The old King’s body was laid in state at the great cathedral. Mourners would have two days to file by his coffin, look upon his face and fine robes, and pray for his departed soul. Honor guards wearing silver helmets with long white plumes stood at attention in a semi-circle around the coffin. A red velvet rope was placed around the coffin as well to indicate the appropriate distance to maintain from His Majesty’s earthly remains. Throughout the capital, the church bells tolled the death knoll.
For her part, Pirouette stayed at the palace, meeting with her privy council, foreign dignitaries and anxious subjects. Sitting in her office, surrounded by her ladies, all dressed in black, she noticed a honeybee buzzing around the room. “Somebody open a window,” she said, “And let that poor creature out into the garden. For my part, I wish I could follow her.”