Years ago when our Honorable Sovereign began courting me, I don’t think a single person could have fathomed that events and circumstances would lead to this moment. I know I certainly did not. While I readily admit that I sometimes directed a sharp tongue and disagreeable attitude toward His Grace, I did not commit the crimes that have brought me to face the executioner’s sword.
I am truly sorry for the death of the others implicated in the charges against me. They did nothing wrong and were punished to pave the way to my condemnation today. I am especially mournful of the execution of my brother George. He was a kind and gentle soul, and I regret that he paid the ultimate price simply because he was my brother.
My family’s ambition directed and encouraged my relationship with His Majesty. Then the fragile climate of politics combined with the ambitions of other courtesans led to my downfall. All I ever longed for was a stable and happy marriage blessed with healthy children. I am most thankful that God saw fit to bless the King and me with a beautiful, most wonderful daughter Elizabeth. It is my greatest hope that His Grace will change his mind and recognize her as his legitimate daughter – because she deserves this at the very least. I also desire the people of England and the world to honor and respect my Elizabeth as a member the royal family.
As I reflect upon my life, there are but a few things that I would ultimately change. One regret is that I wish that I had treated the Lady Mary with more love and respect. Just as my Elizabeth cannot change who her mother is, Mary can’t help the circumstances in which she found herself in. I should have been compassionate to the King’s young daughter and been more kind to her. I humbly hope that Mary will be afforded the respect and adoration she most certainly deserves.
I now stand before you ready to die. I have made my peace with the Lord and have been much comforted through steadfast prayers and submission to Him.