s the holidays approach, Henry insists that Anne of Cleves, who remained closes with both Mary and Elizabeth, be invited to the court celebration of Christmas and New Year's. The King's festering leg ulcer causes him to cut short his activities and neglect his amorous young queen both socially and connubially. Her uncle, the elitist Earl of Surrey, seeks to supplant the Seymours and tries to cuckold Richard Seymour by seducing his wife. After a preliminary encounter, she rebuffs him only to take brother-in-law Thomas Seymour as her lover. Surrey's sense of his growing power leads him to circulate an unflattering poem about the Seymours referring to them as wolves and the Howard family to lions. Joan Bulmer breaks the vow of silence she made to Catherine about their sexual indiscretions before she was Queen by telling Lady Rochford about their amorous activities. After Culpepper becomes Rochford's lover, she indiscreetly tells him about the Queen's past and even perversely offers to arrange a clandestine encounter between them. As a sidebar, the Queen's relationship with the Pincess Mary becomes increasingly antagonistic.

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