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Hello Twitter.

Here is a story about George Villiers (later Duke of Buckingham, famous for being James I boyfriend) and Charles (later Charles I, famous for being beheaded) going on a Super Secret Mission To Spain.

This story is not an April Fool, Though it could be.
This is not relevant to the story but George Villiers was a total fox.

Just puttin' it out there.
The context of George & Charles deciding to go on a SSMTS are actually fucking complicated, involving the Holy Roman Empire and political upheaval in Bohemia (including bonus defenestration of two imperial representatives in Prague).
But mainly Charles really wanted to bone down on the Spanish Infanta.

And about three other people (George, James I, and one Spanish ambassador James I had a crush on) thought this was politically a good idea.
In fairness, Charles was all of 21 and, by all accounts, the Spanish Infanta was a total fox.

Though, let’s be clear, not as much of a fox as George Villiers. Who was, at this stage in his career, probably the most bonkable man in Europe.
Anyway, long story slightly shorter: George & Charles decide to go on Super Secret Mission to Spain, by themselves, in the middle of winter, in order to woo the Infanta through their audacity & demonstrate England’s friendship to Spain.
Because when I want to show someone how sincerely I respect their international policies, I sneak in their backdoor without telling them.
James I is obviously not okay with this. “You will probably both die horribly,” he says. “& that will make me very sad because I love you, especially George because he is a total fox. I am, frankly, only so-so on you Charles but you’re my last standing son so what’s a man to do?”
George & Charles make for the ferry at Gravesend—the quickest route to Dover.

Because they are both so ludicrously privileged, it hasn’t occurred to either of them to bring … change.

So they attempt to pay the ferryman with a gold piece.
The ferryman naturally concludes that they are dodgy as fuck and reports them to the authorities in Rochester.
Meanwhile, our loveable dudebros on their excellent adventure have managed to hire some horses and get out the city.

First thing they see on the main road from London to Dover? The French Ambassador coming the other way.
Y’know, diplomatic envoy of the country they’re illegal entering en route to the other country they’re illegally entering.

So they do the only thing they can. They hide in a hedge until he’s gone. And then proceed to Dover cross-country.
They finally make it to Canterbury (& I’m on Tweet 39327203 and these clowns aren’t even out the goddamn country) whereupon they are immediately arrested.
The Mayor is terrified at the potential fallout from tangling with two clearly aristocratic men & compensates by telling them that he has a warrant for their arrest from the Privy Council, the Royal Master of Ceremonies and the Lt of Dover Castle.
George (who, incidentally, has recently been appointed Lord Admiral by James I--James I gave him ALL the titles) eventually has to come clean & both he & Charles are released.
Not long after which, the small boy they have hired to deliver their luggage somehow penetrates their subtle disguisements & has to be bribed into silence.
But, finally, FINALLY, they make it to fucking Dover, get on a fucking ship and make it to fucking Boulogne.

(PS the Lord Admiral is horribly ill the whole journey.)
On the road to Paris, they encounter two German tourists who are returning from a trip to Newmarket where they saw George & Charles riding with the king in the royal coach.
“Holy shit,” cry the German tourists, “Aren’t you…?”

“What?” say George & Charles. “No. That would be stupid. Why would George Villiers & Charles, Prince of Wales be travelling alone in France in the middle of winter?”
“You’re right,” say the German tourists. “That would be stupid. Clearly we are mistaken. LOL.”
& thus our boys reach Paris.

Where they find a messenger from England waiting for them.
“My sweet boys,” James tells them (that is legit historical text). “DON’T CAUSE A WAR BY TRYING TO SNEAK INTO PARIS LIKE A PAIR OF KNOBENDS.” (that is not legit historical text, but it is definitely the implication).
George & Charles insist they have it covered, whereupon it turns out at that French Ambassador totally spotted them on the road to Dover & was all like “WTF England”.
So James I had to write to Louis XIII being like “heads up, fellow king bro, my son is sneaking through your country. We good?”

He also reminds Baby Charles to write a nice thank you letter to the French King after leaving his country.
The sweet boys, however, decide to fuck that. And, instead, buy some periwigs. A disguise of their persons they believe to be so absolute that they take a further day in Paris to do some sightseeing.
Eventually, they wind up the viewing gallery at the palace where they get to watch the Royal revels—and get all miffed that they can’t go to the party.

So they approach the Lord Chamberlain for permission to attend, claiming to be minor English gentry.
Which means, what we have here is: 2 of the highest ranking members of the English court wearing stupid wigs & pretending to be slightly less high ranking members of the English court so they can party with the King of France.
The Lord Chamberlain, having most likely been forewarned of this nonsense by the King’s officials, is like okay whatever.
Whereupon they both develop immediate crushes on the Queen of France, Anne of Austria—who probably approaches George Villiers in general foxiness.

Her life is actually pretty miserable because Louis XIII has, cough, other interests & her mother-in-law is a fucking Medici.
But George Villiers is unable to resist her & sneaks into her apartments.
So not only have our boys sidled into France illegally, they’ve gone to a party held by the one person they absolutely have to make sure doesn’t know they’re there, and—at that very very same party—seduced the guy’s wife.
After which incident, by the way, the King forbids any man from entering Anne’s chambers unless he himself is present. Which he never is because, like, I said: other interests (men).

Not that George & Charles care: they’re on their way through Gascony.
For which journey they have purchased such extravagant riding coats the local gentry keep trying to invite them to dinner & keep having to be put off.

“No, no, these aren’t aristocratic Englishmen. They’re just commoners in fancy gear. NOTHING TO SEE HERE.”
The weather gets really bad (winter, remember) & food is scarce (middle of French nowhere, remember) & our heroes go through a time of actual legit of hardship.

I mean, they are cold and hungry for a bit.
Eventually, they spot a goat on the road & have a long argument about whether they should eat it or—being gentlemen—find who the goat belongs to first.
They manage to locate a confused French goatherd & give him some money.

The goat is not up for being eaten so runs around a haystack for a bit while George (FOXIEST MAN IN EUROPE) chases it.
Finally Charles metaphorically loses his goat & shoots the actual goat.

What the goatherd thought of this farce has been tragically lost to posterity.

History man, written by the goat-chasers, not the goat-herders.
Anyway they eat the goat.

& make it to Bayonne, where they are nearly arrested AGAIN.

Because Bayonne is a strategic port type place & they are clearly no less dodgy as fuck than they were at the point they were trying to pay a ferryman with a gold piece.
Somehow they manage to evade capture and head south again.

Where they run into the steward of the British Ambassador to Spain carrying letters to London.

Of course, they open them – decide everything is TOTALLY COOL & then persuade the steward to take them back to Spain.
Needless to say, recruiting someone with a fucking clue what he’s doing makes the rest of the journey go a lot smoother.
So much so, that George writes triumphantly of the TERRIBLY SUBTLE & SUCCESSFUL mission to James I.

Who, bonus fact, he tends to call “dear dad.”

As they’re approaching Madrid, they run into a Spanish diplomat Charles decides to engage in conversation.

“I remember,” says Charles, “one of the ambassadors had an utter minger of a son who was nonetheless married to a total fox.”
“Hello,” says the Spanish diplomat. “That minger is me.”
At which point he challenged Charles to a duel. & was only talked down once Charles revealed his true identity.

& thus in much the same fashion as they left London, our lovable goat-chasing, queen-bonking, arrest-avoiding dudebros, George & Charles, finally make it to Madrid.
I've got some titles:

Dude Where's My Infanta
Some Like It Spanish

Or, my personal favourite,

Tom & John’s Excellent Adventure.

(Tom & John being the pseudonyms George & Charles cunningly adopted during their Super Secret Mission to Spain.)
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