Oh lovely, 2 paintings this week.
Thanks Jane. You can view her post here:
‘This is the man you are to marry. Take his arm and accept your place by his side as his Queen.’
Abigail folded her hands in front of her in obstinate refusal.
‘You will not embarrass me or your family,’ her father hissed.
‘If you do not obey, I cannot be held responsible for the consequences. The choice is not yours to make!’
Abigail stood firm.
She didn’t want to marry anyone, least of all this skinny Prince with his two waspish sisters in tow. She could see behind their false modesty and lowered eyes to the vindictiveness towards her and wanted no part of it.
The Prince didn’t want her either, but he was of an age when he should have a wife to produce an heir, and Abigail had been ‘chosen’ at considerable cost to his Royal Treasury.
‘If I may,’ Abigail said discreetly, ‘I do have an alternative.’
Painting by Ilya Repin’s, entitled ‘The Grand Duke’s Bride’.
The Selected Six listened to the Cardinal as he explained what was likely to transpire.
All were of noble birth somewhere along their ancestral line, all were only daughters, and each family held some standing in the current palace court.
It was an honour to be chosen for appraisal, the lucky candidate only had to promise to be a devoted obedient wife and mother.
It was up to each and every one of them to engage the Prince with their charm as well as beauty, so that he would choose one of them for his bride.
Abigail led the Prince into the Abbey nave.
‘This is my alternative Sir,’ she said.
‘Far better for you to have a choice than make one bitter mistake.’