I know Gregory's books are historical fiction, but they are rooted in so much truth. King Henry VIII made such an impression on the world. It's hard to believe how much one person can do during his life.
While I read, I think about how many rules applied to the royal families at the time. You could not marry for love, instead you were betrothed to someone for political reasons,. The woman had certain expectations and was never allowed to truly stand as the ruler. During the Tudor Era, the queen would NEVER be the one calling the shots. And once King Henry began the Church of England, the court was forever a Protestant court.
So many things have changed over the years.
Today, Queen Elizabeth is the head of the royal household in England, though Parliament has political power. Prince William married a commoner this year and they married for love.
This morning, I read this article. It describes changes to two VERY long-standing rules in the English Monarchy.
First, after over 300 years, English monarchs are now allowed to marry Roman Catholics again. After King Henry's reign, England continued its battle with Rome and the Roman Catholics. In the late 1600s, it became law that the English monarchs are banned from marrying a Roman Catholic. Catholics are the only group named as barred from a royal wedding - even atheists and other religions are left unmentioned. The rule lasted through several centuries. Today, they are dropping this rule. One caveat is that the British Monarch remains the head of the Church of England.
Another MAJOR change took place today. According to the article, "The leaders also agreed to drop the practice of giving precedence to male over female heirs to the throne, regardless of age." Now, a first born girl could take the crown. This changes things in so many ways. I can't imagine what King Henry VIII would have said! ;)
Maybe this was just a rant, but it's something interesting to think about!