She had been a Lancastrian, daughter to one of Margaret of Anjou’s closest ladies. He was a brother to the King, albeit matrilineally. He was Lancaster through and through. They had met at court whilst she was still married to John Grey and she had been one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. She barely gave him a thought, at least until he delivered the news of her husband’s death. He lauded her dead husband’s bravery at leading the Lancastrian cavalry charge and nearly running the Yorkist pretender through. She cursed the second meeting at St. Albans and her husband’s loyalty, wondering what would become of her sons whilst her shrewish mother-in-law still lived. As time passed, Jasper and Elizabeth grew closer and became confidantes, his feelings grew, whilst her grief didn’t threaten to swallow her up in this rough Welshman’s presence.
Her sons inheritance could not be obtained, Elizabeth wrote to Jasper in vain as he maintained the Welsh marches for Lancaster. She realised that to maintain her sons position and pride drastic action would need to be taken. She met the Yorkist pretender whilst he was on his way north and summoned all her charm to ensure the help she needed. Jasper’s letters were left unanswered and he left his post at Pembroke in a hurry lest something terrible had happened.
And it had. She had secretly married the Yorkist pretender. He felt betrayed, not only for Lancaster but for the as yet unstated feelings, secretly he had hoped for a relationship following the mould of his mother and father’s. Yet she had married the usurper, not the Welshman, his tale was not of a Welsh bard and a widowed queen, his was of betrayal and sides to be taken. She had chosen her side and he, his.
Elizabeth had chosen security and safety for her Grey sons instead of following the nagging in the back of her head and heart. She was confident she had done the right thing and was resolved to forget the name Tudor and all the memories associated with it.
When Edward passed and the turbulence of the House of York reappeared, she had thought again of the rough, unmannered Tudor and the comfort he had delivered following John’s death. When Tudor won Bosworth, she allowed herself to feel a glimmer of hope at his reappearance. Brittany had changed him, war had changed him, but his eyes remained the same. They had brief weeks of happiness when their acquaintance was renewed, the feelings between them unacknowledged in words, yet recognised in the way they acted around one another.
This happiness was shattered when his nephew elevated him to Duke of Bedford, a title which Elizabeth had hoped would allow her to marry him, until it was announced that he was to marry her younger sister, Katherine. The Yorkist years were to be repeated again, of silence, regret and betrayal. Jasper’s undying loyalty to Lancaster, meant silent agreement, whilst Elizabeth retreated to Bermondsey suffocating under the grief for her second husband and the death of the brief happiness she had with Jasper.