The Two Sides Of Royalty

It is the year 1910, and Jane May has been arranged to be married to the Duke of Dorset on her 16th birthday. She understands that this experience will change her life forever, changing her status from a normal teenager in the 19th century to the Duchess of Dorset, but she wants the best of both worlds: to keep her 2 year relationship with her lover, Edward, but at the same time, to marry William. She has wanted royalty from a young age, but knows that by marrying the Duke, she will not be able to see Edward.
Unfortunately, she does not have the choice to decide the path of her life, and so life of a Duchess begins. She adores the privacy, William, and the expensive dresses she receives, but she also has to keep her secret: sneaking out to see Edward. As her life as the Duchess of Dorset goes on, she finds that William is not the perfect Duke, or the prince of her dreams. He has some dark secrets too...

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8. A perfect excuse

So I have slowly fallen in love with William. But this doesn't mean that I'm not still in love with Edward. I still think of him, everyday, and I still wish and hope that the day will come when I am able to met him in secret.

Even though the love between William and Edward is shared now, I still don't feel that I can confess all of my deepest secrets or confide my worries to William. Except mother and father, and of course Evelyn and Marie, Edward is the only other person who I feel safe with, and are able to tell everything to.

And even though I am now very close to William, I still think and feel that him and I are worlds' apart. People say that we are now at the same level of royalty, but I do not believe that. After all, he was born into this family, he knows everything that I still don't - and probably never will , he understands everything that I don't - and probably never will, but most importantly of all, he gains the respect that I have not, and once again, that I probably will never gain.

He is the face that everybody knows and sees, yet I will always just be the Duchess - sounding so royal and high up - the lady in the background. And sometimes, I wish that I was part of the big, main picture, and not just the shadow behind royalty. Not just the one who produces offspring.

Charles has just since passed his 1st birthday, and due to this event, William has decided to throw a banquet of some sort to celebrate. Everything has been arranged. Cakes have been baked and the food has been cooked to a royal standard, with the dancers specially chosen to a very particular taste.

The date has been set to tonight.

I hold William in my arms as I walk down the long hallway, watching the maids in white aprons and servants in black dressings scurry down the hall next to me, and listening in on their conversations as I walk down to the main living room, where there is plush red chairs, and I take a seat in one of them.

Two maids and a servant walk across the living room to get to the dining room and I can't help but eavesdrop on their conversation.

"I heard that the Duke is going to allow the Duchess not to come to the party if she is too tired." one maid says to another, as the two of them carry a freshly home-made chocolate cake down the hallway to the grand dining room.

"And I heard that she is allowed to leave the palace for one night to have some privacy to herself, without us around her all the time, since she has not been allowed out of the Palace except to the back rose garden with the Duke himself and the little heir since she has stepped in here." the servant walking behind them pitches into the conversation.

Their conversation continues down the hallway, and little parts of it drifts back down the hallway to me, but I don't notice them anymore. I am stunned and surprised. William is going to give me permission to go out of the palace when the celebration starts this evening.

This means I can visit Edward and no-one will suspect me of going missing or leaving. Now all I need to do is tell William that I am too tired to attend the grand banquet, and ask for some time to myself.

The timing is perfect.

I look out of the window, and see signs of a starry night. The time is early yet, but the faint dots of the stars are already shining bright through the slight dimming of the sky. I see the slight outline of the white moon in the foreground, and notice that tonight, the moon is full and perfectly circular.

Tonight is the night.

I plan exactly what I will say to William in my head whilst Charles struggles in my arms, wanting to be free and to crawl on the floor. I kiss his head, and slowly and gently lower him onto the soft red carpet by my chair.

I continue the speech that I will say to William in my head, and decide on exactly what to say.

I have everything planned out, but I just hope that Edward's faith in me has not started to fade, and that he will still be waiting at the garden a couple of minutes ride on horseback from the palace. After 5 years since I have entered the palace, I have kept the promise that one day, I will be able to see him again.

Everything is right. I just hope that he is still waiting for me, for I can finally see him again after so long.

I cannot wait!

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