WeWriWa— “An embarrassment to the throne”

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. This snippet comes right after last week’s, as an arranged meeting with the two oldest Grand Duchesses and potential princely suitors threatens to be derailed by a nearby footman.

Grand Duke Mikhail, the Regent, has said he won’t pursue a policy of insisting only on equal-ranking marriages for the Imperial Family, and the footman makes a dig hinting at Mikhail’s own morganatic marriage. When Mikhail tries to rebuke this footman and remind him of his place, things get even worse.

***

“You’re an embarrassment to the throne,” the servant muttered, a little louder this time. “If only that damned German woman hadn’t failed four times in a row, we wouldn’t be suffering under you as a Regent indefinitely now.  I’m hoping and praying that boy reaches majority, immediately marries, and produces an heir on the first try.  It’s no secret he’s never been well, even if his illnesses have been fewer and further between as he’s gotten older.  At least he doesn’t look like those pathetic invalids in other kingdoms, so we can perhaps count on another five or ten years.”

The princes stood immobilized, not sure whether to say anything, excuse themselves, or continue to stand there trying their best to pretend not to have heard anything.  This certainly wasn’t what they’d even remotely expected when they’d gotten such a generous invitation.

“I’m terribly sorry about this,” Mikhaíl said.

517px-GrandDukeMikhailAlexandrovich--nsillustratedwar04londuoft

Mikhail, the youngest son of Aleksandr III, was very easy-going, laid-back, and friendly, but now that he’s compelled into the role of Regent, he’s really stepped up his assertiveness and firmness. That strong hand is about to come to this uppity servant.

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10 thoughts on “WeWriWa— “An embarrassment to the throne”

  1. Much as I love this alternate history, I’m having a hard time imagining a mere footman saying all these things to nobility, even under the conditions prevailing at the time. I’d need a reason for his lack of fear in expressing these opinions. Is he a revolutionary? About to produce a bomb? 100 years old? Did Mikhail run such a lax household that the servants do this kind of thing often? I have to say I can’t wait for Mikhail’s response! So you’ve certainly got my attention LOL.

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