Ragtag Daily Prompt: Decry

During the reign of the old King, women of the court were required to wear white cotton gloves at all times. Pirouette hated this stipulation. Cramming her signet ring on her right index finger and her engagement ring on her left hand, as well as fashioning a diamond bracelet around one of her wrists was uncomfortable. It wasn’t painful, but it was a bother with which she preferred not to contend. When the King became feeble and unable to make hardly any decisions on his own, Pirouette, as the Crown Princess and highest ranking woman at court would often decry this old fashioned form of decorum.

She blamed the Prime Minister, rightly so, for the old King’s refusal even to contemplate such a trivial matter. Now that she was Queen, Pirouette took pleasure in throwing her gloves out the window (except for special occasions like high holy days or grand balls.) As she extended her ungloved hand for the Prime Minister to kiss, there was a new protocol. For him to press his parched lips upon her semi-sacred flesh was beyond contemplation. Now he was required to place his thumb over the top of her hand and then kiss his own thumb, thus giving the appearance of kissing her hand without actually desecrating her unblemished skin. On top of that, as a commoner, he was also required to kiss the hem of her dress.

All of this new protocol, the Prime Minister felt was designed to humiliate him in front of the entire court. In his imagination, he could hear the assembled nobles and dignitaries snickering at this very public display of his status. Of course, he was feared by most of the courtiers who would rather jump in the mote than display anything but deep respect to the senior member of the Queen’s councilors.

Published by Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Maxwell, Nigel, Pirouette and GarGar.

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