Day 11: Favourite Photo(s) of Hats/Fascinators worn by a Royal.
So I chose a lot of pictures, but I’m a sucker for a proper hat. I don’t mind fascinators but I think a proper brimmed hat is incredibly classy. I wish we wore hats in the US because I really want a fabulous hat collection.
We all know Queen Max is the Queen of Hats, but I was pleasantly surprised by Queen Elizabeth and y'all, Camilla has some serious hat game! Kate, Sophie, Vicken and Mary are obvious hat winners and I adored the floral hairpiece Made wore for Oscar’s christening. Carl Gustaf in a bunny hat is just fun and Prince Philip may the the most dapper man alive.
“Are you certain you want to go through with this?”
Ciel’s bright blue eye leveled with your gaze as you turned to look at him.
“Of course. What makes you think that I wouldn’t be?”
“Well, we are making ourselves rather vulnerable. It’s a dangerous situation.”
“Yes, I do realize. I’m no stranger to these types of situations, Ciel.”
Turning your attention away from him, you stared out the window at the snow that was carefully falling from the sky.
“Are you concerned?”
Your tone turned curious as you turned back to study his expression.
“No. I’m simply ensuring you’re as committed to this plan as I am.”
“Well, I do believe you’re forgetting who’s plan it was.”
A smirk settled on your lips as you watched annoyance wash over Ciel’s expression.
“Very well. As long as you’re certain. You know, you’re a rather challenging countess.”
“As you are a rather difficult earl. I only trouble you, because you see so much of yourself within me.”
“Don’t flatter yourself. I don’t believe I see as much as you would like to think.”
“Oh, what’s that? Would you like to find more of yourself in me? Perhaps that could be arranged.”
Throwing a facetious wink in his direction, you ruffled your skirt gently, lifting it enough to show off the pale skin of your leg. His expression remained unchanged, stoic as ever.
“For someone who sold their soul, you have a pretty interesting sense of humor.”
“And you seem to have none at all. Your soul is still yours, you know. May as well use it while you have it. Smile while you can. I, personally, have chosen to see it that way. I used to be shy, bashful, proper; you know. I behaved the way I was expected to. But now, I see no point. We’re all going to die anyway, right? I may as well have some fun before I go. So I’ll partake in lewd humor and empty flirtations if I so choose to, because no one can stop me and it won’t matter once I’m dead, so why care now?”
His naked eye squinted in your direction, scrutinizing your face as if to try and glean a deeper understanding of your psyche, but to no avail.
“What an interesting take. You have an odd view of the morbid situation you have found yourself in.”
“What would make it morbid is how I choose to see it. I gained a greater view when I lost my eye. I see things more clearly now and I see that I can choose to be content, so I am. My situation is one of my own choosing and for that, I’m grateful. ”
Smiling politely, you turned to gaze out the window once more, admiring the fresh snow on the cobbled streets beneath the carriage. Ciel kept his eye on you for a moment, but you were too enamored with the sight outside to notice. He pondered your words carefully, mulling them over in the back of his mind as he turned to look out the opposite window, remaining silent until the carriage came to a halt.
“Master, we have arrived.”
Sebastian’s velvet voice echoed through the carriage just before the door popped open.
“Thank you, Sebastian.”
Nodding politely, you took his gloved hand as he offered it to you, helping you out of the buggy. Ciel followed behind you quietly, standing close to your side.
“That will be all, Sebastian. Do you recall your orders?”
The raven-haired butler bowed with his hand pressed over his heart.
“Yes, my lord. I shall take my leave now. Enjoy your evening. My lady.”
Nodding his polite goodbye, Sebastian climbed elegantly atop the carriage and ushered the horses off, leaving you and Ciel alone.
The streets weren’t vacant yet, a few people still wandered about, bundled up against the chill of the evening. It was late, however, and those with any sense were on their way back to their homes.
“Well, shall we?”
Ciel’s turned to face you as he offered your his arm, which you graciously took.
“I suppose we shall. Thank you.”
Carefully, you linked your arm with his, stepping close to his side as the two of you began to walk down the street.
“I’ve always enjoyed this weather. Fresh snow is just so beautiful.”
Craning your head back, you peered up at the sky, watching the light flurries of snow dance around you. Ciel made no comment, he merely watched your movements, but when you lowered your sight to look at him, you could have sworn you saw an inkling of a smile on his face.
“We should get to somewhere less crowded. You’re positive this is the area the killer prefers?”
Nodding affirmatively, you gestured to the darkness of a nearby alleyway.
“Yes. This block and the next four after it have been the locations for all of the murders.”
“Very well. I suppose this is our best bet then.”
Ciel followed your direction, strolling along with you into the chilly, damp air of the dimly-lit alley.
“Stay close to me, all right?”
A air of protectiveness crept into his expression as he peered down at you, resting his free hand over the arm you had linked with his.
Nodding in understanding and now feeling just slightly unnerved, you placed your hand over his as the light left your figures.
I may be just extremely uninformed, but I've never heard of duels between 2 women. Have there ever been any?
Yes! There have been many duels between women! Here are a few:
Isabella De Carazzi and Diambra De Pottinella
May 25, 1552.
Isabella de Carazzi and Diambra de Pottinella were Neapolitan noblewomen of Naples and good friends until a man came between them. He was a handsome gentleman named Fabio de Zeresola. Basically, Fabio started dating both Isabella and Diambra at the same time- they both didn’t know it and they only found out when they showed up at the same party together. They confronted each other and started arguing over who he loved more. Diambra then challenged her former-friend to a duel. On the day of the duel, everyone who was in the Naples court, was present to witness this extraordinary event. When the war trumpet blew, they charged each other with ferocity. After the initial lance clash the women took up the maces, raining blows upon each other’s shields. Isabella lost half her shield from a mace hit so powerful her horse stumbled and fell. Diambra dismounted and loudly demanded that Isabella surrender and admit Fabio de Zeresola was hers by right. Isabella took up her sword and charged Diambra, knocking her to the ground.
The Comtesse De Polignac and the Marquise De Nesle
The Comtesse de Polignac had many lovers over the years, but for one of them she conceived such a mad passion that she challenged her replacement to one of the first duels fought with pistols. The casus belli was Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, 3rd Duke of Richelieu, great-grand-nephew of the dominant 17th century statesman and fictional foil of the Three Musketeers, Cardinal Richelieu. The duke’s reputation as a ladies’ man and manipulator of women was so well-established that Choderlos de Laclos was said to have based the character of Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses on him. When he left Madame de Polignac for the Marquise de Nesle, he completely cut her off, refusing to even speak to her and driving her to ever-increasing heights of jealous frenzy. Polignac challenged Nesle to a duel by letter. They met, saluted each other and fired their weapons. Nesle fell, her chest red with blood. Polignac, believing it a fatal blow, headed back toward her carriage, but not before hitting her enemy with a so-there line: “I will teach you the consequences of robbing a woman like me of her lover. If I had the perfidious creature in my power I would tear out her heart as I have blown out her brains.” Nesle was fine, the shot missed her chest and only grazed her shoulder. When she came to, she exulted that it had all been worth it because now that she had proved her love, the duke would be all hers. Duke of Richelieu immediately dumped the Marquise and moved on to Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans, daughter of the Regent of France.
Princess Sophia Augusta Frederika of Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg and Princess Christane Anna of Anhalt-Kothen
Sophia and Christiane were German princesses, second cousins, and still teenagers when they developed a beef that could only be toiled by blood. The insult that drove them to lock swords in Sophia’s bedroom when she was 14 and Christiane 17 has been lost to history, and the outcome of the challenge is unknown other than that both parties survived.
Olga Zavarova and Ekaterina Polesova
Olga Zavarova and Ekaterina Polesova were wealthy property owners and neighbors with a long history of neighborly disagreements. Armed with their husbands’ cavalry sabers, Olga and Ekaterina met in a birch grove. Their daughters, both 14, were present, and their daughters’ governesses acted as seconds. The seconds asked the combatants to reconcile. Not only did they refuse, but they were so riled up they threatened the governesses with violence for trying to stop them. The duel was short and brutal. Olga took a blow to the head and died on the spot, but not before she stuck Ekaterina in the stomach. In the way of most gut wounds at the time, it too was fatal, but it took Ekaterina a long, painful day to die from it.
Alexandra Zavarova and Anna Polesova
Five years after the deaths of Olga and Ekaterina, those girls who had witnessed the violent deaths of their mothers picked up where their mothers had left off. Alexandra and Anna met in the same place, the birch grove, and had the same seconds, their own governesses. This time there was a clear victor: Alexandra Zavarova slew Anna Polesova and redeemed her dead Mother’s honor.
Madame Marie-Rose Austie de Valsayre and Miss Shelby
Madame Marie-Rose Astié de Valsayre was notorious in France for her vocal advocacy of feminist causes, which included women being allowed to wear trousers, get the vote, and have equal access to all professions as well as equal pay. She was also a doctor, inspired to learn the profession after serving as a nurse during the Franco-Prussian War, an author- and an accomplished fencer. She founded a fencing club for women which dovetailed neatly into another favorite cause of hers: encouraging mothers to breast-feed their own children rather than employing wet nurses. Miss Shelby was a doctor too, and it was a discussion over the comparative merits of French and American women doctors that sparked the animosity between them. Each considered their compatriots superior and things got heated. Miss Shelby may or may not have called Madame de Valsayre an idiot. Whatever the precise nature of the provocation, Astié gave Miss Shelby the classic glove slap to the face and a duel with swords ensued. They faced off in Belgium on the battlefield of Waterloo. In the second pass, Astié de Valsayre lightly wounded Miss Shelby on the arm, drawing first blood. Astié de Valsayre was declared the winner and the honor of France was restored. There were no hard feelings. Astié gave Miss Shelby a shoutout as her “loyal adversary”.
Princess Pauline Metternich and The Countess Kielmannsegg
Princess Pauline Metternich was the granddaughter of statesman and Napoleonic-era giant Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and the wife of his son Prince Richard von Metternich. It was in her capacity as Honorary President of the Vienna Musical and Theatrical Exhibition that she quarreled with the Countess Kilmannsegg, wife of the Statthalter of Lower Austria and President of the Ladies Committee of the Vienna Musical and Theatrical Exhibition, apparently over the flower arrangements for the exhibition. Something was said about those flowers could not be unsaid, and the Princess, then 56 years old, challenged the Countess to settle their dispute by blood. The two adversaries and their seconds, Princess Schwarzenberg and Countess Kinsky, traveled to Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, and took to the field of honor. Presiding over the encounter was Baroness Lubinska who, unusually for women of the time, was a medical doctor- and a Listerite one at that. Her modern understanding of infection proved pivotal. Having seen many superficial battle wounds turn septic and fatal because fragments of dirty clothes were driven into them, the Baroness insisted both parties remove all clothing above the waist. Princess Metternich and Countess Kilmannsegg, both topless, took up their swords to fight until first blood. After a few exchanges, the Princess received a small cut to the nose and the Countess was cut on the arm practically at the same time. The seconds called the duel and Princess Metternich was declared the winner.
Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex just before HRH The Countess of Wessex embarks on her Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Challenge - 445 Miles from The Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in London
His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex kisses his wife Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex before she sets off on her Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Challenge - 445 miles cycle ride from The Palade of Holyrood in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in London
Edit: I changed the photo to a higher resolution image