Queen Anne's Masques

Chapter 1: Queen Anne's Court

Queen Anne, wife of James VI and I, around 1605

Anne of Denmark became Queen of Scots in 1589. And Queen of England when her husband succeeded Elizabeth in March 1603. As Anne was pregnant at the time of James’ accession to the English throne, she did not immediately accompany him south, instead, remaining in Scotland with a view to travelling when she was delivered. Sadly, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage in May 1603. Soon after, she set out for her new kingdom.

James had arranged for a number of great ladies of the English court to meet the Queen, one of whom was Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich, who had been in secret contact with James since the 1580s.

Possibly Lucy, Countess of Bedford (1581 - 1627)

Anne appears to have taken an immediate liking to Lady Rich, although she was some eleven years older than the 29 year old Queen. Anne also became intimate with the younger Lucy, Countess of Bedford, whom she selected as her chief Lady of the Bedchamber.

Lady Bedford and Penelope were well acquainted, as Lucy and her husband had been intimates of Essex, and Lord Bedford had been involved in the rebellion of 1600.

Penelope, too was appointed to the Queen’s service.