As soon as the Prime Minister entered the Throne Room (also known as the Queen’s Presence Chamber) it was apparent to all that he was not in the best of health. Instead of walking with his back ramrod straight, he was slightly bent over. The rosy color to his cheeks was gone, replaced by a grey hue. He’d lost so much weight that one could easily discern every bone in his face. His complexion, which once gave his appearance a hearty, healthy glow, now looked grey. Even his enemies, of which he had many, were alarmed by his demeanor.
Is someone poisoning him? Was the unspoken question of many of the attendees of the audience that day.
“Good morning to you, my lord,” said Queen Pirouette quietly, extending her hand for him to kiss. He leaned forward awkwardly, holding the arm of his valet, his entire demeanor was one of illness. As she sat there, looking at the man she once feared so much, her only thought was to question herself and her judge of character. Just a year earlier, she and one of her ladies in waiting had quaked in fear at his slightest glance. Now the tables were turned. It was the old man’s turn to shiver in fear at his Queen slightest frown.