trianon

3

He was shocked. From everything Tante Adelaide had said, he had half-expected a bold, flaunting woman like Madame du Barry. But his wife did not appear to be more than twelve years old! He had been told she was fifteen; he soon discovered she was only fourteen. Heavy powdering covered her hair, reported to be of a reddish colour, as his brothers had liked to tease him. With a high forehead, a thin, aquiline nose, the full Hapsburg lower lip, hers was a comely and bewitching visage. Her large sapphire eyes looked into his own, with unabashed curiosity. His feeling of consernation combined with a strong urge of protectiveness towards this foreign child. Somehow, he must shield her from the intrigues of the court. He himself was not quite sixteen; he did not know how he could protect her, just as he did not know how he could be expected to be a husband to such a little girl. In an instant, he realized he would have to wait to love her, wait for her to grow up, giving himself time to win her affection and respect.

Trianon, Elena Maria Vidal