I was furious that Philip had dared to go to the lengths he had done to try to defame Anthea. I have always felt somewhat protective towards her, even when she refused protection. Now that my love for her is reciprocated I feel so much more protective. Usually she needs no protection from me, she is a strong woman, intelligent and competent, but this sort of underhanded attack is another matter.
With the help of a few people I know in the media and advertising world we had managed to turn what could have been a really devastating smear campaign against Anthea into public evidence of someone’s hatred of her. We also gave the man who turned to us when he received it, an exclusive scoop as to how it had been done.
I decided we couldn’t risk Anthea living alone in the city any longer; there was no knowing what Philip may do next. So I persuaded her to move back to the palace.
My father and I had a long chat about Philip. He is always so sensible that it is worth talking to him. We went over the facts that we know.
The physical attach when she left Philip. His framing her at the sexually transmitted diseases clinic. He must have seen and recognised her car at the orphanage, and deliberately did not seek for her, something I haven’t told her. Now this!
We decided that the first way of dealing with it, was to appeal to his ambassador to get him removed from the country. If that did not work, then we would have to plan a new strategy. So we invited the ambassador, normally a pretty polite and friendly chap for a chat.
That did not go as well as we had hoped. He seemed somewhat affronted that Anthea was there, almost as though this was nothing to do with her, despite what we showed him. In fact the edited pictures seemed to make it worse. Even though he could see the editing steps, and the flaws he seemed to believe the pictures were real, and that she was as evil as portrayed.
We pressurised him as much as we could, and eventually he said he’d do what he could. I got the feeling that as soon as he left, there would be no more done about Philip; at least from his side.
With less than a week until our wedding, I realised I still hadn’t bought Anthea a wedding present. A moment of whimsy caught me and I imagined Philip’s head on a platter. The irresponsible moment faded, leaving me with the problem.
I phoned Anthea’s mother who was due to arrive for the final wedding preparations the next day. She suggested jewellery of some kind, something special between us. So I went off into the city and spent the afternoon looking at so many different things I felt a little dazed, and eventually settled on a gold and platinum necklace in a very modern style that seemed to me to embody Anthea and her approach to life, yet was beautiful enough to compliment her.
I was a little startled when the person helping me suggested that I should also take a matching bracelet. She said “It is all in the same design as the engagement ring you bought her here. After we sold it to you we decided never to make that design again, in honour of her, but we didn’t want to re-use these metals for something else. When my husband designed them together he told me these were meant for someone extremely special, and he was right”.
We chatted a little and I was delighted to hear confirmation from a citizen that they were happy about our marriage and about Anthea becoming queen. She also told me that these two pieces would look very good with the suit Anthea had had made for the crowning. The designer was her brother-in-law and had secretly shown them the suit design, and the fabric.
I went back to the palace feeling happy that normal people would enjoy having Anthea as their queen, and seemed to approve of her; after all I think she is extremely special.
5 days to our wedding.