not our castle. “There is nothing about which I am more anxious than my country, and for it’s sake I am willing to die ten deaths, if that be possible. Elizabeth I.”

    MINISTER: Your Majesty is gift from heaven.

    QUEEN: Wipe your tears. We have to return throne in our hands without rebellion.

    MINISTER: I will make all I could.

    QUEEN: You will listen to us and it will be best of all you could do.

    MINISTER: My Queen.

    Queen exits.


    January 2016.


    The Project Gutenberg E-book of The Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn.

    Shakespeare. Henry V. Act 5. Scene 2.

    Mail: aksioma@neonet.ua


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