I was busy writing my new novel today, enjoying being inside Regina Victoria’s very well-bred mind (she never, ever listens to sarcastic Regina who sufaces every now and then) when all of a sudden Hetty Oswald turned up and took over.
Regina can’t have a best friend. It buggers up all of her motivations. Then the butler brings her this letter over breakfast:
Queen of My Heart (tell me, do I not already exceed all your suitors in poetic flattery? I have also managed to highlight the royalty of your name. A happy opening, indeed!)
But I must oblige my dear aunt this once and be serious. A quick note to tell you that you needn’t walk into the lion’s den alone (though to be quite fair my dear, I don’t think anyone would call Amess a lion, do you?). Apparently Avery has managed to secure an invitation through Miss Amess, who once held a flame for his father or some other such nonsense, and he, knowing it is to his advantage that your dearest friend (oh happy day, that is I!) enjoys his company (she only pretends to enjoy it, between you and me, because it gets her such boons as this…) he has also managed to secure an invitation for Aunt Elise and me!
Your ears do not deceive you, fair (only fair, mind, you mustn’t let those foolish men convince you of your great beauty!) Regina. I will be accompanying you to Hampshire! Grandfather has even been so good as to lend us his travelling coach, so I expect to arrive in even more style than you and the duchess.
Until we meet again on the bonny, bonny lawns of Bramwell,
Hetetia Roman Augusta Oswald, Lady Billingsworth
It’s seriously difficult to ignore a character that lively just because she doesn’t serve the plot. So I’m keeping her in, but she’s going to be Regina’s great rival until the moment when they come to understand each other.
Here’s hoping she doesn’t steal the show.