Caroline Mathilde Does Pretty Much What Every King Did
It’s a staple of modern, post-feminist fiction: the princess forced to marry a not-so-charming prince. “An arranged marriage?” She says, as if this is the most shocking thing to ever happen to someone who’s been groomed for such a life since birth. “How could this be???”
Truth be told, arranged marriages were not only the norm in bygone eras, but they generally went… okay. You hear more about the women who suffered than those who didn’t, and rightfully so. But plenty of noble women were groomed from childhood to be complacent wives, and many accepted their less than ideal lots in life. If their husbands slept around—if they fathered children with other women—they were expected to put up with it, and often did.
There’s a reason why you don’t often hear about women—let alone queens—cheating on their husbands in the land of yesteryear. The double standard was strong; strong enough to get Anne Boleyn beheaded on trumped up charges, and a teenage Katherine Howard to receive the same fate from the same husband on… well, less trumped up charges. But still!
Caroline Mathilde was an English princess sent to marry Denmark’s King Christian. A teenage bride, she possessed manners entirely different from those in the Danish court. She was natural—later known to ride horses in breeches like a man—and seemed to lack the finesse some expected of her. Furthermore, her husband was mentally ill and fond of prostitutes and generally inappropriate behavior. Some have since speculated that Christian may have been bipolar or schizophrenic. Either way, it was less than a match made in in Heaven. Christian sired the perfunctory son upon Caroline, and once she’d done her duty, he was back to hanging out with his favorite courtesan and perusing the brothels of Copenhagen.
This is your face when you’re bored with the hubs.
You strolled down the street with your friends, walking aimlessly and talking as most young teenaged girls do once they’re grouped together with their friends. You were off in your own little world, happily talking about anything and everything with one another, that is, until one of your friends, Katie, pointed out a certain silver haired boy walking down the street with a little brown haired girl beside him holding onto his hand.
“Hey…” Katie began, “Isn’t that Peter? From biology?”
Another one of your friends, Mathilde (who claimed her French heritage yet refused to even study French at school), nodded her head, “Yeah, that’s him. With his adorable little sister, too.”
You chewed on your bottom lip. You certainly knew Peter; you’d been crushing on him since he stepped foot into your biology class. He may not’ve been cute to some girls, but to you, he was so darn cute that you had to force yourself to look away every time he caught your eye.
“Is he looking over here?” another one of your friends, Emily, asked.
“He totally is,” Katie replied. “He’s totally staring right over here! Even his sister is!”
“No, they are not!” Mathilde began to say, before she turned her head and nodded. “Nevermind, he totally is.”
“Told you so!” Emily said, and you rolled your eyes. It didn’t matter if he was looking or not. He wasn’t looking at you, so it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter.
Unbeknownst to you and your friends, Peter and his little sister were looking straight at you, the quiet one of the group; for the moment, anyway.
“You like her,” his little sister, Wanda, commented.
Peter was going to say something along the lines of ‘shut up’, but he decided against it, instead opting to nod his head and say, “Yeah. Yeah, I do.”
For Ratmas this year since I don’t have a very big supply of rats, I’ve decided to finally do something I’ve been meaning to do for ages: rewriting a traditional fairytale from my country (Spain) to fit the Neath, and still sound like a fairytale.
The original tale is La Ratita Presumida. I wrote two endings, since the original one has several. So here it is, enjoy!
Once upon a time, or maybe
just last week, a tiny grey Vain Little Rat pressed her fuzzy cheek to her tiny
broom and sighed dreamily. Out the window of the dusty furniture store, lacre
fell mournfully from the sky.