Elise adjusted the satin gloves, squaring her shoulders and letting a regal air surround her.
"This is absolute nonsense." she hissed at the shorter woman standing beside her, fanning herself to keep any nosy lip-readers from realizing their speech.
"Stop complaining," Rosa whispered back, smiling coquettishly at a duke nearby, "You know how important this is for mother."
"Maybe," Elise retorted, "But I also know when I've the company of a crowd of tight-lipped buffoons-"
She was cut off abruptly at the appearance of another royal.
"Excuse me," he said suavely, "But may I have this dance?"