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Titled? ~ 64

July 22, 2017 02:21PM

Chapter Sixty -Four

“Interesting,” the Health Minister told Anna Margaret in the morning. “And thanks for the plug.”

“Plug?” She wondered if he had walked over especially, because he was not usually here this early. Plug. Health. Luckily she could quickly connect the two. But she had had nothing to do with that plug.

“Our health system. The private hospitals are going to be pissed off, though, because he implied they were incompetent.”

“Oh, that. I didn’t put him up to it. He must have been supremely frustrated.”

“About a lot of things.”

“There were some things people will discuss,” she agreed. “But I hadn’t thought much about this one. You would, of course.”

“Did they ever ask you to go to a private clinic?”

“No. Though we did discuss the difference. But I think they really do think this is my own business. My body, my baby. I didn’t think I really had a choice, though really it would be worse for you than for me if you went private and the people had to make do with public healthcare.”

“But was the prince saying he shouldn’t have been able to father another child?”


“Didn’t they do a check-up?”

“I don’t know what’s the usual thing. I’m not a man. But I doubt they would do it every time they went to bed.” She had not checked any commentaries, although there must have been some. Last night she had gone to bed and in the morning there was never much time to read anything other than the newspaper. She wondered if something had been said about this, although it did not strike her as very important.

It turned out that others had seen the interview as well. Sarah came to disturb her a while later. “Now that I’m responsible for what they say, they get more outspoken by the day,” she said. “Just my luck. Will I now get questions?”

“If there weren’t any in your inbox this morning, I doubt it.”

“There were. I rather meant, questions I really need to answer. Obviously there were questions I can simply delete.”

“Obviously he revealed some things the public did not know,” Anna Margaret said pensively. “I thought it might be a shock to some fans. When I first heard certain things I was shocked as well. But that doesn’t mean they cannot reveal negative things from their past. The only thing is…”

“Some distance must be preserved, or else they’d be just like you and me.”

Anna Margaret was amused. “They are just like you and me.”

“On the other hand, they’re showing a lot more human traits than the older generations, who were distant and flawless. Or not so flawless, as we are now hearing.”

“I don’t think there were things he should not have said. Perhaps that bit about the private clinic, but if these are their personal experiences…I think they should be allowed to voice them. Remember that the public gets to voice much worse things about them.”

“Well, sensible people usually agree, but you know how it goes. Which changes was he hinting at?”

“Nothing big, in my opinion. First of all, there must be changes. They cannot live like fifty years ago. You can always throw that one in. And there have already been some changes. The succession was changed. Some of the marriage requirements. And I suppose it might be a change that my baby, at least, will not be presented in a white gown.”

“I think people might be able to handle that. Was there any other way, in the past, without social media?”

“Also,” Anna Margaret added. “He or she will not be baptised. I understand that was usually a grand occasion.”

“Shock. I’m sure some in my party will say something about that, unless you do it privately,” said Sarah, whose party was Catholic in name.

“But it’s none of their business. And it’s not something you need to mention already.”

“No, of course not. But thanks for mentioning it so I have some idea of what he was referring to. I doubt many people will be surprised by you, although they might think your husband’s family would have a greater say in it.”

“This nonsense will never end if we continue it simply because someone in the family was religious a hundred years ago. I’m not even indifferent to the ritual, I’m opposed to it. I’m not sure many people will be waiting for the occasion. The fact that it’s not taking place might even go unnoticed.”

“That’s possible,” Sarah agreed. “We don’t do it anymore either in my family. But thanks. I just needed to check. If I say it’s all personal changes and it turns out to be something major…”

“Florian is not taking over yet, no, and we’re not going to be a republic yet either.”


In the evening when she came home she found Frederick talking to two girls. One she recognised as his niece Murielle and she guessed the other to be her friend. They had come to get acquainted, as Isabelle had announced. Although they were currently studying medicine – which was not quite the preparation for postnatal care, Anna Margaret would have thought – Murielle’s friend Nathalie turned out to have some education in that direction before she had embarked on studying medicine. This was probably why Isabelle had thought of them, although it was remarkable how she would know about it.

“But the care is not obligatory,” Anna Margaret said rather cheerfully. It was mostly to convince herself, she knew. She was still torn between wanting privacy and wanting the best for her baby. “If it’s too busy or you are not in time, you get nothing. Which means you won’t automatically die if someone doesn’t come to take your temperature. The midwife will come a few times as well.”

“Right,” Nathalie nodded. She had needed a few minutes to speak a little more. “It’s mostly for the essential things that you might not be able to do right after giving birth and to keep an eye on the baby and help with taking care of it, but if there’s anything wrong you will be seen by other people.”

“Mum says we won’t have to clean,” said Murielle. “Although we won’t mind something small.”

“Frederick can do that if I cannot,” Anna Margaret said. “And we have a cleaning lady.” She did not think it would get dirty in the meantime.

“We’ll be sure to read up on what to do,” Murielle added. “Mum insisted. But she’ll still much rather have us than strangers.”

“Your mum has done it so often before that she could do it herself.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt she would come here for a second opinion if we asked.”

“That’s a relief. And how are all of you dealing with the idea of a new brother now?”

“It’s…fine. It was their decision to keep it, so we’ll just have to accept it and be thankful that it was not our decision to make. And of course we’ve been requested not to procreate in the near future, because that would make Mum look old.”

“Did any of you have any plans?” She would think they were a bit young.

“No,” said Murielle. “Not while I’m still studying and when I finish I should actually get a job first. I have a feeling people at university and the hospital don’t really want to invest in me much because they think I won’t get a job anyway, so I have to make sure that I show them I really do want to. And there are other things that make it difficult for me, but – although…it would have been better to time it with Mum so she could look after both while I study. I told her that, but she didn’t agree.”

Anna Margaret wondered if she was expected to participate in such a switch instead – and which way it would go – but it really sounded like something Isabelle would come up with.

“They are, of course, a couple,” said Frederick when the two girls had left.

“They are?” It had not crossed her mind for a second.

“Two years or something.”

“Nobody’s ever even hinted at that.”

“No? As if random friends get this task.” Frederick looked amused. “Isabelle is not all that tolerant towards random people.”

“Don’t be smug. You probably found out this evening.”

“No, a while ago. She was there at Christmas.”

“Lots of people were!” Anna Margaret protested. She felt a little guilty for apparently not having paid enough attention to all those people she had never met before. There had been so many people there that she had thought everyone had been allowed to bring a friend, not that everyone was in fact connected to the family.

“Yes, everyone’s secret lovers.”

“Who else?”

“My mother and my aunt have some.”

She gasped. “I didn’t notice that either. Your mother? Who?”

“Oh, just some man you will have seen there.”

She tried to remember. “But we’ve never seen him before at her apartment.”

Frederick thought back. “No. Probably not. My father hasn’t been dead for long enough.”

“And what do you think of that?”

“By now?” He shrugged. “It’s her life. It has no consequences for me. If she has a good time with this man, so much the better. He seems to be nice to her.”

“So many revelations.”

“No, just people doing what makes them happy.”

“True.” She paused for a second. “What if there are complications during the birth? What shall we do? If it comes early? We’re now starting from the assumption that we’ll be great and we can work it all out with the help of two students.”

“I don’t think we should start from any other assumption. If something happens, we’ll deal with it. If it doesn’t happen, we won’t deal with it.”

She whimpered. It sounded more pathetic than she actually felt. Of course they were going to deal with it. It was just that some parts of the future were unpredictable and she still did not like not being completely in control of it. She hoped the baby would not arrive before it was due, as that would bring a lot more time and trouble. This was selfish, she knew.

“Am I selfish? I want it to be on time and healthy.”

“Everyone wants that. It’s also better for the baby, I’m sure. Nobody wants it to be early and having to leave it in the hospital for weeks. That’s not selfish.”

“All right. What if I’m too selfish, though? I don’t believe in the magical appearance of self-effacing motherly feelings.”

Frederick did not appear to take that seriously. “That is because it’s not yet out.”

“But –“

“The moment it comes out…”

“But seriously. You don’t believe in it either. You’re just winding me up.”

“Yes,” he admitted. “But there’s probably some instinct. And if not, reason will help. Anyway, you’re not selfish.”

Titled? ~ 64

LiseJuly 22, 2017 02:21PM

Missing you Lise...

AlidaSeptember 04, 2017 03:12AM


LiseSeptember 10, 2017 11:02AM

working on it (nfm)

LiseSeptember 23, 2017 08:43PM

great! (nfm)

AlidaSeptember 23, 2017 09:18PM

Re: Titled? ~ 64

AlidaJuly 24, 2017 02:18AM

Re: Titled? ~ 64

LiseJuly 24, 2017 08:44AM

long time...

LiseJuly 22, 2017 02:22PM

Re: long time...

NickiJuly 23, 2017 09:40AM


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