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To Be Queen



Good afternoon, Brother. I know you will not think too highly of me right now since I snuck away from Lady Beatrice. But see here, I just had to escape, okay? The woman refuses to stop talking about posture and etiquette and silverware. Of all things! She rambles for hours on end about how the knives go on the right side of a plate, the forks are placed on the left, and heaven help the fool who starts from the inner utensils and moves outwards! 


But you did that once, right? You purposefully used the wrong spoons during the incorrect courses and you played with your food, just to spite Lady Beatrice. I even overheard from the Duke of Lorcan that you once shot an olive at his forehead with your dessert spoon during a commemoration banquet! How they did not throw you from the throne by your knickers is beyond me! I would have loved to hear the story from you! The way you must have told it must’ve been side-splitting!


But then, you can no longer tell me, can you? Not anymore, anyway. Not since the battle…


I can see in your eyes, or well...this painting’s eyes, that you know I am not here to complain about Lady Beatrice or hear your tales of old. Well, you’re right. I’m not. 


My coronation is tomorrow. I am officially old enough to ascend to the throne. Everything I’ve been taught… Every lesson about posture, dancing, manners, laws, and so many other things is somewhere in my mind. But can I recall a single one of them? No. Not when I need the information. However, when I lie in bed at night, that is when I remember the proper etiquette of curtseying to a duchess but not to her son because he is younger than me. Brother, the list is infinite, and I am required to recall it all. It is what everyone expects of me now. They hope that I will be the queen where you were meant to be king. They want me to be like you, but brother, I can’t. I don’t want to. I don’t want to be queen. It was never supposed to be like this, anyway. You were supposed to rule. You were the eldest and the smartest of both of us. You were always so charming and kind and brave, and everything anyone would want in a ruler. You were compassionate and cared deeply about the people. Not that I didn’t care about our kingdom, but no one could hold a candle to your generous heart. I mean, you stood side by side with your soldiers on the front lines because you believed that no high prince should hide and avoid fighting alongside his men in battle. 


You’re supposed to be king. You’re the one who should be crowned tomorrow...but you’re gone. You’re gone. If I could go back to the day when you said goodbye and left with the troops, I would shackle you to my wrist and never let you go. Or at the very least, not without me. 

You were always so courageous. You saw the best in people where I only assumed the worst. I never wanted to rule, and you were so supportive of me. I wanted to stay young forever. Remain a little girl with absolute freedom. Never take on the oh-so-great responsibility of running a kingdom. I mean, a kingdom, brother. A nation of people will be looking to me to lead them in this dark time of war, and I just want to run and hide under the covers in my chambers. But that’s not what is expected of a queen. A queen is supposed to be refined, and regal, and wise, and just and...brave. And I’m terrified because I am none of those things.


So, please, Lance, tell me what I’m supposed to do. What can I do? I don’t want to forsake our kingdom, but I am just not ready to lead yet. Will I ever be?


I know what you would say, though. You would say that you believe in me. You would say that I have all the greatness of a queen residing in me if I just took the chance to find her within myself. That you know that I can lead them and lead them well. And I would hope that you’re right. And you would say with absolute certainty that you were. And that I will make a fine queen. Become one of the best. And that I will make you, Mother, and Father proud. 


Well, Lance, I hope you are right. I hope that I will become the best queen that you believe me to be. And if I never need anyone more wisdom, I’ll come to you, okay? Just stay put until I come back, alright? I mean, not that you could leave, anyway, because you’re a portrait, but…. yeah. Thank you for listening. Please, say hello and good day to Mother and Father for me. I miss you and love you, Lance. Goodnight.


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