In September 1554, Mary of England had stopped menstruating. She gained weight, and felt nauseated in the mornings. For these reasons, almost the entirety of her court, including her doctors, believed her to be pregnant with the child of her husband, Philip II of Spain. Parliament passed an act making Philip regent in the event of Mary's death in childbirth. Mary continued to exhibit signs of pregnancy until July 1555, when her abdomen receded. There was no baby. Michieli dismissively ridiculed the pregnancy as more likely to "end in wind rather than anything else". It was most likely a false pregnancy, perhaps induced by Mary's overwhelming desire to have a child.

But what if Mary's pregnancy was real, and she gave birth to Philip's child? What would this mean for the Age of Exploration? What would this mean for the crowns of Spain, England, and Portugal? These questions and more are addressed in The Lion and the Rose.

Point of Divergence

On April 14, 1555, Mary I of England gives birth to Philip II's child named Henry von Habsburg in Greenwich Castle. Philip II immediately visits the court of Mary to celebrate the birth of the new child. Thanksgiving services in the diocese of London were held, and the news quickly spread to Europe about the new development.


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