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 Home at last!

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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Home at last!   Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:59 am

As the coach approaches a familiar street, Eleanor leans out the window in anticipation, her eyes sparkling. The coach slows down in front of her family's London home, and she is bouncing with excitement as a young man in her father's livery opens the door. She bounces out, barely holding on to the young man's hand and quickly climbs the stairs in an almost unladylike fashion. Halfway up the stairs she catches herself and stops for a moment. She takes a deep breath, clears her throat and looks around, hoping no-one saw her in her moment of excitement. She starts walking slowly the rest of the way, unable to remove the broad smile on her face.

The butler opens the door to the house just as she reaches the top of the stairs and she enters the house gracefully. In the entrance hall is the man she has been waiting to see for these past years; her father.

She jumps up and embraces him tightly, feeling a couple of tears forming in her eyes.
My dear father, how I have missed you!
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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:24 am

The Earl of Salisbury starts pacing the entrance hall to their London home. He is expecting his beloved daughter Eleanor any minute. After sending her to France for her own safety while Oliver Cromwell and His Majesty Charles I were waging a war to tear England apart, he spent much time on both sides trying to negotiate peace. Unfortunately, peace has come at a price of the lives of both Cromwell and Charles. Both were good men, although different in their opinions and actions.

He sighs as he remembers the fighting of English against English and the Scots getting involved. He shudders and shakes his head, trying to forget. He starts pacing again as he listens for the coach carrying his jewel. He has missed her while she has been in France, but he sighs as he knows that he cannot keep her to himself for long. She has many obligations that must be fulfilled now. She was always his youngest and his favourite, and he tried to keep her away from duty for so long, but now with a cousin as Queen, he cannot put it off any longer.

He stands still and looks at the front door as he hears a carriage come to a stop in front of the house. As Peter the Butler opens the door, he suddenly hears a squeak and feels petite arms wrapping tightly around him. William embraces his daughter and whispers,
Welcome home, my little rose.
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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:49 am

Eleanor looks up at her father's face and smiles brightly. Yes, I am truly home, Father. What has been happening in my absence? Will we be staying here in London for a while before we go to the country? Are my friends still here in London? Has anyone gotten married? Is there a new King, father? Who is he?

William laughs and takes his daughter's hands in his. My, you haven't changed since I last saw you. Full of a thousand and one questions. Before I answer any of them, let us move to a place more comfortable.

He leads her into a sitting room where a maid called Blanche has laid out some tea and cakes. Looking down at them, Eleanor realises she has not eaten much all day and pours some tea for her father and then herself.

Taking a sip from his tea, William smiles at his daughter.
Well, my little rose, you will be staying in London for the forseeable future. Some of your friends are still here, but most of them are now married. But that is not important. What is important is the new Queen. She is a Howard, so she is a distant cousin of yours.

Eleanor looks at her Father. The new Queen a Howard? The Howards have not had this much power since the days of Henry VIII when he married her mother's namesake and Anne Boleyn before her. She looks down at her tea as she ponders this and what it will mean for her father and herself.
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Piero

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:55 am

After escorting the newly arrived Prince to the presence of his sister, the Queen, Piero decided to visit the Cecils and thank them for the shelter they offered in Rouen, where the Stewart needed a place to stay. He didn't opt for a coach, but decided to walk as he enjoyed. Some foreigner came to ask him for determined locations as such as the market or the port and he could instruct them in those cases.

Soon he arrived in the streets which one of his brother's servants said to be where the Cecil's house was. He remembered that street, he used to come sometimes with his older brother to parties. He went slowly towards it, a beautiful house that dignified the noble family which reside in there. Once he arrived in the gates, a servant came to greet him.


I, Sir Piero Stewart would like an audience with His Grace the Earl of Salisbury, if possible., said him quietly, as the servant made a reverence and invited him to enter in the gardens as he would talk to his master.

Piero observed the man who went inside the house to tell him about the one who had just arrived.


Your Grace, Sir Piero Stewart requests an audience... should I let him come in?, asked the servant as he saw the Earl.
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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:00 am

William watches his daughter intently as she ponders the news he just gave her of the new Queen. As he opens his mouth to say something else, when Peter appears at the doorway to the sitting room and clears his throat. Both William and Eleanor look up at him as he says, Your Grace, Sir Piero Stewart requests an audience. Should I let him come in?

Eleanor smiles at hearing Sir Piero has come to visit and looks at her father. Unaware of Eleanor's change of countenance, William nods his head at Peter and says, Why yes Peter, Eleanor and I will receive Sir Piero here. Let him in.
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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:14 am

The servant made a reverence and left the sitting room, going towards the gardens where Sir Piero waited.

You may come in, my lord..., said Peter the Butler, who was followed by Piero towards the house, until both reached the sitting room. The Stewart waited as Peter announced his name and then, he entered in the room, making a reverence to the Earl as well as to her daughter, politely.

Your Grace, I thank you for your kindness in allowing me this audience. I hope Your Grace and Lady Eleanor Rose are well.
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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:22 am

Eleanor and William stand to receive Sir Piero in the sitting room. Ever the young lady, Eleanor has relaxed her face into a look of calm as she curtsies their guest. William smiles, Sir Piero! It has been a long time since we've met. My daughter and I are very well, thank you. Lady Eleanor has just arrived home from France this minute. Please, come have a seat. How are you my good man? I trust you are well? What brings you here to our humble home?
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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:48 am

Thank you, Your Grace, I'm well. I'm sorry if I interrupted you... I came to thank you, my lord, and your daughter for providing me shelter in Rouen, when I needed. Thank you very much., said him smiling.

Then, he looked around and then asked to the Earl.
Your Grace... may I speak in private with you?
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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:26 am

William looks at Sir Piero, intrigued. He turns to Eleanor, who looks a little confused, and says , My dear, please excuse us. I am sure you are tired. Go and have a rest and I will speak to you later.

Eleanor stands and curtsies to Sir Piero, William stands and watches her leave the room and ascend the stairs. She rests her fingertips on the wall and trails them along as she makes her way to her rooms. She enters and notices her trunks have been brought up. She looks in them and notices they are empty. The maids have already put her things away. She stands and suddenly realises how tired she is from the journey back home. She lays down on her bed and closes her eyes, intending on just resting for a few minutes...

As Eleanor leaves, William sits back down and looks at his visitor intently.
So, Sir Piero. What is it you would like to talk to me about? Is there something wrong?
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Piero

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:38 am

Your Grace, I suppose you have heard of my brother, the Duke of Richmond and Lennox, who was poisoned and is in his deathbed. As he doesn't have any children, his marriage with Lady Mary Villiers won't be considered consumed and she won't inherite his titles and lands... which makes me his direct heir., said him, pausing for a moment as he smiled. I know Your Grace is a good Royalist, so I'd like to propose my marriage with Your Grace's daughter, Lady Eleanor Rose.

After this, he waited for the Earl's answer.
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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:07 am

William looks at Sir Piero, a little startled. Marry his daughter? His youngest daughter? His little rose? He suppresses his instinct to reject the proposal outright and looks at his hand and thinks. He has told Eleanor he has been looking for a suitable husband for her for a while, but he must admit to himself he had not been looking very hard. With the war between Charles and Cromwell it was easy to feign being too busy to look while defending his King and his family. But now that Sir Piero has come along and actually asked for his daughter's hand, he cannot put it off any longer.

Looking up from his hand to Sir Piero, he realises what a good fortune this is. The Duke of Richmond and Lennox! He will surely be able to provide for his daughter. And having learned that he is the new Lord Constable, he will be in London a lot to answer to the new Queen. He sighs as he tries to find any excuse to say no, but he cannot. He knows that Eleanor trusts his judgment and will not question his choice for her. And she already knows Sir Piero when they were in France. Did something happen between them he does not yet know about? He furrows his brow as he wonders. He will ask Eleanor tonight. But there is nothing left but to accept this young man's proposal.


My dear Sir, I can not find any reason not to allow you to marry my daughter. So, yes, you have my permission to marry her. She is young and beautiful and has made me a good daughter, and will make you a good wife.
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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:15 pm

Piero examined the man's face carefully, trying to guess how he would react and in the end, wasn't surprised.

Very well, Your Grace, I thank you. However, before everything is settled, we'll need the permission of the Queen as Her Majesty must approve every marriage in the Court before they happen... If possible, I'd like to know what Lady Eleanor thinks and if she accepts my proposal, too.
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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:12 pm

William nods and rings a bell, and Blanche appears a minute later, looking flustered. Blanche, please go upstairs this once and fetch Lady Eleanor.

Blanche races up the staircase as quickly and as quietly as possible, a broad grin on her face. This rich young man has come to ask her Ladyship for her hand! And her father has accepted! Like most loyal servants, Blanche had been listening in on the conversation between the gentlemen. Blanche knocks on the door to Lady Eleanor's room and opens it quietly. She notices her ladyship laying on the bed, asleep. She can't have been sleeping very long! The poor girl must be exhausted from the trip, but this is of the utmost importance. His Grace would not forgive Blanche for not hurrying her down immediately.

Your ladyship! Your ladyship! Wake up! Your father has sent for you. He wishes you go downstairs. He and Sir Piero Stewart have some incredible news for you!

Eleanor slowly rolls onto her back and opens her eyes. Groggily, she says, Blanche? What's going on?

Your ladyship is needed downstairs. His Grace wishes it.

Eleanor sits up straight and looks at Blanche. Why is she needed so soon? She thought the gentlemen would be talking for some time yet about the good old days and the politics or something like that. She quickly gets up and looks at herself in the mirror. She tidies her hair up as much as she can and pinches her cheeks to make them a little pink. She then looks down at her skirts and runs her hands down them to remove any imaginary wrinkles. Now that she feels decent again, she leaves her room and makes her way down the stairs. As she enters the sitting room, her father stands and holds a hand out to her for her to take and says, My dear, Sir Piero here has something to ask of you.
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Piero

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:24 am

Piero made a reverence as Lady Eleanor entered the room and smiled. Since Lady Catherine, Piero's former fiancée died during an uprising in Somerset, while the Stewart was in exile in Spain, he had been alone and without plans of marriage... but now, he knew he could no longer wait and he should find a suitable wife, and so he believed to have find. He loved Eleanor and wished her best. He was of a shy nature, so he took a while before speaking.

Lady Eleanor, I have a... proposal for Your Ladyship. I know I'm not the best, cleverest man in the world, but would Your Ladyship give me the grace of your hand in marriage?
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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:43 am

Eleanor blushed, her mouth wide with shock. She recovered in time to realise she was not being very ladylike and closed her mouth. Marry Sir Piero? She'd not thought about it before. Sure, they spent some time together in Rouen at her father's house and he was lovely and gentlemanly, but marriage? She looks at her father and sees the approving smile on his face. Ah yes, he told her while she was in France that he was looking for a husband for her.

After thinking for a moment, she remembered their time in Rouen. They had a few long discussions and became good friends. She likes Sir Piero very much and she can imagine that given enough time she could very soon fall in love with him. Their courtship may not be the stuff of wild romantic stories, but she could be very content. As the soon-to-be Duke of Richmond (Sir Piero had informed her that his brother was the Duke and she'd heard through idle gossip just after she arrived in England that Sir Piero's brother had been poisoned), he would be able to provide her with all the comforts her father had provided her and more.

She smiles broadly at Sir Piero and nods her head.
I would be honoured to marry you, Sir Piero.
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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:18 pm

Piero couldn't hold his smile and his eyes became brilliant at the acceptace of his proposal. However... we'll need to request the approval of the Queen, milady., said him, as he approached Lady Eleanor and kissed her hand softly.

Then, he turned to the Earl and made a reverence, as well as to Lady Eleanor. Now, I must leave. Thank you again for your hospitaly, my dear friends... and for your love, milady. I should go to my brother who may need me, now. Au revoir..., said him, smiling. Then, after saying goodbye properly, he left the beautiful house, gaining again the cold streets of London.
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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:10 pm

Eleanor smiles as she holds out her hand for Sir Piero to kiss. She is betrothed! They will need to ask permission to marry from Her Majesty, but with the approval of her own father, she does not see any reason for the Queen to refuse.

Eleanor curtsies and William bows as Sir Piero takes his leave.
Come back whenever you wish, Sir Piero, says William. You are always welcome here. Go look after your brother and let us know how he fares.

When Sir Piero leaves, William looks over at his daughter. Well, my little rose, you have not been back in London 5 minutes and you are already betrothed! I see allowing Sir Piero to stay in our house in Rouen was a blessing in disguise. Did anything happen when you were there?

Eleanor blushed and shook her head. We talked to one another and attended soiree's with the French nobles, but Sir Piero never let on that he had any feelings for me other than friendship. His coming here was as much as a surprise for me as it was for you, Father.

William furrowed his brow and motioned for his daughter to sit. Well, after all that, I have more news for you my dear. Her Majesty sent me a letter when she found out you were returning to England. She is summoning you to her court and wishes you to serve on her Royal Council as her Earl Marshal. Now, before you say anything, I thought it was a little strange as well that you would be required to fill a man's role in the military. However, Her Majesty knows what she is doing, and you will be close to Sir Piero. He is to be the Lord High Constable.

My daughter, it is a great privilege and an honour to be called to Her Majesty's court. I want you to go to her to introduce yourself, and I want you to go soon. It is your duty as a Lady of England to serve our sovereign.

Eleanor bows her head. Yes Father, I will go at once.
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Eleanor Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Home at last!   Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:28 pm

Exhausted from her day with Her Majesty and her travels from the past few days, Eleanor slowly walks up the steps to her father's London home. After Peter opens the door for Eleanor, she walks inside and over to the sitting room where her father was waiting for her, reading the weekly newspaper. As she enters the room, William looks up and puts the paper down and stands.

Well, my little rose, how did your audience with Her Majesty go?

Eleanor sits down opposite her father and smiles wearily at him. It went well, I think. Her Majesty is a bit younger than I would have thought, but never mind. She has a good head on her shoulders and she is prudent enough to wait for the next Archbishop of Canterbury to be named before she has her coronation. I like that she is sticking to tradition. But all those men there was disconcerting, and it wore me out. I had forgotten what politics was like.

William looks at his daughter tenderly. As his youngest child, and newly betrothed at that, she is secretly his favourite, although he would never tell his sons that. He smiles and says, Perhaps a nice warm meal will do you some good. I think dinner will be ready soon.

Eleanor smiles at her father and nods. As she relaxes in her chair she realises she's not had anything to eat all day, and she is hungry.
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