Whitewash 3

Even though she knew Queen Mary wanted her dead, Elizabeth refused to permit her sister to be killed. She could not do that, she said, to an annointed queen, still less to her own sister. 

As summer began, though, in 1558, Elizabeth learned that Mary had cut spending on her protection, and had stopped seeking information on possible assassins. The princess knew that it was only a matter of time before she was the victim of blade or poison, and so she reluctantly gave the go-ahead.

Key to the plan was Elizabeth's clandestine sister. She, like Elizabeth was the daughter of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII. Her name was Bess of Hardwick, and we see her in the painting below to the far right. She is receiving an apple from someone behind her, and passing it to her daughter. Her daughter in turn is passing it to Sir William Petre, who is about to put it in the fruit bowl sitting at the foot of someone's bed. 

​​Rotate your cellphone to see the  painting in full
At the same time, a sinister dark hand is drifting white powder over the fruit in the bowl from above. It masquerades as innocent drapery, but don't be fooled. There are faint letters in that powder that spell out 'arsenic'... The occupant of the bed is being poisoned.

And just who is that? There is a hint parading around the bedpost - do you see the troupe of little elephants? The elephant in those days was a symbol of great power used selfishly and without feeling. The bed belongs to Queen Mary. Sir William at the time was one of her most senior ministers, and well-trusted by her - but he, too, had had enough. And after Mary died that November,  he alone of Mary's ministers was pardoned. More, Elizabeth put him in charge of her Mint, where all the gold was stored that would keep her in power. She owed him her throne, after all... and she knew for sure she could trust him.

Who then is the assassin providing that poisoned apple? Again, tiny letters, so obscure you might look at them for a century without realising, provide us with his name. They spell the word 'Aly'. And the artist, who was so amazingly well informed about the an assassination which to this day you will still not find in any history book? Well, that was Paris Bordone. And Paris Bordone was the favourite alias of guess who? Aly.

Should you wish to go see the painting for yourself, all you need do is visit Chatsworth House, the grand palace that Bess of Hardwick built for herself during her sister's reign. You will find it there among her many treasures...

So by this time Aly had provided Elizabeth with an heir to the throne, young Robert Tudor. He had slain the evil wife of the Spanish King Philip, removing England from his control... and he had put Elizabeth on the throne instead. He would now expect, and eventually get some help from Elizabeth towards the struggle against the evil Spanish Empire, and against the curse of slavery...