I sealed the letter with my royal seal; I poured the burning hot wax upon the lip of the envelope and let it drop for a few seconds before stamping hard my seal, imprinting my name and my coat of arms onto the letter.
I glanced and the name on the letter, it read Richard, I sighed, quite deeply in fact, the Duke, Richard, remained in my thoughts, though I knew he does not belong there. I wanted to forget all about him, I was told that would be the best way to get over this and to move on. To the rest of my family and to His Lordship, my Father, this was a minor setback; he still had such plans for me to marry well just as my sister had done so before me.
A week after we received the terrible news my Lord Father and His Majesty returned back to Paris, a few days later I received a summons to the palace. I had been called to serve as a kinswoman, I was to go to court and serve my Aunt, Her Majesty, whilst another marriage was being made for me behind the closed doors and hushed whispers whilst I was bowing to a woman my Lady Mother swore I would never serve.
“I desire to refuse your place in her court,” she had told me one afternoon as I was sitting in her chamber. Since the news I had spent a greater time in the company of my Lady Mother, she refused to be without me, requesting my presence on all of her walks around the palace ground, recently she has also asked I dine with her more regularly and claimed it to be a great shame we did not see more of each other. Though I knew she was scheming, it was not difficult to tell when she was doing such. Her face would be set into a frown, though not one of anger but one of content and plotting, the question was, what is my Lady Mother planning and with whom.
“But Mother, surely you cannot refuse, such an offer is a great privilege, it would be disrespectful to turn down such a gracious act of kindness on Her Majesty’s part,” I said. In fact I was most thrilled about the prospect of taking a trip to Paris, if truth be told I missed the city life, I desired to be amongst the city folk, they have always been known to be far more interesting than those country types whom I encounter every day.
“No daughter of mine will serve at that Englishwoman’s feet,” she remarked. I warned her that her treasonous tongue would one day be her down fall but she continued bad mouthing the Queen. “Her own cousin, the Queen’s English cousin, you were due to wed daughter; once a lying, cheating Englishman, always a lying, cheating Englishman.”
“Lady Mother!” I exclaimed, shocked at how far she could slander the Queen, how many awful words she could throw at her own sister-in-law. She was still far too bitter at the fact Richard did not wed me, she distrusts the Queen too, as she is of English blood, the very same blood in which betrayed me and my family.”
“I do not wish for you to go, but you must, your Father has commanded it as well, he wishes you to be in court to show the people we women of the house of Bourbon are not weak, we may be betrayed, and we may have our hearts broken by men whom we thought we could trust.” She said. “You will go to court,” she continued. “You will show the power and nobility of the true Frenchwomen of Bourbon, you will make me proud and you will make your Father proud.”
“Yes Mother,” I said, I was thrilled to go to Paris, though not so thrilled that I would be serving the Queen, though I knew it to be a great honour to serve in her court it would be most strange.
It is wonderful to be a free woman though, I have no husband to tie me down, I have no children to keep me pinned to the ground, I may move about as I please, so long as my Father approves it. I wonder if I should be permitted to travel around the French country, to visit cousins in all corners of the greatest nation on the planet. Though it would be most unlikely, it could not be a possibility unless the Duke Richard had not married another instead of me.