Lianna woke up the next morning to loud shouts all over the palace. She noticed Maillie hurrying back and forth across her room, pulling out dresses and handing them to other servants. Lianna slowly sat up, and saw that at least ten to fifteen other women were in the room, all waiting to transport Lianna's clothing. When Maillie had successfully emptied the wardrobe of everything but a black dress, she bid the servants goodbye and told them to take the clothing to the royal chambers.
"Maillie, what is going on in here?" Lianna asked, getting out of her bed and slamming the door shut.
"We have to move all your possessions into the royal chamber, Lianna. Your coronation is very soon, and you'll be getting married a few days after that. You've outgrown this room, unfortunately. You'll be Queen, and the Queen stays in the royal chamber, not one of the rooms designated for the children. It'll be fine, I'm moving into the servant quarters nearby your new room. Now, come on, let's get ready so you can go start preparing."
"The black is because I'm in mourning, correct?"
Maillie nodded, smiling sympathetically. "The mourning period is being shortened to a week so we can get on with your coronation. The officials are worried about a civil war."
"How do you know all this?"
"Last night I hid and listened to a council meeting. It was fairly interesting to spy on, but the officials are all flipping out because they're so afraid of a civil war. They wanted to coronate you today and have you get married tomorrow, but it would be too complicated."
"Maillie, I can't do this! I can't be Queen!"
"Lianna," Maillie said, putting a hand on her shoulder, "you were born to rule. You will make a wonderful Queen, and remember, you'll have a husband and a council to help you at all times. It's not like you'll be all alone on this. Besides, I'll always be here to help out too."
Lianna stood up and began putting on her dress, and Maillie smiled, knowing that Lianna would truly be alright.
Lianna was escorted by a page to a council meeting after her breakfast, and she silently prayed that it would be alright. She was led into a meeting room with a large table, and seated at the head of the table. The chair was very large, and she felt quite tiny as she sunk into the red velvet cushion. Lianna smoothed out her black skirt, and waited for the council members to enter. One by one, elderly men walked into the room, seating themselves at various seats around the table. No one smiled.
Lianna wrung her hands nervously, and realized she had better make a good impression on the council. They would be in charge of helping her for as long as she ruled, so it would be important for the council to feel she was a good leader. She was afraid to even smile nervously, would showing emotion be considered weak? She decided it would be best to just sit impassively, and waited till every last member of the council arrived.
When everyone was ready and seated, the elderly man sitting at the opposite end of the table stood up. "Princess Lianna, the time has come for you to inherit and rule the kingdom. In order to prevent a civil war from breaking out, unfortunately we must speed due processes up. The mourning period has been shortened to a week, and this week, although it is improper, will be used to prepare your coronation. We need to get you on the throne as fast as possible. Your wedding will most likely occur a few days after the coronation, so your guests will still be here for the wedding. We are thinking the coronation in nine days, and your wedding in about two weeks or so from today. That should be enough time to have the necessary dresses made, allowing for travel by your guests, so all will be present when the events occur. I know this is sudden, but we need to prevent a war."
Lianna nodded, trying to take everything in. She had no choice; she would simply have to listen to her council on this. "Who- who will I be marrying?" she questioned, her voice shaking slightly.
"The Hellenic ambassadors have agreed that you and Prince Jordan make a favorable match. A treaty is being signed tonight, and you and Jordan will be married soon. He will be ruling with you."
Lianna kept her face impassive, but brightened slightly. At least she would have someone who cared for her to help her. And the two had discussed marriage, Jordan would make a fine husband.
"Princess, it is time for us to begin drafting your coronation speech. We need to discuss politics, so please, make yourself comfortable."
Hours later, Lianna stumbled out of the room, only to be cornered by Maillie. "Come along, we have to measure you!"
"Maillie, you know my measurements! Please, I'm so tired!"
"The palace seamstresses want copies as well. As the future Queen, I won't be making your dresses anymore. The palace staff will take care of it, so they need your measurements. Plus, we need to start on your wedding gown."
Lianna groaned, and let Maillie drag her off to the palace sewing room. Many women sat around tables, fabric and needles in their hands. They were talking and laughing good-naturedly, and Lianna thought this would be a decent place to work. An older woman stood up, she was obviously head of the seamstresses. She pulled Lianna over to a mirror, and took her measurements. After she had written the numbers down multiple times, she bid Lianna farewell. Lianna tried to sneak back to her room to sleep, but Maillie cornered her again.
Lianna sighed. Maybe marriage wasn't so fun after all.