The Reluctant Queen

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The Reluctant Queen

By: Millie M Updated just now

Language: English

Chapters: 11 views: 71

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Charming had never been an issue for exiled Crown Prince, Wilhelm. Women came easy to him but he had been in love with another for as long as he could remember. Sent away by his father with the condition of his return home being for Wilhelm to convince a Princess, who has no interest in anything other than God and entering into the monastery, to be his wife. It was bad enough that that he didn't want her but the damn woman evades him at all cost. But he would try, no matter what it takes. Even if it means seducing a nun. For his family, there’s nothing Wilhelm won’t do. However, Princess Giselle Marié seems to have secrets and ideas about marriage – all not in the favour of an arrogant Prince.


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11 chapters
Winter snow lined the planes and all the leaves of the forest trees that were once green. Marie hated the journey to Palais d'été. She never understood why the residence her family took in the winter was called a summer palace but she did appreciate being huddled next to her mother and father, with many layers of blankets covering them. No matter her age, that was her favourite part of the journey. Unlike her elder brothers Crown Prince Charles and Prince Lucien, Marie had no memories of the entire family travelling to the summer palace together. Charles was the heir and Lucien was the spare. It was forbidden for either one of them to travel with the King. Lucien told her many stories of his travels to the palace. The King would stop the carriage and ride the planes with his sons. Being the youngest and an unexpected arrival, Marie had never seen that side of her father nor had she ever experienced what it was like for all their family to travel together. Marie always travelled ahead
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Chapter 1
Not much light entered the cage-like room. Similarly, not much air either. Their noses had long acclimated to the awful smell of tallow, that Agatha had to beg the cook at the tavern where she worked most evenings, used to make the candles. Even then, the candle, which they placed in the middle of the room to light other corners of their three-room cottage, sat on the rotting wooden table, was on its last strands of the wick. The damp Tulip-wood walls which were once yellowish were an embarrassing black that no amount of scrubbing could cure. The floorboards creaked when touched. The mould on the walls returned sooner than could be removed. Agatha’s cheeks heat up no matter what room she and Prince Wilhelm were in. Her entire home spoke loudly of their differences as though saying ‘he does not belong here’. Despite her embarrassment at her humble beginnings, Crown Prince Wilhelm was more comfortable living like this, with her, than anything his father's palaces and castles could prov
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Chapter 2
The last time that the people saw Princess Marie was at the funeral of her mother and father. Many watched as the young girl placed a wreath over each of her parents’ caskets. Since that day, the Princess was never seen again in public. Very few people knew of the young lady, always in simple pastel dresses and a matching veil covering her head, who occasionally left the palace. Only those who lived close to the palace saw her coming and going from the palace to the church. Many rumours flew around the country as to why the once troublesome girl had become such a recluse. Others said that the accident which took the King and Queen’s lives had left Marie marked beyond recognition hence the veil seven years after the event. Many others barely remembered what she looked like. Her appearance was a matter of much discussion and her mannerisms even more so. The latter was blamed on being raised by her older brother, the King, who indulged her in all things, or rather failed to enforce the
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Chapter 3
The King’s morning assembly never started on time and the officials had come to expect King Charles to stumble in two hours later, hungover and hardly coherent. They were lucky if he showed up fully dressed with no buttons missed from his dress shirt. The thought filled Marié with shame. As they say, to whom much is entrusted, much will be asked. However, in all his life, Charles had never been responsible for anything. The King was Marié’s brother but she had long been disillusioned with him. Charles was arrogant and selfish, and it was their people who suffered for it. Even when he was a mere Crown Prince, Charles lacked the ambition and conviction to do good. Who could blame him? The late King did not lead by example and his officials, that Charles inherited, were driven by selfish ambition. Their mother had done her best to caution Charles but he was a true reflection of the late King. Sometimes Marié wondered if the suffering of their kingdom would end if Charles died and Lucie
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Chapter 4
The King’s welcome was grand indeed. Circus folk hung in the air, statuesque, while others walked around the room with colourful snakes around their necks as they served hors d'oeuvres and others breathed out fire like fantastical beasts. Prince Wilhelm neither welcomed the distraction or cared for it. It didn't matter. The ten royal guards, in all black and silver cloaks matching the colours of the Crown Prince’s attire at official events, that Wilhelm had brought with him were his father's way of saying I have my eye on you. It also worked as a perfect reminder that he wasn’t there of his own volition. The only person Wilhelm trusted and kept at his side was Adolf. Women had already seized him up and his disinterest had somehow gathered more of their attention. Through Adolf, Wilhelm received invitations to secret locations where he could only imagine what he would find. Even the King encouraged it. But after two weeks of merely existing at the palace, the King had come to underst
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Chapter 5
The number of young women lining the library was as though it had been announced as one of the seven wonders of the world. Wilhelm was not against women being able to read but it was an unusual number to be so interested so early in the morning. Most women read in the privacy of their homes but they weren't permitted in open spaces. He heard many good things about the scholars who came to read at the library and its infamy placed it on the top of the list of places to Wilhelm visit. While Wilhelm hated his father to the last drop of blood in his body, he loved learning how to help his people. For that, he was almost grateful to the old crone. Almost. "Am I surprised that some of the young women from the soirée are here?"Wilhelm shrugged. "That sounds like a rhetorical question. Do I have to answer?”"How long until they realise that you're not interested?" Adolf groaned. "I anticipate a few annoying weeks coming ahead. Let’s make one thing clear, I am your guard and not your messeng
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Chapter 6
“I heard the Queen was fuming that Prince Wilhelm is not giving her the attention she requires,” Nanny spat. “Serves her right! I hear he spends most of his evenings out of the palace, it must kill her that there’s a man not willing to bend to her qualms.”Marié ignored her and continued placing clothes in a wooden trunk. Her week-long visits to the monastery went quicker than she expected. Perhaps it was due to the increased number of hours that she had to put in to stop her brother from driving their home into hell. For a long time now, Marie felt like a guest in her own home. She felt more at home with the sisters at the monastery and the children. Returning to the palace was harder than leaving, and why would it? By King Charles definition, Marié was more rebel than she was a princess. “Did you hear what I said?” Nanny asked, tapping Marié on the shoulder with her fan. Marié rolled her eyes. “Prince Wilhelm is the epitome of charm and perfection, I have heard you the first hundr
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Chapter 7
The upper echelons of Avignon were made of the King’s officials and their families. If they were not so lucky to be given an apartment at the palace, they were given homes on the King’s plaza— a palace away from the palace. Each home stood tall and filled with grandeur that no guest ever felt offended to be placed there. The road itself was heavily guarded by palace guards that only the crème de La crème of society were allowed. Trespassing the plaza was like entering the palace uninvited. It was where the gentry played among themselves. From modistes to bankers, they were placed in perfect establishments that were big enough to be homes with a sitting area where patrons were given tea with biscuits, champagne or even cigars. The most skilled and favoured in the country were placed on the King’s plaza. Entry came by invitation only and the guards were there to ensure that such courtesies were maintained and no patron was offended. Introductions were required before a new family was a
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Chapter 8
Beaten and broken, Marié lay on the chilled stones of the dungeon, underneath the magistrate’s halls. Caked up blood sat on her forehead and her body was so tense that she rather the contents of the leaking roof trickle down the musty walls and pool over her instead of moving away. Heavy lidded and covered in darkness, Marié knew that she could not fall asleep again. Her pulse violently thumped against her temple, a reminder of being hit over the head. Despite not being able to see it in the dark, the smell of bile was in the air and she knew that she must have woken up at some point and threw up. “Is this what you meant by helping them?” Marié quietly asked the empty room. No one ever answered. Yet Marié knew that none of the things she had done in the last seven years was what her mother planned. It was difficult knowing what the dead wanted or what they would have done in the same situation. Metal clashed against metal as the constable baton passed over each bar of the barrier k
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Chapter 9
The first thing that Nanny did when she saw Marié was to hug her and call her an ungrateful child several times. Seeing what was done to the Princess brought tears to Nanny’s eyes and that resulted in a few thumps to Marié’s back. Even Prince Lucien who was usually quick to jump to Marié’s defences stood aside, arms crossed, as Nanny tore into Marié. Marié opened her mouth to defend herself and the older woman merely threw a stern gaze in Marié’s direction that could silence the King himself. Marié’s saving grace came with the doctor’s arrival. For the thirty minutes that he was examining her, Prince Lucien and Nanny were quietly looking on with worried expressions on their faces. What little assurances that Marié gave of the injuries being worse than they looked went unheard. The Princess had a tendency of diminishing herself in front of others that Lucien stopped taking her at her wits. Other than giving Nanny bandages to apply after Marié’s bath and a concoction for the pain and
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