When the late King had been a young man, he attended every meeting of his Privy Council. As he grew older, his appearances at these important gatherings became fewer and further between. In his dotage, he stopped going altogether. The Prime Minister, for all intents and purposes, had been running the show for years. Nobody was more surprised than he when the new Queen didn’t dismiss him out of hand. So when the clock struck twelve noon, he shuffled his papers, cleared his throat and called the meeting to order.
Suddenly to everybody’s surprise, the sound of trumpets penetrated the brass double-doors that were the main entrance of the council chamber. There was a loud rapping on the door and the voice of the Royal Chamberlain could be heard, “The Queen! The Queen!” To the dismay of all of the Royal Councilors, Pirouette entered the room, followed by her ladies, chief among them Abigail Hoffenhoff and Tata Sous-sus. Everybody rose quickly to their feet, some knocking their chairs over in their hurry.
Pirouette moved quickly to the chair at the head of the table (where Monsieur le premier ministre normally sat.) “Gentlemen, you may sit,” she said smoothly.
Without missing a beat, the Prime Minister sat at the chair to Pirouette’s right, creating a mad shuffle of musical chairs as the other men of the Council scrambled for a place at the table. The odd man out, Monsieur le duc des Potins was forced to sit on a hassock where one of the scribes usually sat. In a huff, the displaced scribe handed Monsieur le duc his tray that contained virgin parchment, ink pots and quills, saying simply, “Here! You’re going to need these!” Without even bowing to the Queen, the scribe fled the room through a side door.
“Go take a bromide!” Shouted Monsieur le duc at the scribe’s back.
“Welcome, Your Majesty!” Said the Prime Minister with his most winning smile.
“How dare you address me before I’ve spoken to you first!” Snapped Pirouette, “And how dare you commence this meeting of my Privy Council before I’d arrived.” Her words had the effect of wiping the Prime Minister’s smile from his face, replacing it with a downcast frown. “I mean to rule here, not just reign. You will do well to remember that henceforth.”