A new century was ushered in on earth. Louis and Anne watched the celebrations from above, marveling at how much life on earth had changed since they'd each lived there.

The more recent arrivals they'd both befriended included Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and three of his children, Alice, Leopold, and Alfred.

"Today is the day my darling Victoria joins me," Albert told his friends on January 22, 1901.

"It shall be so nice to see Mother again," added Alice. "I haven't spoken with her in ever so long." Two of her own children, Friedrich and Marie, stood beside her.

At last Victoria appeared, looking as she had as a young woman. "Albert, my love!" she exclaimed at the sight of her husband. She ran into his arms, and they embraced passionately.

"Theirs is a true love story, one that transcends death," said Alfred, who'd only arrived a year previously himself. "From the moment they first met, they were absolutely devoted to one another. When my father died in 1861, my mother was truly heartbroken. She was in deep mourning for him for the rest of her life."

"That's very different from our story," Anne told him. "We both had unhappy marriages to other people in life, and didn't meet one another until we were both already in heaven. Since then, we've had over a hundred years to make up for lost time."

"Alice's husband Louis joined her nine years ago, but my brother and I still await the arrival of our sweethearts," Alfred told them. "In the meantime, it's just so wonderful to see our parents reunited at last."

After hugging and kissing for what seemed like forever, Albert finally asked his wife about their six children remaining on earth.

"They're all doing very well," she told him. "Victoria is the Dowager Empress of Prussia, and Edward is the new King of England, of course. Helena is married to Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, and they still live in England. Louise is married to John Campbell, the 9th Earl of Argyll, Arthur is married to Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, and Beatrice is married to Prince Henry of Battenberg. We have many, many grandchildren and great grandchildren."

"Guess there's not much chance of our line dying out, then," Albert said with a laugh.

"Of course there isn't." Victoria laughed with him. Then they walked together to their heavenly abode. They had a lot of lost time to make up for, too.


Anne waited a few days to give Albert and Victoria plenty of alone time, then went to introduce herself to the Queen, bringing some friends and family members along with her.

"Meet my daughter, Elizabeth," she said proudly. "She was the Queen of England three hundred years before your time."

"It was a real challenge for me," Elizabeth told Victoria. "The people of England weren't used to having a female monarch. I had to prove myself to them. It took me a long time to earn their trust."

"I owe you a debt of gratitude," Victoria told her. "You paved the way for myself and all other future female monarchs."

"This is my sister, Mary," Anne continued. "She was King Henry VIII's mistress before he fell in love with me."

"He used me up and then threw me away like a worn-out shoe," Mary said bitterly. "Fortunately, I met a good man, William Stafford, who was willing to accept me, even though I already had two children. William and I had a son and daughter together, and we're with one another for eternity now."

"My name is Bessie Blount," said the woman standing beside Mary. "I was a lady in waiting for Henry's first wife, Katherine of Aragon. Henry fancied me and took me as his mistress, and I bore his bastard, Henry Fitzroy. My son died as a teenager of the sweating sickness."

"Three of my children, as well as a couple of my grandchildren, died before me as well," Victoria told her. "My daughter Alice and granddaughter Marie both died of diphtheria, and my son Leopold and grandson Friedrich both suffered from hemophilia, from which they both died. My son Alfred died last year of throat cancer."

"I never had grandchildren," said Bessie. "I've always wondered what it would have been like if my son had lived long enough to give me some."

"I had many grandchildren and great grandchildren," said Mary. "I have many living descendants on earth now, mostly in England and in the United States."

Anne and her friends and family visited with the newcomers for a bit longer, and then Anne returned to Louis. She found him relaxing in a lounge chair outside.

"Well, how did it go?" he asked her.

"It went all right," she told him. "Victoria reigned longer than any other monarch ever has before, over sixty-three years."

"That's quite impressive," Louis remarked. "Longer than I was alive on earth, even."

"Me too." Suddenly Anne felt depressed.

"But let's not talk about that right now. There are so many better things to talk about." He hugged Anne from behind and began to plant soft kisses on her neck, and her depression was instantly gone.