What if Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset lived?
By - ButterflyForeign949
I'm not really sure what this does to Henry VIII. Perhaps he is more desperate to get an heir (if he is most interested in perpetuating his legacy), perhaps less (if he is interested in securing a line of kings instead of having civil war). I put Edmund's chances at long life slim of Henry still breaks with Rome--like the de la Poles, any clear claimant to the throne poses a risk to Henry.
I agree that Henry would be desperate for an heir from his own body, as history did show his first priority was his legacy. At the same time, Edmund would still be his full brother (unlike the Poles, the Staffords, and the Courtenays). Should Edmund produce issue, especially sons, and if Henry still breaks from Rome, he’s going to try very hard to get his brother in line. If Edmund complies, all is good and Edmund’s children will succeed to the throne after Henry’s own. If not, Edmund will be banished, but his children will remain at court (keep your enemies close and all that)
If Edmund lives after Henry VIII dies, that's probably when things get really complicated, as it all depends on his relationship with Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I
I'm not well-versed in Henry's own thoughts about legacy. I've seen arguments that he mostly hoped to avoid a Wars-of-the-Roses type succession dispute, which might make him more amenable to naming his brother/nephews as successors.
Banishing Edmund is risky, as he will immediately be received by the Emperor and begin gathering support for an invasion. It is more likely Henry would have him killed than let him threaten England from abroad.
Something I hadn't considered is how Edmund might change Henry's approach to Scotland. Historically, Henry dealt with France and left his wife Catherine to deal with a Scottish invasion in 1513. If Edmund is alive, Henry may put him in charge of dealing with the Scots.
I could see Edmund being a combination of Thomas, Duke of Clarence (Henry V's younger brother) and Edward Crouchback (younger brother of Edward I), where he's more or less in charge of the military minutiae alongside other duties. Regarding Scotland, Edmund might try hard to capture James IV since him alive would be more useful (and gain him goodwill from his older brother). Edmund could also be in charge of all of the naval developments while his older brother takes the credit, which might lead to some resentment.
Edmund siring sons might grant him insurance from Henry's paranoia, as Henry would very much know that if he condemns his brother, he condemns his nephews, while Edmund might be smart enough to just do what his brother wishes.
Of course, Edmund's survival post-Henry VIII (if he manages to survive that long) would depend on how close he was to his nephew Edward and his nieces Mary and Elizabeth, and that's assuming if Henry places them ahead of him