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Anne of Austria

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"You were so strong from birth. When you came out you gave a big wail of power. And then, right then, I knew you'd be who you are today," said my mother Margaret of Austria. My palms began to sweat and the nerves made me tremble. "My darling," mom looked at me with her cold blue eyes, "go out there with your head held high. Prove yourself." So young I didn't know what that day meant to me, how it'd change my life so greatly. I walked out in my tight laced gown and faced the crowd gathered on the soft, damp, moss covered ground. I was to make a speech, or I should say perform a speech to people who were near and dear to my father. But in reality, my childhood was spent most away from him, and at the young age of seven I barely knew him. In my private lessons, my teacher taught me how to speak audibly to the audience. Well prepared, I stood beside the solid-gold casket and began a story more than a speech, about Philip III. Either way it was riveting and much too intellectual for a young girl of still amateur terminology. Therefore, it was obvious the mother or tutor had created this speach. Margaret always talked to me as if I were twenty. I think she wished I was twenty because the thought of children scared her. She spent less time around me as well and didn't know how to deal with any sort of abnormal outburst of emotions. After father died we spent more time togethor. Not in love. But in more awkwardness and I'm bold to say pure silence. The maids were shooed and servants sent away so we could mill and have mother-daughter, queen-princess, thrown activity talks. Or at least that is what the servants thought was happening. Instead we sat in dull silence except for the feint crackle of the fire. When alone we nearly commented or complimented eachother on minor details like strangers making small talk. But when out in public Margaret was good at putting on a show. "A one big happy family" show just without a king, a father, a husband. I stared daringly into her tired blue eyes this morning. She had gone another wasteful night without sleep over distress of the thought of loosing her thrown. Austria was not fit to run without a king and the people would soon realize this and become restless for another marriage. But bringing in a new country, a new family, it all could be such a risk. A risk soon worth taking. I looked away and tried to bilnk away the question eating away at my thoughts. This was no good. "Margaret, when will you remarry?" The question, so abrupt, scared her. Not that the topic was unexamined in her head, but she was surprised at my boldness, the way I spit it out, something more than small talk. It made her dwell on her answer. "Will you ever?" I asked again. I showed no emotion, an unbaised observer, so I would not sway her original thoughts. She had obviously been penetrated, the wound left open slowly began to leak. She turned away ashamed of a single tear down her cheek. Who can cry just a single tear? I thought. "I miss Philip everday of my life," she spoke softly. Then turning stern and strong she said, "But I will not loose this throne over mere sadness. I have talked with my cheif advisor. He suggested two things. Get married in the next month. Or betroth you soon and surrender my thrown to you and your husband where, as I shall undoubtedly rule behind closed doors." I nodded. I had no understanding of why I was chosen to possibly be heir of her thrown. Had I taken favor in Austria's eyes?
(to be continued...)





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