Aunt Grizelda’s Problem Page: Advice to a Scottish Queen.

Family mistrust is a pernicious thing and can often prevent family members accepting help from each other and this is exemplified in today’s missive from a queen north of the border.

Hail to you Mistress Grizelda,

I would pose thee a question regarding the trust betwixt cousins.

Mine own fair cousin is monarch of a land that doth border mine own, but she is beloved of her people and ministers, and doth hold full sway over them, whilst I am beset by rogues and traitors that would hurry me from hence to my grave. In consequence, thereof, I am minded to accept the sanctuary she hast most recently offered me.

Howsomever, it is said by some that her sweet missives offer false hope, and cometh from a grasping, wolfish heart – that in truth, she doth seek to steal Scotland from me.

What course should I take?

Adieu and God rest you merry,

M. Q of S. 

Dear M Q of S,

As G. H. Lewes wrote, “Murder, like talent, seems occasionally to run in families.” And never was this truer than when the family in question is royal. The briefest scan of a history book reveals a shocking litany of horrid murders of kings and queens that in the most part were plotted by their nearest and dearest. And for why? Power. And what avails more power? More land.

But of course, your cousin is currently in a very strong position while you are in a weak one, and while good sense might caution you from throwing yourself upon her mercy, surely she would not sleep easy were anything to befall a sister queen?

It seems to me you have little option but to accept your cousin’s offer and I am sure all will be well if you can demonstrate to her your thankfulness.

Good luck, (and hide a dagger beneath your farthingale just to be on the safe side.)

Aunt Grizelda.

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