The Year was 1492

DNA Strand

What if we could go back in history with our DNA kits and do a few tests? I would go back to the time when a kingdom was inherited and a king had to have a son. And that first son, no matter what his problems, was heir to the throne at the moment of birth. Added to this, many queens were extremely young at the birth of the first child.

Without DNA, could a kingdom ever be sure the heir had royal blood? Or even the right royal blood? One way was to never let the queen out her caretakers’ sight, day or night. These were her Ladies-in-Waiting and were chosen from the highest levels of nobility. They even slept in her bedchamber at night, one at the foot of her bed. And usually at least one of them was a special spy, secretly reporting to the king himself.

Chastity Belt

Rarely was a queen required to wear a chastity belt, but many noble women were from the 11th to the 17th centuries. This primitive, horrific device was made out of metal and fastened with a key. It is said that is when the art of the locksmith began! Even so, queens were often suspected of chicanery.

Anne Boleyn

Queens Anne Boleyn and her cousin Kathryn Howard were both beheaded, suspected of being unfaithful by Henry VIII. Then there was Catherine the Great of Russia. No DNA kit needed there. She did not want her husband, Peter III, to ever father a child and chose one of her strong, handsome lovers to make the heir, Paul I.

Kathryn Howard

The year I would choose with my DNA kit would be 1492. Anne of Brittany, the richest woman of her time, had been an incredibly reluctant bride when she was married to France’s Charles VIII. In fact, to make her point, she took her own bed to the wedding ceremony.

Anne of Brittany

Anne, then just 15, gave birth to their first son on Oct. 11, 1492. He was a beautiful baby, strong, healthy and soon to be called intelligent by the court. In every way, baby Charles Orlando was the opposite of the king. Unfortunately, he succumbed to measles two months after is third birthday.

To think that kings ruled by inherited Devine Right! All their power came from that. I’m guessing so many bloodlines were interrupted many times over.

Catherine the Great

One Comment Add yours

  1. Rose Kleidon says:

    When you write about the pre-modern world, as I do, it quickly becomes clear that our ancestors weren’t dumb. So why did so many of them swallow the god-king or divine right idea ? I don’t think they did. But the king has all the soldiers, the societal version of a chastity belt.

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