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Literature / Beware Princess Elizabeth

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Beware, Princess Elizabeth is the second novel in Carolyn Meyer's Young Royals Historical Fiction series.

Elizabeth Tudor is thirteen when her father the king passes away. She is third in line to inherit the throne, after her brother Edward and sister Mary. Her path to the throne does not run smoothly - she has to deal with inappropriate advances from her guardians, being disinherited yet again, and her sister eventually turning on her.

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Tropes:

  • Always Someone Better: Elizabeth feels this way about Jane Grey - finding her to be too perfect at times.
  • Angst? What Angst?:invoked Catherine Parr marries Tom Seymour far sooner than expected - before she has finished the appropriate mourning period for King Henry.
  • Artistic Licence – History: The Tom Seymour business is greatly toned down, possibly for the sake of the younger target audience. It's portrayed as a crush Elizabeth has on him, and a very innocent bit of flirting. In reality he would frequently enter her room in his nightshirt to tickle her or grope her. Catherine Parr even joined in on this for a time. It got to the degree that Kat Ashley had to beg him to stop to save Elizabeth's reputation.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Mary and Elizabeth become sworn enemies over the course of the story.
    • The Seymour brothers Tom and Ned end up fighting over who gets to be regent to Edward.
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  • Coming-of-Age Story: Elizabeth begins the story at thirteen and ends it at twenty-three.
  • Continuity Nod: Reginald Pole is discussed as a possible husband for Mary. Elizabeth says "I heard Mary once loved him", referencing a plot point from Mary Bloody Mary.
  • Country Mouse: At one point Elizabeth rides through the countryside where hundreds of her supporters shower her with respect. She refers to them as "simple folk".
  • Death by Childbirth: Catherine Parr dies this way.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Mary names Elizabeth her successor on her deathbed.
  • Dying for Symbolism: Jane Grey's execution shows that Mary is starting a reign of terror.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: When Elizabeth is taken to the Tower of London, she lets it rip on the guards.
    "Am I to eat the food of common prisoners? I am sister to the Queen!"
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  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Elizabeth's Trauma Conga Line ends on the day she is told of her sister's death, and the last line of the book is...
    "Today I am Elizabeth, Queen of England."
  • Evil Uncle: Both Edward's uncles Edward and Thomas use him to try and gain power.
  • Freudian Excuse: Tom Seymour's indiscretion with Elizabeth is portrayed as the reason she remained a virgin.
    "No man would be my downfall as Thomas Seymour had."
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Mary's reign is portrayed as such.
  • Gut Punch: Lady Jane Grey's death marks the point where Elizabeth realises she doesn't know her sister anymore.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Catherine Parr is shown to be ignorant of Tom Seymour's molesting of Elizabeth. In reality she took part in a couple of incidents herself.
  • History Repeats: Elizabeth briefly flashes back to the time Catherine Howard was executed, and how everyone compared it to her own mother's execution.
  • Hollywood Old: In her introduction Elizabeth notes that Catherine Parr at the age of thirty-four was "past her bloom"
  • Honorary Aunt: Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth wife, is this to Elizabeth. The two meet frequently, and Anne ends up being the last of the wives to die.
  • The Ingenue: Jane Grey is portrayed as such.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Mary Tudor is the major antagonist, and there's mention of Mary Queen of Scots. Catherine Parr is in the early part of the book, and Catherine Howard is mentioned. Likewise with Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Elizabeth at one point notes that Mary's eyebrows give her the impression she's frowning all the time.
  • Precocious Crush: Elizabeth - a naive teenager - has a crush on her stepmother's new husband.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When Elizabeth hears that she has been struck from the line of succession, she goes mad and starts throwing things at the castle walls.
  • Spiritual Successor: Can be seen as one to Young Bess, which was also about Elizabeth's adolescence (though it applied heavy Artistic Licence – History to her relationship with Tom Seymour).
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Mary's is said to be wild boar.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Mary taking the throne is initially celebrated by everyone - including Elizabeth - but she slowly starts persecuting Protestants.
  • Villain of Another Story: Mary Queen of Scots is briefly mentioned as a relation to Elizabeth. During her reign, Elizabeth would have Mary executed.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Elizabeth once loved her sister dearly, but they become enemies over the course of the story. There is a Pet the Dog moment before Mary dies where the Queen visits and the two have a somewhat pleasant time.
  • Woman in White: Elizabeth dresses in a pure white gown for her interrogation in the Tower of London.
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