The next morning we realised that our idyll would be over in a few days. With cotton gloves or a few light bandages I could appear in public. Anthea had work commitments, both at the company, on the board and at the glass enterprise. So instead of going to the private sitting room after breakfast we went to my office. Anna, my secretary let Anthea use her PC to link to the various businesses and e-mails to deal with anything urgent, while she and I went over what had been postponed and what needed extra apologies for having had to cancel.
We spent a while composing letters to a group of liberation fighters who had come to the capital to commemorate a significant victory. As I had been unable to receive them formally with the head of government, we decided a personal letter to each would be in order. She had had the list of names to find something about each one so that the letters could be meaningful in the context of the achievements of each of the 24 men and women. What would I do without her?
Anthea having finished off all the urgent matters was ready to take a break by late morning. Anna was tidying up the letters to have them ready for me to sign in a while. We went off to have a cup of coffee with my father in the garden.
He was in high spirits and obviously had something to tell us.
He had been digging through the declaration of the restoration of the monarchy and all the laws that had been passed regarding the role of the monarch since the restoration of the country. He said “There has not been a formal definition of the role of the king’s wife. My father and his wife were already married when he was made king, as were your mother and I. In each case it was a dual ceremony creating us as king and queen. Your situation was never thought of.”
We looked at each other. That side of life hadn’t even been thought of by either of us yet.
Anthea said. “Can’t we just be married? Leo remains king and I am his wife with no title. Then if the politicians or whoever ever wants me to be queen they can deal with it? I don’t want to ask for anything special I haven’t earned.”
I said “Think about it for a few days, there is no immediate rush. I’ll get a constutional expert to do some further analysis and let us know what the options are and also what any requirements would be. After all I have no powers, just a job to be a figurehead with many roles in leading non-political initiatives. Let’s look at what my mother did when she was alive and see if any of that appeals to you. You can more or less make of it what you will. If you want to keep working, that’s fine, but I’d like you as my wife who lives with me and not kilometres away, if that’s OK with you. I can’t really move out of the capital.
Meanwhile this afternoon I have a meeting with the architect and builder about the orphanage. I’d be grateful if you’d sit in the meeting with me so that it’s the two of us together on this.”
We spent a while discussing the orphanage. Once I’d seen her car I’d been too busy looking for her to notice much about the state of the buildings other than the one that had her phone ringing in it. She was also concerned about the children in their temporary shelter at the army base.
We went in to have lunch hand-in-hand as I hoped we’d spend the rest of our lives.