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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14. The New Girl

The third day.

Food and water have been brought to me through the guards, but still not sign of William.

All I do each day is eat, drink, sleep and change clothes every so often.

It is 4.30 in the afternoon on the third day, and I have nothing to occupy myself with anymore.

Suddenly, the lock turns, and William walks through.

I am so happy to see him, and the hatred that shocked me three days ago completely vanishes when I see his face, and I rush over to embrace him.

All too soon, the guards wrench me off him, and I am forced away from him.

"Jane, I have very important news for you. It requires you to pay full attention. This news will most definitely shock you, but you have no other choice. This is the way it's going to be, from now on." William says to me without break.

I blink my eyes in confusion. What could be worse than being locked up in a room all by yourself for three days without your husband? 

"What is the news?" I ask William shakily, fearing the worst.

 

"I would like to introduce you to the new Duchess in waiting." William says, waving his hand towards the door.

 

"I would like to introduce you to the new Duchess in waiting"

 

The words echo and spin around in my head a couple of times, and I am dumbfounded.

I feel like running, but my legs are glued to the floor.

I feel like shouting but my mouth makes no noise.

I feel like crying but no tears come out.

My body has frozen. I feel nothing.

I sense nothing.

I hear nothing.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

"Jane!" William breaks the silence.

A tall brunette walks through the door, and takes William's outstretched hand.

She is pretty, dressed already in satins and silks, in a beautiful white dress that covers he from neck to toe, and I suspect from her height that she is wearing high heels too.

After a moment of inspecting her from a distance, I realise that the dress is mine, the first dress that William ever bought for me, and now, it is on her.

She smiles, a fake smile that is plastered on her beautifully rounded, smooth face, her perfect lips opening into a huge grin, showing her perfect white teeth.

The corners of her eyes have no smile wrinkles when she smiles, but her cheekbones lift up, lighting up the whole room.

Her eyes are chestnut brown, sparkling and dancing in the dim light of the room, while her lashes flap up and down.

Her hair is shiny and smooth, modelled into a perfect style that suits her better than any hairstyle suits me.

She is perfect. I admit to myself. Every single inch of her that I can see now is better than every inch of me.

I tell myself that I have competition to live up to, but then realise, what it the point? The competition has finished. And she has won, without even trying.

The white dress the she wears on her body suits her well, maybe even better than it did me, the lace around her waist emphasises her shape. And the satins and silks on the dress blend in perfectly with her skin colour.

"Jane, meet the new Duchess in waiting." William says to me, then turns to look at the new girl, and nods.

"Hello, Jane. It is nice to finally meet you." the new girl bobs a small curtsy.

Her pronunciation is flawless, just like every other part of her.

"Hello. You look beautiful." I say to her, and curtsy back.

"Jane, this is Victoria. I have told her that she may call you by your name, since she will be the next Duchess. You may thank her because due to her persuasion, you are free from your room, but will be allocated another new rom, whilst Victoria and I will share a room. Charles will be looked after by Victoria for now, until you can get back on your feet, and all of the clothes that I have given to you will go to Victoria. The clothes that you have now will be the clothes that you may wear." William explains, gesturing.

"Do you have any questions?" asks William.

"What will be my job in the palace now then?" I ask.

"You have no job. You may stay in the palace and you will be stripped of your role as Duchess in 2 days, when you will remain here, but have no particular role." says William.

"And when I am stripped of a role of Duchess, Victoria will gain the role?" I ask again.

"That is correct. From then on, she will have my offspring, unless I see fit for you to do so." William replies.

"Unless you see fit for me to do so? Does that mean I may have another baby?" I am confused.

"If I would like a brother or sister for Charles, I will then turn to you, but for the mean time, Victoria will be Charles' mother, and will be bearing my offspring." says William.

"I understand." I reply bitterly.

"Very well. I will give you some time to get to know Victoria, and her you." says William, and with that, he kisses Victoria and then turns and walks out of the door.

This leaves me and Victoria standing in the room alone.

I take the chance to ask her the questions that have been building up inside me for the past three days.

"Come, Victoria, sit, I would like to get to know you." I say, gesturing for her to sit down on the bed.

Victoria accepts and sits down politely, smoothing out the creases of what used to be my best dress.

"So tell me about yourself, Victoria, how did William come across you?" I ask, trying to be as polite as possible.

"I actually only met him three days ago. I was by the river near my home, and he was on horseback. We started talking and I was shocked and surprised at the same time when he told me he was the Duke of Dorset. But we started talking and I fell in love with him, and I think he fell I love with me too. I knew we had only just met, but he wanted to make love to me that very first name after he proposed, and when I agreed, I though that it was the only way to impress him, and so I just..." Victoria trailed off, blushing.

I knew exactly what came next.

"And then we spent two more nights together, when he wanted to marry here, and I just said 'yes'" Victoria continued. She seemed happy talking about the times she had with my husband.

"I know that this is rather unfair for you, but I cannot help that I love him. And also, I think I may already be carrying his baby, so this seemed proper, but I promise to you, I will take good care of Charles and William, and I will have a healthy little boy to give back to you." Victoria said, and this brings tears to my eyes. So maybe she wasn't the terrible second wife of William that I had expected, and I am happy to hear that she would take such good care of William and Charles.

This is all that I need to hear.

"Thank you." I say simply, and I know that everything will be fine, even though it won't be.

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