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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1. Flashback

Today is my birthday, 14th of August, and it is the year 1910. I am 16 years of age and expected to marry a man 9 years older than me in less than 5 minutes, William, the Duke of Dorset. I wish I could say that I suggested this white veil occasion on myself, but the truth is that I have been forced into it. By  going through with this marriage means that I have to end my  2 year childhood relationship with my lover, Edward. I just wish that there was some way of keeping him, our relationship, with me marrying William at the same time, but of course, that option would be irrational, improper. it would simply not be accepted.

Mother tells me that I am lucky to have been proposed to by the Duke, we were a poor family, mother, father, and my two sisters, and I was just a normal teenager living in the early 19th century, until the Duke and his royal family held a ball at the town hall, where everyone was expected to attend. Mother of course, was fretting. She had gone and bought the best fabric she could find to make us possibly the best dresses the land has ever seen. The dresses were skin-tight, with the corsets bound so tightly around us that we could hardly breathe, but anything was tried to catch the Duke's attention. And it worked.

Halfway through a dance, I was dancing with Edward, who was also dressed up impeccably neat and tidy, he walked across the room toward me, and tapped Edward on the shoulder. Edward looked up him, stunned, before backing away from us, and walked out of the hall. The Duke looked at me through his dark eyelashes and brown eyes, and offered me a hand to continue the dance. I took his hand as gracefully as I could - as mother had taught me - and he pulled me closer. When the song was nearly finished, he stepped back slightly, and started talking to me.

"You are being awfully quiet, I have never heard anyone be so silent around me before, answer me, are you afraid of me?" he asked me quietly, looking me straight in the eye.

From the corner of my right eye, over the Duke's shoulder, I see mother and father and my two sisters, Evelyn and Marie watching my every move.

"Your highness, if I'm being truthful, I am a little scared, for I have never danced with a Duke before." I answer him back timidly.

"Well, seeing as I have quite enjoyed my dance with you, we will see each other more often, I hope." he chuckles softly by my ear, as he pulls me in once again for the last minute of the song.

As the song slowly comes to an end, he releases me and bows. in return I curtsey shyly, and only look up to see him for a second, of which he is smiling at me.

He slowly backs away, not taking his eyes away from me, until he reaches his family again. My family immediately rushes to my side and fills the silence around me with questions. that night, he asked my father for my hand in marriage. My father did not see any problem with it, and agreed immediately. I couldn't keep this kind of secret from Edward, so the first chance I got with him the next day, I told him the news. We agreed to find out a way to still meet after the wedding. A promise is a promise.

The wedding bell sounds in the room behind the doors ahead of me, bringing me back to the present day, and away from my flashback. Time to marry the Duke of Dorset.

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