Most ambassadors will have clear political objectives based on the religion and politics of their nation. They may have a close affinity to a court and a Queen. Their goals may not align with the rest of the court given that Europe is currently in a period of negotiation around the war that is consuming the continent. They will have opportunities that interest people at court or each other.
Hans Holbein, The Ambassadors
Holy Roman Empire/Spain
Eustace Chapuys (His Excellency)
55, male. Ambassador.
Longstanding resident of the English Court on behalf of his Most Catholic Majesty King Charles V of Spain, Holy Roman Emperor. He is an open supporter of Catherine of Aragon and her Daughter Mary Tudor who are close kin to King Charles. A staunch Catholic, he takes Mass with Catherine’s household when she is in residence. Everybody assumes he has more knowledge of what the delegation from Rome will offer, and that he will be fully supportive of it. England is technically allied with the Holy Roman Empire at this time.
Charles de Marillac (His Excellency)
35, male. Ambassador.
As the ambassador to the English court for the last seven years, he has seen many changes including France coming under devastating attack by England and Spain. King Francis of France is known to favour Anne Boleyn owing to her youth spent in France and her strong connection to the French court.
Duke William of Cleves (His Excellency)
39, male. Ambassador.
The brother of Anne of Cleves and the ruler of Cleves, he has only arrived at Court in the last few weeks as part of the negotiations to end the war on the continent. The League was in a political alliance with England, sealed with Henry’s marriage to Anne of Cleves, but no longer. William is a strong supporter of his sister but his more pressing concern is getting and maintaining strong Protestant allies.
33, female. Under ambassadorial protection.
Scribe, aide and political hostess for William, Duke of Cleves. Known to be a Lutheran and publisher of religious texts. She is fully under diplomatic protection so while it is illegal for her to publicly discuss or publish on religion during her stay in England, it is also impossible for the English to arrest her without causing an intolerable diplomatic incident. It is presumed by most men that she is William’s mistress, for the obvious reasons of her close connection to him given he could easily have brought a male scribe.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Papal Legate
72, male. Ambassador.
Former close friend and confidante of King Henry, former Archbishop of York, Lord Chancellor… Ultimately he was brought down for his failure to reconcile the Pope to Henry’s desire to marry Anne Boleyn. He fled England fifteen years ago after losing his position and favour at court and was formally banished. He is finally returning to England as Papal Legate under express permission from King Henry.
Cardinal Reginald Pole, Papal Legate
45, male. Ambassador.
Born in England, his entire family has been executed for his treason by refusing to swear the oath of supremacy and instead fled to the Pope’s protection. While he is a Cardinal, he has never taken holy orders and is not a priest – in the past the Vatican have pushed him to press his claim to the English Throne despite his preference to take holy orders.
He is also arguably the last surviving heir of the house of York.
Pole has the claim to be the last surviving heir of the house of York. He was studying for ordination abroad at King Henry’s expense when he refused to take the Oath of Supremacy and became a traitor, fleeing to the protection of the Pope. Various Popes have encouraged him to press his claim to the English throne and raise support to overthrow Henry. In retaliation for this, Henry executed Pole’s entire family as traitors. While he is a Cardinal, Pole has been prevented from taking Holy Orders to maintain his claim to the English throne.