rose

The Tudor Rose Bar
by Gareth Russell


As a general rule the Tudor Rose Bar, did a roaring trade with deceased historical persons. Ivan the Terrible swore by their vodka and Marie-Antoinette loved a bottle of their best champagne whenever she popped in with that nice Count Fersen, but the landlord was feeling a little edgy tonight as Margaret Beaufort had booked it for a Tudor family reunion. Mary Tudor Junior, the Duchess of Suffolk and her hubby Charles couldn't make it because they were off to one of Francis I's parties and neither could Margaret Tudor because she and Lord Methven were busy that night. However Madge Beaufort had confirmed bookings for three kings, nine queens, herself and a prince.

The first to arrive was Prince Arthur, looking pale and close to death (which was ironic because he was already dead), he smiled weakly at Tim the Landlord and asked for a diet Coke with ice. Tim passed it to the smiling and prince and thought he was quite the nicest of the Tudors.

Next to turn up was Henry VII (in those ugly long robes, thought Tim, shaking his head) and his lovely wife, Elizabeth of York (looking quite spectacular actually, thought Tim, who had a bit of a crush on her.) "I'll have some beefeater's gin," muttered Henry VII, looking shiftily around the near-empty pub.

"And I'll have a mocha", said Queen Elizabeth, who had discovered the coffee craze sweeping the historical dead from Catherine of Braganza last year. Tim passed over the gin to Henry VII who eyed Tim suspiciously, "You take a sip off it first."

There was a loud "tuh" from the Queen, "Henry there aren't assassins lurking round every corner."

"He could be a Yorkist," murmured the King, "they're everywhere."

"Look", said the Queen, "no-one's going to kill you because you're already dead dear so just drink your gin."

Before Henry VII could begin his rant about how those Yorkists could do evil things that you couldn't even imagine, Lady Margaret Beaufort entered, dressed all in black and with a look of smug superiority on her old face.

"Mummy!" cried the King. (There was another loud "tuh" from Elizabeth, whose own mother, Elizabeth Woodville, hadn't been invited.)

"How's my ickel Henry?" asked the lady, then she nodded curtly, "Elizabeth."

"Margaret." Elizabeth wondered over to her son, Arthur, who had become quite excitable from all the caffeine in the Diet Coke.

Next in barged Henry VIII, dressed in red and gold, when I say barged in that may not, technically be accurate because Tim had to use a very large shoehorn to wedge the portly monarch out of the door-way which rather spoiled the entrance.

"Hello all!" he called.

The four Tudors looked up, then Queen Elizabeth spoke, "He gets that weight from your side of the family."

Henry VII began to get a bit angry, "I don't know why I married you you you Yorkist!"

Elizabeth pursed her lips together and eyed her husband with a look of extreme distaste, "Get your coat Arthur", she said, "we're going."

"Going where?" barked Henry VII.

"To my mother's," snapped Elizabeth, "my mother always said I shouldn't have married you you you - Tudor!"

And with that Elizabeth of York and her sickly son were out the door and off to Liz Woodville's condo for the weekend.

Meanwhile Margaret Beaufort was smacking her lips gleefully at her gin and tonic, with Henry VII staring morosely at his drink. Henry VIII was getting bored, "I wish to heaven someone interesting would turn up!"

With that the door opened to reveal Catherine of Aragon and Mary I, "Hola!" said Catherine, then she eyed Henry, "Darling!"

Henry looked at her coldly, "I am not your darling madam, we discussed this, you were never my wife."

"I was too your wife, the papal dispensation."

Tim the Landlord and Mary I rolled their eyes and sat down at the bar, whilst Henry and Catherine fought it out nearby.

"Tea, please", said Mary, "Catherine of Braganza had it at her dinner party last weekend it's quite tasty."

Tim sighed, that Portuguese queen was introducing so many new-fangled beverages he didn't know where to turn. To make his life even more hassle all he could hear from Henry's table was Catherine shouting, "And then there was that Bessie Blunt one, no don't deny it." What else could happen to make his life more difficult?

"Hello all," said Anne Boleyn, making her usual grand entrance. "Like my dress?"

Everyone looked up in silence, Catherine of Aragon and Mary I huddled together and looked at Anne with intense dislike and Henry VIII tried to make a discreet bolt for the men's washroom. But Anne had spotted him.

"Well, well, well," she said, sauntering over towards him, "if it isn't Mr. 'I swear I'll love you until the day I die but as soon as you lose a baby I'll hop into bed with some ugly dolt from your household!' "

Henry turned round and grinned sheepishly, "Hello Anne."

SMACK!

Henry swallowed about two of his teeth and spat out some blood. That girl could certainly pack a punch, he thought.

"Bloody Mary, please," said Anne to the landlord.

"I don't think that's funny," snapped Mary I.

"I think it's hilarious," replied Anne tartly.

"When's that nice Jane Seymour girl getting here?" asked Catherine.

"Oh yay," murmured Anne sarcastically. "Britain's most boring woman meet's her Spanish counterpart."

"What did you say?" asked Catherine.

"Nothing chubby."

"Did you hear what she called me?" shouted Catherine at Henry.

"No, he didn,t he was too busy listening to all the lies that Cromwell and Nasty Nick Carew fill them with," said Anne, quite audibly.

Henry just get looking at his pint of beer, and pretending he couldn't hear them.

"When's Kathryn Howard getting here?" asked Anne.

"Dunno," said Henry, churlishly.

"Maybe she'll bring that nice Culpepper chap," said Anne.

Henry exploded, "What?!"

"Kidding!" said Anne, then she looked at Henry's outfit. "And what the hell are you wearing?" she asked.

"Will picked it out," he said, twisting and turning with embarrassment.

"That ugly jester of yours?"

"Yes."

"I see, and you wouldn't take fashion advice from me but you'd take it from your ugly hunchback peasant-born jester?"

He was beginning to remember why he didn't like her.

The door opened slightly and Jane Seymour crept in; it was lucky that she was so quiet because Anne was so busy telling Tim about her dog Purkoy's latest tricks that she didn't notice the shy Jane enter the bar.

"Hello my lord," she said kindly, whispering in Henry VIII's ear.

"Sweet Jane," whispered the King, leading her off to a table in the corner.

Catherine of Aragon looked after them as they went. Hadn't Jane Seymour been her servant? She wasn't so sure she liked her anymore.

The door opened and in walked Anne of Cleves and Kathryn Howard, arm in arm. As soon as they saw Anne Boleyn they tore over to her, all smiles.

"Anne!" cried young Kathryn.

"Anne!" cried not so young Anne.

"Anne and Kathryn!" cried the elegant Anne Boleyn.

Whilst Kathryn and Anne exchanged greetings, for they were cousins. Anne of Cleves (hereafter to be known as Anna) sat down at the bar and said to Tim, "Carlsberg please mate."

"Right you are Lady Anna," said Tim cheerfully, for he'd always liked Anna.

"And then Henry Mannox called and I was like 'Oh my God!'" Kathryn was in full swing, telling her story.

All was relatively peaceful for a while. At one table in the corner Henry VII and Margaret Beaufort were looking furtively round the room for Yorkists, before Henry borrowed his mother's cellular phone and called Liz Woodville's, and started sobbing "Please come back to me baby!" down the phone.

Catherine of Aragon and Mary I were still at the bar talking to Anna of Cleves, "Do you know my nephew?" asked Catherine loudly, who liked to remind everyone of her powerful Hapsburg relations.

At a small table near the jukebox Anne Boleyn and Kathryn Howard were busy discussing the important things in life. "Well my coronation dress was delightful purple velvet," sighed Anne, preening herself proudly.

"I never got a coronation," said Kathryn, throwing a dirty look in Henry VIII's direction.

And at a small table in the opposite corner Henry VIII and Jane Seymour sat whilst she placed an ice pack on his jaw to try and reduce the swelling. This quiet was disrupted when Elizabeth I arrived, in a huge white dress covered in jewels. "Hello Mummy!" she said, walking over to Anne Boleyn.

"What a lovely dress you're wearing dear," said Anne, who always liked a bit of extravagance.

"Hello Kathryn," said Elizabeth, as she edged into a seat.

"You're looking well," said Kathryn, who quite liked Elizabeth.

"Oh, no I'm not," disclaimed Elizabeth coyly.

"No you really are," said Kathryn earnestly.

"Really?" said Elizabeth, her face lighting up into a smile.

"Really," said Kathryn.

"What, better than mummy?" asked Elizabeth.

"Don't push it dear," snapped Anne.

Not long after that Katherine Parr turned up on the arm of Tom Seymour, who looked very pleased with himself.

"Excuse me," said Margaret Beaufort tipsily, "this is for the Tudor family only, and you," she seethed, waving a finger at Tom, "are NOT a Tudor."

"I married Queen Katherine and am Jane's brother," said Tom, giving old Madge Beaufort the eye. Suddenly she was all of a twitter and sat down giggling.

"I'll get the drinks, shall I?" said Elizabeth.

"Yes, another Bloody Mary for me," smiled Anne.

"Malibu for me," said Kathryn.

Elizabeth walked over to the bar, the last she heard was her mother saying, "Now as I was saying don't you think I have an OBSCENELY sexy little neck?"

But things were beginning to get a bit heated, on her way to the ladies' room Anne spotted Jane Seymour and stopped dead in her tracks, "Oh, still ugly I see?" she asked haughtily.

Jane began to stammer. "Oh shut up you poisonous little weed!" cried Anne waspishly.

Jane began to cry. "Don't pretend you're sorry you home-wrecker!" To which Catherine of Aragon looked at Anne and snorted derisively.

Then from the bar came the sounds of an argument between Elizabeth I and Tom Seymour. "OK, you're going to have to not touch my ass!" snapped the Queen.

"Come on Lizzy," slurred Tom, "just one little kiss."

"Back off buster! shouted Elizabeth.

"You know you want to you silly little --"

SMACK!

Elizabeth stormed off leaving Tom Seymour with a seriously bleeding nose.

From Henry VIII's table came the cries of, "Anne, put that fork down!" Soon followed by, "Oh my God we have to get Jane to hospital!" And Henry VIII and Jane Seymour rushed out with a fork jutting out of her eye. Anne looked very pleased with herself indeed.

Elizabeth was busy telling Kathryn all about her woes, "And then that stupid Scottish woman started writing to that Babington fellow and... "

But Tim the Landlord was beginning to get a bit nervous. Anne was now looking at Catherine with mounting dislike and had a huge kitchen knife in her hand. Kathryn was flirting outrageously over the telephone with Francis Dereham. Margaret Beaufort was passed out drunk on the floor and Elizabeth was now giggling coquettishly about Robin Dudley.

"Excuse me your Majesties!" he cried.

"Oh Francis," giggled Kathryn, before she stopped, "call you back."

"Closing time!"

All the assembled Tudors sighed a little, and they were all making their way home when Katherine Parr suddenly piped up, "Where's Edward VI?"

It was lucky it was dark, thought Anne, who now looked very shifty indeed.