1. I am convinced that I have spent most of my life waiting to subsume my will to someone more beautiful and powerful than myself. I am crammed with ambition on the behalf of others.
2. I would happily sidle over to up-and-comers at court during a masque, deliver a short, cutting remark about their social-climbing, then whirl smilingly away into the crowd.
3. Second only to my unflagging loyalty is my ability to tell when the tide is turning and jump ship at just the right moment – not too soon, when I could be accused of desertion by a still-powerful consort, and not too late, when I could be lumped together with the condemned. I will gladly transfer my loyalty to whichever arriviste currently pleases the King, until she doesn’t.
4. I spent a lot of time at sleepovers helping prettier girls than me do their hair or give each other makeovers and telling them how even more pretty they looked at the end of the process, so I’m prepared for that aspect of things.
5. I look amazing in square necklines, but not so amazing that it would threaten any of the more powerful ladies at court.
6. Communicating entire sentences in a carefully raised eyebrow and whispering double entendres while kneeling in church is something I feel I was born to do.
7. As best as I can tell, being a lady-in-waiting consists primarily of idly doing embroidery and occasionally saying bitchy things about the Queen; I can learn embroidery.
8. I really like whatever kind of weird music they always play in Tudor-era period dramas, with like the eerie woodwinds and that “doodly doo” sound, it’s kind of like a bagpipe but not exactly.
9. I’ve never had chicken pox, so I imagine that would sort of transitive-property-immunize me to smallpox.
10. I will say and do literally anything to keep my head on my shoulders. I’d keep my head down, you know? Play the long game. Not looking to rise to royal mistress or queen myself; that way ends at the Tower. I’m just here to smile and hold your French gable hood and hopefully not die in childbirth or have to work for a living.
11. I love strategy games; I would cheerfully choke back my feminism and participate in the world’s longest con and forget how to read in order to focus on more useful pursuits, like making bloodthirsty and insecure men feel powerful and important. It would be my greatest role.
12. I will never, never, never, ever try to sleep with the King.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.