Location: The Duchess' Retreat "Orange House", Van Demons Land
Date: February 20, 1746, 8pm.
Duchess Margaretta is pacing back and forward in the "Dutch Room" of her private cottage, "The Orange House". The "not so small" residence was a wedding present given to her by Grand Duke Peter. Somewhere for her to relax away from their official residence. It even had a small Catholic Chapel at rear for the Duchess to maintain her "Catholic rituals".
Standing rather nervously within the 'Dutch Room" was one of her new Ladies In Waiting, Sarah O'Connars.
The Duchess spoke:
"So prior to your arrival yesterday, you were once an officer in the Maiden Guard I understand"?
"Yes Highness, for 8 years".
"And now you're not. I've heard stories, but I'd like to hear from you; why is it so"?
Sarah blushed deep red:
"Well, I umm; err, how can I put this. Let's just say I was caught in a compromising position with Colonel Ann of the Militia. As you might be aware Ma'am, only virgins can serve in the Maiden Guard"
The Duchess smiled.
"Oh dear, a young officer of the King's Maiden Guard, deflowered by a Militia Colonel. I bet that didn't go down to well with the King".
"Not at all your Highness. I think the Young King is not really all that taken with the Guard ; and even less with any Maidens or Officers that he thinks might behave in anyway that could be looked upon as unprofessional"
"Yes Ma'am. King Phillip is called "The Young King" by the Guard. We, I mean the Maiden Guard refer to his father as "The Old" King".
The Duchess turned her smile into a frown:
"Oh deary me. And I suppose the "Young" King is not all that near and dear to your heart anymore. A promising military career destroyed all because you, a young and impressionable junior officer was taken advantage of by some smelly, dirty old Militia officer"
"That is why I chose to come to Your court Ma'am".
"I assume you're good with a pistol?" asked the Duchess.
"Yes Ma'am. May I ask why you wish to know"?
"Oh, just interested in what training you've had". The Duchess drapped herself over a large couch:
"The Maiden Guard fascinates me. No fatties allowed in the Guard I understand"?
"No Ma'am, the heavy girls are placed in the Training Squadron. There was talk of raising a squadron of female Dragoons to become part of the Guard eventually, but I'm not sure the Young King is altogether keen on the idea. I know the Old King was".
The Duchess sat up:
"You know, I've discussed your situation with my husband the Grand Duke. He tells my he thinks you're the victim. He told me if he was king, as his Queen he'd hand the responsibility of the management of the Maiden Guard over to me"
"Wise move Ma'am" Sarah looked seriously at the Duchess.
"Oh yes, The Grand Duke is very wise. He thinks it's only appropriate that the Queen should deal with all matter pertaining to the Guard. He'd make sure Colonel Ann was cashiered and I would make sure you were reinstated in the Guard as a Major, maybe even Lt Colonel; maybe even command of an expanded Maiden Legion"!
She reclined once more, and let out a deep sigh:
"Alas, Peter is not King however, and more importantly; I am not Queen. If only some accident would befall Phillip. Oh dear, I sound awful don't I? Oh Lord forgive me"!
Sarah chimed in:
"Not at all Ma'am, you only want what's best for your husband, and country; of course"
"Why of course" agreed the Duchess.
"You know, maybe there is a way that we could all benefit from having someone of your redoubtably talents here"
Sarah took it upon herself to take a seat:
"I'm at your service my Queen; oh, I mean Duchess".
"Queen does sounds better, does it not"?.
TO BE CONTINUED!