Within days of arriving at Court, Princess Pirouette’s household was assembled. First and foremost was her governess, Lady Greenmeadow who had been a lady-in-waiting for the late Queen. There were her ladies-in-waiting, half a dozen young women, chosen for their beauty, poise and ancient lineage. Her confessor doubled as her almoner, an elderly gentleman who was once considered for the post of archbishop. She had three tutor who taught her everything from comportment to mathematics to governance.
Poor little Princess! Never for a moment was she allowed any privacy. Even at night when she was ensconced in her bed and the curtains drawn, she could hear one of her ladies snoring in a corner of the room. There were times when she wished that she were invisible. Always feeling as she were on display, young Pirouette learned a little trick. She would close her eyes and imagine herself in an empty, sun-drenched field with only butterflies for company. Sometimes her powers of concentration were such that she could block out everything, even intrusive sounds like the constant chatter of courtiers.