Queen Pirouette sat with a ramrod straight back in her chair at the head of the table. The Privy Council had been in session for over an hour. More than one of the Queen’s ministers was becoming weary of the proceedings. “Bring in the Imperial Ambassador,” said Pirouette softly to the Lieutenant Captain of the Palace Guards. With a brisk salute, he turned to the double doors, opened one and whispered something to one of the guards on duty.
Within seconds, the ambassador, who everybody at court knew was completely besotted with their young queen, came flouncing into the council chamber, all smiles and exaggerated bows. When he came within striking distance of her, he fell to his knees and kissed the hem of her skirt. It was an embarrassing breech of etiquette. One for which he would be obliged to take credit for the remainder of his brief stay at Queen Pirouette’s court.
“Get on your feet, man!” Chided the Lieutenant. “Everybody knows that such behavior is reserved for the throne room upon your first introduction to Her Majesty!”
All of the ministers, their secretaries, valets and especially Abigail Hoffenhoff, the Queen’s chief lady in waiting, best friend and confidant knew that henceforth, the ambassador would be known and a cringing, obsequious sycophant.