Chapter Seven : I Was Hoping For Better... - Part 1
It was perhaps the most restful sleep Eleanor had had since her father had started falling ill. Her entire body was relaxed into her bed and she actually felt ready for the day. Whereas most mornings she had to drag herself from the bed, she found that this morning, she was up before Gayle had even brought up her tea. It was certainly a surprise, but Eleanor had a suspicion that it was because she felt at peace. She had made the first steps in having a strong and stable reign as Queen by raising Sir Brandon to a Lord and Council member. She just hoped that he had as much faith in himself as she did.
When Gayle walked in with her morning tea tray, Eleanor was already sitting at her dressing table and had just finished brushing her own hair. Giving the woman a warm smile, Eleanor noted the look of shock on her maid’s face from seeing the princess awake of her own choice. Giggling softly, she went ahead and prepared her tea while Gayle went about pulling a dress out.
Taking a small sip of the hot liquid, Eleanor savored the flavor for a moment before rising and letting Gayle pull the gown over her head. Whereas she normally wore gowns that were tight around the bodice with full skirts, Eleanor was instead wearing a dress that was tight around her bust and hung loose from there. She was going to have a long day with little time to worry about her wardrobe and would be walking about the castle trying to prepare. It was simply not a day to be wearing tight corsets and layers of undercoats. The sleeves were even loose, flaring gently from the shoulders, allowing her an ease of movements. Perhaps this would be the next fashion to catch on – Eleanor would gladly be the first to burn the tight bindings that normally held her.
Gayle continued to prepare the princess by braiding her hair back in a long simple braid with a few wisps of hair slipping out. A simple tiara was placed delicately in her hair and Eleanor chose a simple set of diamond earring studs to complete the look. The rich purple of the gown with the simple but sparkling ornaments would remind everyone today that she was more than just a princess, but also the determined heir to the throne.
Taking a few more sips of her tea before sliding into her slippers, Eleanor gave Gayle a nod to dismiss her and sat down for a moment at her window seat to relax. It was still a little early to head to the Council chambers. It was her right as future Queen to show up when she pleased, but showing up early would also allow the Councilors to question her decisions before she had time to properly announce them. She may have only seen Twenty years of life, but that was not enough of a reason to allow anyone to push her around. Her blood flowed with the blood of Kings and Queens of the past ages. Their strength was within her, and the Councilors could all be damned if they did not remember that fact.
The training yard below her window looked alive with activity. Servants and pages were rushing about while Knights barked out orders. She noted that Lord Erstein was down below in full robes commanding the knights to hurry their work. Could he possibly suspect the new position that was coming to him? The man was more like an Uncle to her than just a simple Lord or knight, and she knew that no one deserved the honor greater than him. Regardless of her choice of husband, this was the man that she trusted to lead Venaramine to victory.
When her father had been just a boy learning to use his sword for the first time, Erstein had been a squire to one of his uncles. He had been a guiding hand in helping the future king learn to use every manner of weapons. When the borders became overrun with enemies, the squire was quickly knighted by her grandfather for his fearless and wise moves upon the battlefield. It was no surprise that he continued training the soon-to-be Commander of the Army, and when her father had become King, Erstein was given a place of honor among his personal guard.
No one was more loyal to her father than Sir Erstein. He was a valiant knight that continued training and teaching. When the border wars had erupted during her father’s time, he was the first to battle and the last to leave, making certain that no man was left behind to suffer a slow death alone. He was compassionate, fearless, wise, and just. His place as a Lord on the Council was one that she wished could continue, but there was no one alive that had his wisdom of commanding a battle field. Not even Prince Alexander had the amount of real combat expertise.
|Hayley Atwell||as Eleanor|
|Richard Armitage||as Sir Brandon|
|Henry Cavill||as Prince Alexander|
|Bradley James||as Duke Phillip|
|Joseph Fiennes||as Duke William|