When Charles first saw Anne of Cleves, he noticed that she had pock marks on her face, reminders of a past bout with smallpox. Even so, he thought that she looked quite lovely.
"I want to please the King," she told Charles. He thought she had a lovely voice as well. "Tell me, what types of things does he like to do?"
"He enjoys playing cards." Charles couldn't think of anything else to say.
"Will you teach me how to play, then?"
Charles was impressed by how quickly Anne learned to play cards. For the rest of the voyage back to England, he enjoyed conversing with her and came to admire not only her intelligence but her social graces as well. He felt sure that Henry would be able and willing to look past her physical imperfections as well.
In Bavaria, Philip and Mary strolled the grounds of Neuburg Castle hand in hand, admiring the scenery around them. Mary looked at the snow-covered mountains in the distance and shuddered involuntarily.
"Are you cold, my love?" asked Philip.
"I'm fine," Mary replied. "I was just thinking how insignificant the hills of my homeland seem by comparison to the mountains of Bavaria."
"I've always considered the mountains to be one of our most beautiful features, besides you, of course," Philip laughed.
Mary blushed at the compliment. "I wonder whether the rest of Germany is as lovely as Bavaria. Cleves, for example."
"It's in the valley of the Rhine river along the border with the Netherlands. It's lovely, but I have to admit I am partial to my own beautiful home. Why the sudden interest in Cleves?"
"I have heard that my father seeks to marry one of the daughters of the Duke of Cleves."
Philip looked surprised. "They are distant relatives of mine."
Mary smiled. "Speaking of relatives, I have news that will make you smile. I have recently discovered that I'm with child."
"Mary, my love!" Philip laughed happily and embraced his wife. "That is indeed wonderful news! For how long have you known?"
"Only since yesterday. I was seeking the perfect moment to tell you."
"Well, I think you found it." Philip kissed her. "You have made me very happy, my dear. I do so look forward to having an heir."
"But, Philip..." Mary was suddenly overcome with apprehension, so much so that she could barely get the next words out. "What if it's a girl?"
Philip's expression changed from one of happiness to one of concern. He gently touched Mary's chin. "Are you afraid, my love?"
Mary nodded as tears came to her eyes. Philip gently took her into his arms and held her.
"It will be all right, my darling. If we have a daughter, we shall love her no less."
Mary smiled with relief, thinking how fortunate she was and how much she loved her husband.
Charles felt optimistic as he and Anne of Cleves arrived at Whitehall Palace. He knew how melancholy the death of Jane Seymour had made King Henry and felt sure that his new bride would make him smile once more.
He was completely unprepared for Henry's reaction when he was finally introduced to Anne of Cleves.