The King’s Third Letter

In the third letter of The King’s Cabinet Opened, the King writes to the Queen, asking why she will not give Duke Nicolas Francois de Lorraine, a French, Catholic aristocrat, passage through France. He believes that letting him through will “secure and facilitate the Sea transportation in respect of landing on the Western Coast.” However, he tells his wife that “this is an opinion, not a direction.” This begs the question, why isn’t it a direction? He is the King, after all. Later in the letter, he discusses who to give certain titles and positions, but only if the Queen agrees. Why is the King discussing these matters with his wife in the first place?
In the beginning, and for the second half of the letter, the King basically sweet talks his wife, saying that he longs to be together again. He says that he cannot be content until he returns to her. This seems really displaced in a letter talking about military strategy. What the King is basically doing is buttering up his wife so that she will let the Duke through France.
This letter shows that, indeed, “the King’s councils are wholly managed by the Queen.” The King does not act like one’ instead he is constantly seeking his wife’s approval and advice on matters of the state. While this might be a desirable quality in a modern marriage, this is scandalous in royalty in the 1600s. Not only are matters of the state being controlled by a woman, “the weaker sex,” but she is also French and Catholic, two of the most hated attributes a person could have in 17th century England. The fact that she is undermining the King—and that he is letting her—is an outrage.
This relates to the government exposés started by Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Wikileaks because the public is informed of the faults in the government. In the case of the King’s Cabinet Opened, the commoners realized that the Queen was in more control of the government that the King. Snowden informed the public of the NSA’s surveillance, calling into question the constitutionality of its actions. Manning leaked classified documents from the Department of Defense and State to expose corruption within the cabinet of the Iraqi government. Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange, acts as a medium in which these government exposés can be facilitated. These leaks show that the government is not as powerful or morally conscious as they want us to believe. The fact that it can be undermined by a commoner—or someone of the weaker sex—causes the public to lose faith and respect for the government.


One thought on “The King’s Third Letter

  1. Mary Kate,

    You have cited all requirements and provided a good overview of the letter. Your post homes in on the controversies both during the English Civil War and modern times. Most importantly of all, you have related these issues to one another.

    Grade: S


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