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Lady in waiting to Anne of Cleves

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Misfit
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Lady in waiting to Anne of Cleves

Postby Misfit » Wed November 18th, 2009, 11:22 am

Just how much freedom would a queen's lady in waiting have during this period? Her own room where she could entertain her lover and/or come and go to meet her lover at her heart's content?

Could said lady in waiting be able to leave court functions and dinners to meet a lover in the gardens (or where ever) without being noticed?

Thanks, as always.
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Postby Carla » Wed November 18th, 2009, 12:17 pm

"Misfit" wrote:Just how much freedom would a queen's lady in waiting have during this period? Her own room where she could entertain her lover and/or come and go to meet her lover at her heart's content?

Could said lady in waiting be able to leave court functions and dinners to meet a lover in the gardens (or where ever) without being noticed?

Thanks, as always.


I'm not an expert on the Tudor period but I'm pretty certain she wouldn't have her own room. Space was always at a premium at court and privacy almost non-existent.

She might well be able to sneak out to meet a lover in a public space like the gardens, if she was good at subterfuge (especially if she could get a friend to cover for her), but I don't think it would be easy and I'd expect that if she made a habit of it it would be noticed sooner or later. (Caveat that if the lover was the King, he could do what he liked).
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Postby Miss Moppet » Wed November 18th, 2009, 1:13 pm

"Carla" wrote:I'm not an expert on the Tudor period but I'm pretty certain she wouldn't have her own room. Space was always at a premium at court and privacy almost non-existent.

She might well be able to sneak out to meet a lover in a public space like the gardens, if she was good at subterfuge (especially if she could get a friend to cover for her), but I don't think it would be easy and I'd expect that if she made a habit of it it would be noticed sooner or later. (Caveat that if the lover was the King, he could do what he liked).


Ladies-in-waiting were always having affairs, so it must have been possible. Not much survives about their day-to-day lives though - or if does I'd be glad to know about it. Madame de Montespan was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie Therese when she started her affair with Louis XIV. She kept slipping off to be with the king while making the excuse that she was ill, or 'sleeping' and the Queen seemed to accept this for quite a bit without realising that Mme de Montespan was off with the King. There is a difference between Maids of Honour and ladies-in-waiting - the former would have a governess or Mother of the Maids, an older woman who was supposed to be in charge of them. But even the Maids of Honour, who were supposed to be most closely supervised, were constantly having affairs and getting pregnant.

It's not as if they were free to come and go as they pleased though. They were supposed to be in constant attendance on their mistress, so if they weren't they had to make an excuse of some kind. There might be times when the mistress didn't want them around - mistresses were often closer to their personal servants - ie maids - than their noble attendants, so a mistress who was feeling ill or in low spirits might withdraw to her private chambers and dismiss her ladies in waiting for the day. Also, they might be excused from their service for a few days, weeks or months if they wanted to visit family, or had some other important reason for not being at Court.

Re the accommodation, that would depend on the individual court, but yes, space was at a premium. Maids of Honour (unmarried ladies in waiting) would be in a dormitory with the Mother of the Maids living there too to look after them.

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Postby Misfit » Wed November 18th, 2009, 2:41 pm

Thanks for the answers. Lol, I read further and now that our *maid* has attracted the attentions of the king she's able to slip away during a big fete, meet her lover in a secluded location and....ummmm....make use of her hands to satisfy him. Wondering how she got her hands washed before she got back to the party :rolleyes: :confused:

Another question has come up. The queen has been sent from court pending the divorce proceedings yet all the maids of honor are still at court with the King?
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Postby Miss Moppet » Wed November 18th, 2009, 2:54 pm

"Misfit" wrote:Another question has come up. The queen has been sent from court pending the divorce proceedings yet all the maids of honor are still at court with the King?


That doesn't seem likely though I suppose it's possible. There probably are records showing whether the Queen's household continued to be paid or not. Most likely once the Queen left court, some of the household would have gone with her and the rest would have been disbanded. This is what happened with Anne Boleyn.

What is this book you are reading, Misfit?

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Postby Misfit » Wed November 18th, 2009, 3:14 pm

The Queen's Mistake by Diane Haeger, about Catherine Howard. The writing is just so average these little nits are really starting to jump out at me. This is the third book of her's I've read and it's likely to be the last.
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Postby Miss Moppet » Wed November 18th, 2009, 4:33 pm

"Misfit" wrote:The Queen's Mistake by Diane Haeger, about Catherine Howard. The writing is just so average these little nits are really starting to jump out at me. This is the third book of her's I've read and it's likely to be the last.


Oh right. I'm disappointed it's not that great as CH is one of my favourite characters. I might read it for comparison's sake as some of the scenes sound similar to ones in my WIP - the central character is a Maid of Honour and manages quite a bit of extra-curricular activity. I do explain how she got away with it, though.

I think the general view is that CH and Henry VIII did not have a sexual relationship prior to their marriage and he thought he was getting a virgin?

ETA: Misfit, you gave me an idea for a future post: 'The sex lives of ladies-in-waiting.' Thanks!!
Last edited by Miss Moppet on Wed November 18th, 2009, 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Misfit » Wed November 18th, 2009, 4:47 pm

"Miss Moppet" wrote:I think the general view is that CH and Henry VIII did not have a sexual relationship prior to their marriage and he thought he was getting a virgin?

ETA: Misfit, you gave me an idea for a future post: 'The sex lives of ladies-in-waiting.' Thanks!!


Well she's definitely not a virgin but it's not Henry that's doing it with her. No spoilers here, it's from the first few chapters but the whole Howard clan was pretty much in on getting her *educated* in the sexual arts before she even got to court. Why after that they think they can pass her off to Henry as a sweet young virgin is beyond me.....

Looking forward to the blog post
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Postby Miss Moppet » Wed November 18th, 2009, 5:11 pm

"Misfit" wrote:Well she's definitely not a virgin but it's not Henry that's doing it with her. No spoilers here, it's from the first few chapters but the whole Howard clan was pretty much in on getting her *educated* in the sexual arts before she even got to court. Why after that they think they can pass her off to Henry as a sweet young virgin is beyond me.....


That makes no sense whatsoever. It doesn't sound like a very good book.

Misfit wrote:Looking forward to the blog post


I'm going to post 'extras' for my WIP as it gets posted on my blog pages - interesting snippets of research and images I discovered along the way - and this will be one of them. I won't post it till I've got to that point in the story, so it will be a while before it appears. When it finally does I'll try to remember to put a link to it on this thread.

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Postby Misfit » Wed November 18th, 2009, 5:46 pm

That makes no sense whatsoever. It doesn't sound like a very good book.


I'm glad it's not just me. I am sitting there scratching my head trying to figure out that logic.
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