"Your Majesties." Anna Van Nassau of the Netherlands curtsied deeply upon meeting Elizabeth and Robert. Anna was a petite blonde with bright blue eyes and a shy smile. She was betrothed to Robert, heir to the throne, and the wedding was scheduled to take place the following day.
"Welcome to England, my dear. I hope that your journey was a pleasant one." Elizabeth smiled as she embraced her future daughter-in-law.
"It was very nice, thank you," Anna replied. She greeted the Prince Consort next, and then her future husband. Robert's eyes grew round, and he took a sharp intake of breath as he gazed at his bride-to-be for the first time. He thought that she was simply the most beautiful thing that he had ever seen.
"I'm delighted to meet you," he stammered nervously. Anna smiled at him, and he melted inside.
The wedding of Robert and Anna was a colossal affair, at least as large as that of Francis and Rosie had been. For Rosie, standing beside her husband, it seemed almost like her own wedding all over again, except that this time she was one of the spectators.
Rosie kept glancing at the door from which Anna was to enter, eager for a glimpse of her new sister-in-law. She gasped as Anna finally entered. The young woman was breathtakingly beautiful, and Rosie felt a twinge of jealousy, wondering whether she herself had been as beautiful on her own wedding day.
When the ceremony had ended and Robert and Anna had been pronounced husband and wife, Rosie went with the rest of the family to meet Anna. The beautiful bride stood with her proud husband, surrounded by family members, each of them eager to embrace her or kiss her hand. Finally it was Rosie's turn.
"Welcome to the family," she generously told Anna.
"Thank you, Rose. I'm so glad we're sisters now," Anna replied with a warm smile.
"As am I," Rosie said, feeling ashamed of the jealousy she had felt earlier. She glanced longingly at her newly married brother with just a twinge of sadness. Never again would they ever huddle together whispering secrets to one another. Both of them were married to other people now. Rosie suddenly found herself blinking back unexpected tears.
"Are you all right, my love?" Francis was instantly at her side, a look of deep concern on his face.
Rosie smiled and nodded. "Sometimes I just wish things didn't have to change so quickly," she said with a little sigh. "Wasn't the bride absolutely stunning?"
"No more so than you were on the day we were wed, darling," Francis replied.
"Is Robert going to go away now, like Rosie did?" Annie asked her older brother, Johnny.
"Of course not," Johnny scoffed. "Robert's going to be the King of England someday. Anna had to leave her own country to come here to be with him."
"Does that mean I'll have to leave England too someday?" Annie was highly alarmed.
"Of course you will, when Mama and Papa find a foreign prince for you to marry."
"That's not fair!" Annie burst into tears and ran away from him. "I don't want to ever leave England! I want to stay here forever!"
Elizabeth and Robert saw how upset their younger daughter was and went to comfort her.
"I don't want to ever have to go away like Rosie did!" Annie told her mother.
"Oh, honey, you won't have to go away for a long time." Elizabeth held Annie and stroked her hair. "And when you do, it will be with a nice man like Francis who will love and take care of you."
Annie continued to cry, refusing to be comforted by her mother's words. After consoling her as best they could, her parents returned to the wedding reception.
"I have something important to tell you." Elizabeth's eyes twinkled as she addressed her husband. "I was waiting for just the right time, and now seems as good a time as any. You're going to be a father again."
Robert felt both excited and nervous as he approached his and Anna's new bedchambers that night. His father had described to him the basics of what was to happen, but having never touched a girl in that way before, he had a difficult time imagining how it would go.
He parted the curtain to see Anna sitting up in bed, staring at him with round eyes. It made him feel immensely better to realize that she was every bit as frightened as he himself was, if not even more so.
He went to her and slowly began to kiss her. He found that it was a highly pleasurable experience and began to feel aroused.
"I guess we're supposed to take our clothes off," Anna said hesitantly.
"I guess we are," Robert said. They both quickly did so. At the sight of Anna's bare breasts, Robert felt desire course through him, causing him to gasp with pleasure as he felt himself harden. As if on cue, Anna began to stroke him there, and he found the sensation to be almost indescribable.
From then on everything seemed to fall into place naturally. Afterwards Robert descended swiftly into sleep, having concluded that he liked being married very much.