At the Royal Council of 1453, there was a notable absentee.
York: Your majesty, we are not graced with the presence of her majesty the Queen. I hope she is not unwell?
Henry: Unfortunately she is. Her belly is swollen, and the swelling only increases. I am very fearful for her.
Presently, a messenger arrived from the royal physician.
Henry: It is bad news, I fear.
Messenger: No, your majesty, it is the very best news. Her majesty the Queen has given birth to a baby boy.
The Duke of York and his supporters were astonished and appalled in equal measure. The House of Lancaster now had an heir to the throne. The King was no less surprised.
Henry: But that is impossible. I practise the sacred path of celibacy. How can it be? It cannot be my child.
Alarmed by this utterance, the quick witted Earl of Wiltshire summoned the guards to take the King to his chamber and fetch a physician.
Wiltshire: He's having one of his funny turns. He doesn't know what he's saying. You've been telling us for years that he's mad, York, and this quirk of providence has unsettled his equilibrium.
York: This is a trick, Wiltshire. Who is the father? Which one of you is it?
Wiltshire: How dare you impugn the virtue of her majesty and her loyal nobles. Hold your tongue, York, or we may start asking how the Duchess of York conceived your son Edward when she was in Rouen and you were miles away in Pontoise.
At this a tide of muttering swept the chamber, until the Earl of Salisbury put a stop to it.
Salisbury: Enough of this ludicrous diversion. The King is clearly incapacitated by a mental affliction, and the Queen likewise owing to her confinement. We must have a Lord Protector to govern the country. I nominate the Duke of York.
The nomination was supported by a large majority of those present.