Manners Fit for a Queen

by Roger Russell

Regina listened to her tutor. The woman had come from a poweful family that had served royalty for hundreds of years, and was very sure of her facts.

As she looked at her, the young princess was beginning to wonder, if in fact she had served for hundreds of years herself! The stiff carraige, the unbending attitudes, and ruthless determination to get across every single point.

But under her tutalege, Regina had learned a great deal about things she needed to know.

This day's lesson was on manners. On the very importance of manners. On the complete necessity of manners. On everything about manners that you could imagine, and some Regina hadn't.

The princess had started thinking the woman was tenacious, but now she was beginning to believe she was ruthless. This was the lady's last month with Regina, and the stout older woman wanted to make sure that there wasn't anything left out.

When her time with this teacher was over, frankly it would be a relief. All the servants were terrified of her.

The manners she taught kept the lower class, well, in their place. It wasn't that she deliberatly snubbed anyone, but her every word seemed to pronounce her superiority, and her high opinion of her class in life.

No matter how hard the teacher tried, Regina simply couldn't bring herself to act that way. So, the lectures became a little more frantic, time was running out for both the teacher, and the student.

The doorway opened and to the delight of all, Queen Aurelia entered the room. Her smile lightened the atmosphere at once, and her easy laugh at Regina's delight assured all that things would be well once again.

"I just thought I'd sit and do my embroidery here for a while,

"Please, continue the lesson..."

The queen settled in a chair and he maid handed her a bundle of cloth she had brought with her. Her hands started weilding her needle and soon it appeared she as completely taken with the task.

"Regina, I don't want you to ever lift the wrong foot again, even if they have that slipper with them. If a servant isn't smart enough to bring the right foot first when dressing you, then it's your job to remind them, even if it's with an upturned eyebrow.

"With manners, you never need shout at a servant, that's the difference between us and them."

With a superior air about her, the woman glowered at Regina. She was taking a breath to continue when Aurelia inturupted.

"I'm sure that Regina has learned so much from you in the time you've tutored her.

"It's a shame your family must miss you so much. I think if you left a month early that ought to solve that problem,

"Would you like my maid to help you pack? If you hurry you could even leave the castle before nightfall."

Her Aunt seemed to be so concerned about teacher all of a sudden. And her speedy return home, but Regina knew that the family in the country estate was not anxious to see her just yet. So, what was her Aunt up to?

The woman paled, and nodding, hurried from the room almost forgetting to curtsy.

"I had heard what she was filling your head with, and simply had to stop it before it went any further."

Aurelia took Regina's hand and led her to the bed so they could sit side by side.

"Regina, princess of the realm and heir to the throne, this is all you need to know about manners.

"Manners, is knowing how to make people at ease.

"Have you ever heard my manners faulted?"

Regina shook her head.

"Have you ever seen anyone uncomfortable because of my actions?"

Once again Regina shook her head no.

"That's true manners. Don't let me see you do any less, and the kingdom will thank the day you were crowned Queen."

With that she leaned over and kissed Regina on the cheek, and hugged her. With that, she went back to her chair and began embroidering again. Her maid watched and handed her a pair of scissors at just the right time. Then a different color thread.

Regina held her hand to her cheek. That made more sense than the months of lectures. Manners might not be so bad after all.

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