On her balcony, the Princess was looking northward, when movement in the west caught her eye. “The visitor’s carriage,” she exclaimed, hurrying into her room. She stopped for a moment at her mirror and tried to straighten out her hair.
“Need help?” Her mother’s head appeared in the doorway.
“No I can do it.”
“Here, let me,” Queen Clarion entered the room and took the brush from her daughter. “You’ve been in the wind again haven’t you child.”
“It’s a nice day,” Princess Chrystalina pouted and grimaced as her mother brushed her hair. The queen fussed with it until it was just so and placed her tiara on top.
“Do try to stay nice today, Christa, it is a very important occasion.”
“I know, my thirteenth birthday, you can now accept petitions for my hand in marriage,” she said in a monotone. “Why do we have to drag mainlanders into this?”
“Hush, child, your father’s a mainlander, and you know the rule.”
“A Princess born a Prince must wed.” Christa sighed, “Yes Mother.”
Queen Clarion stepped back and surveyed her daughter. “You only have to do this once a year, royal up!” Princess Chrystalina, stood up straight and put on her most regal airs, matching her mother. Her mother caught her hand and gave it a squeeze. She whispered to her daughter, “Your grandfather caught me hiding in the stables, my thirteenth birthday. I had to eat standing; he had whacked my bottom so hard.”
Christa looked at her mother in shock of such a confession. It was boggling to think her mother was once as wild as she. Wilder if she believed her grandmother’s stories.
“Ah my lovely ladies have finally arrived!”
Looking down the grand staircase, Christa saw her father waiting for them with open arms. For a moment she forgot being regal and began to run down the steps to him. A polite cough from her mother sobered them both. King Charles immediately put his arms down and Christa subdued her run into a stately walk.
“My wife and daughter,” he said in his ‘formal voice’. Christa nearly giggled. “I am so glad you have joined us, for our royal visitors have arrived at last.”
With much formal ado, he took both wife and daughter by the arm and they strode to the receiving room door.