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The Chichester Wedding | Tuesday 20th, 3pm

George Hardwick III

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St. George's Hall



While held in the magnificent St Georges Chapel, this was to be a smaller scale ceremony - with no expense spared.  Under the pennants of the Knights of the Garter hundreds of candles brought a glow to the chapel, where a calculation of sticks of the finest hand rolled agarwood incense filled the chapel with a  dark earthly and noble fragrance – a heady fragrance, but not too much so as to be overbearing.  Servants stood by outside with lit torches ready to augment, lest the sun go behind a cloud and dim the glow from the stained glass windows.   

The chairs for this intimate ceremony had been set out on the checker-tiled flooring between the pews, and arranged forward facing near the alter on which the ceremony would take place.   Those chairs were each draped in a fine cream linen, with ribbons tying excess folds of fabric back, tied into a bow with a posy of mixed roses. 

Upon each seat was a small cream velvet pouch, and within this; a copy of the service embossed with the Chichester crest, a silver chalice with the couples names and wedding date inscribed, a miniature bottle of French champagne (from Caroline’s home province), and lastly a small round of Cheese (for which Chichester was renown for).   

A floral archway had been constructed on the alter.  This also decorated with fine linen curtains with great bouquets of roses sat upon pedestals on either side.  It would be under this beautiful archway that the couple would stand with the Archbishop.

And while George was not a man bragging or bravado, he had recalled Louis excess during his wedding, and thus had secured 4000 silver sixpences*, which were scattered about the floor, intent to inspire thoughts that his bride would never do without.  (In his mind he imagined St George servants etc would later benefit.)


At three o'clock, all spruced up and freshly shaved George stood waiting, dressed in a new teal green costume, his accent colour was silver, all of which was highly polished from the top of his cane to the buckles on his shoes.  He was feeling a tad light headed, while he was grateful that his manservant had insisted he eat some breakfast this morning.

Finally the day was here.



Invited persons: Their Royal Hignesses, Duke Cumberland, Carolines Father, Edith Habersham,  Lord and Lady Beverly, Lord and Lady Mountjoy, Lord and Lady Basildon, Lady Cambray, Lord and Lady Toledo, Lord and Lady Athenry, Lord Dundarg, Lord Grey, Lord Chatham, Lords Bedford and Russel, Lord Melville, Captain Fitzjames, Mistress Vauquelin, Lord Kingston.

Link to the usual location post for referance: https://q282854.tryinvision.com/topic/10418-guidebook-the-castle/?do=findComment&comment=162047

* 100 pounds worht. Ref: The British sixpence piece, sometimes known as a tanner or sixpenny bit, was a denomination of sterling coinage worth 1⁄40 of one pound or half of one shilling. It was first minted in 1551



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The Most Reverend and Right Honorable William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, had cast his practiced eyes over everything that had been done to the area near the Alter. Not overly fond of the florals he had made no protest but he had spoken softly but firmly in regards to that archway and had it moved down below the set of steps and in-between the rails on either side. The Alter was, after all, a sacred place that only He and other churchmen could stand before. This was a House of God and he dared anyone to object. He had made all his preparations and nothing would be left to chance.

Somewhere a clock chimed and he let his gaze rest on the man to whom he would soon marry. He himself was a somber man of some sixty one years and moderate in his Teaching which was why The King had expressed his wish for Canterbury to be his despite he was already happy as the Dean of St Paul's. He had had no choice but to accept as The King had said he had already appointed a new Dean. And so here he was. He adjusted his vestments of black and white and moved towards the other man only to be halted as he was given a whispered message too which he nodded and with a "Yes Your Grace" the messenger departed his gaze going back to all the decorations  ........ he could only imagine the costs  .....

"Lord Chichester. You are most well attired as befits the occasion."

He spoke quietly yet his words were well enunciated.

"Such preparations are sure to impress. Are you well-rested? Perhaps you need someplace for quiet reflection  ..... There is time enough."

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The Duke of Buckingham Arrives, invited or not!


Buckingham was the sort of personage who asserted himself and his position in every moment, feeling himself justifiably princely in right. So when he had heard Francis was going to Chichester's wedding to the soon-to-be former Lady Kendishall, he assumed an invitation himself. No doubt anyone would be pleased for him to show up at their wedding, and he wished to take the measure of anyone who was close to Kingston. Lady Kendishall had been at the party at his London house and was pleasant company. Chichester had been something of an oddity, with previously some bizarre family happenings and a stint in the Tower, but who was Buckingham to turn up his nose at a Tower visit as he had been a frequent-enough resident himself. The man had turned it around and managed to marry a pretty and witty lady, so it was worth his magnanimity. 


Lord and Lady Bedford, Lord Russell, and William Russell Arrive


The family which Chichester's late sister had married into arrived together and took their seats. With the birth of Charles II heir, the country party was in a state of disarray. There was no longer the threat of Catholicism to fight against, and Shaftesbury had reconciled himself with the King it would seem. While Lord Bedford and William Russell were quite involved politically, Francis Russell, Lord Russell was more interested in more intellectual matters and hedonistic pursuits. 





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Francis arrives with Buckingham


Francis had plenty of time after his morning meeting with Cumberland to return back to the rooms he shared with Buckingham. The Duke had declared he was coming to this wedding with Francis whilst getting dressed sometime around noon. Francis did not know Chichester well, they had conversed together with Lord Mountjoy in the Queen's apartments, but he found the man congenial. It had been Caroline who had invited him, and he had to admit feeling slightly odd being the one who had slept with the Bride-to-be. 


Buckingham, of course, found this tidbit hilarious and had thumped Francis proudly on the back when he had finished dressing. 


The younger blond was still silently hoping Caroline would never share that story with her husband. After all, at the time, she had been quite free to do as she pleased, especially as she had been widowed at the time. 

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Lord and Lady Beverley Arrive


Lord and Lady Beverley arrived and both immediately took note of the coins scattered. Lord Chichester had clearly wished to send a message about his affluence. Beverley would have been a bit jealous had his own wedding not been a lavish affair itself. Between Lord Worcester and his lord father, the event had also spared no expense. 


Lord Chichester seemed to favor a more intimate affair which made sense for the man was more staid - in a good way - in Beverley's experience, not one who thrived on huge, loud, or libertine parties.


"The flowers are quite beautiful," he commented to his wife.

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Canterbury With George

The small interlude was interrupted by the arrival of guests which prompted him to add

"It would seem that time has now passed. Guests arrive."

"None the less I am quite glad to officiate at your wedding Lord Chichester. You will, I think, find it an easy transition yet still retaining the time needed to properly see it completed."

He laid a gentle hand on the others arm to whisper

"And your part is simple - just say "I Will" when it is asked of you."

"Ah. The Duke of Buckingham? Was he invited ... So many names that I sometimes lose track."

His reference to an easy transition was, of course, referencing George's conversion. He also understood the motives behind it. But the good Lord had plans for each of His flock and all would be welcome'd.

"You should greet your guests and once all are assembled we shall begin."

He nodded and then moved off giving George the opportunity to do the same if he wished.

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He had not imagined the Archbishop to be so chatty.  George frowned and nodded his head, while thinking the question about having had enough rest to be a bit on the lewd side.  But that was what you got in a Merry Court, even the clergy were ribald. 

George cleared his throat and said, "Yes plenty thank you." 

The Earl was not really in the mood for conversation, he was feeling very strung out and wanting the entire thing to now be over.  He did not need any reminders about consummation, he had in fact purged that whole aspect out of his mind.  So that he practically jumped when the Archbishop touched him!  "Err. Yes certainly." 

The Bishop could do a meet and greet if he wished, but George remained fixed to the spot.  Pulling the perfectly ironed handkerchief from pocket he lifted it to dab brow.  It was unseasonably hot today. Glancing off to the entrance doors, he was surprised at how many of his invited guests had actually arrived.  And one not invited too, the Duke of Buckingham even (Unless Caroline had invited him without George realising - his soon to be bride had walked in a very different set then himself.) 

George made a generalised attempted smile in the seating direction, then returned to focussing upon breathing steadily looking mostly to the front.   

Where was Caroline already?  George hoped no trouble had come up. Dogs could be the worst. Imagine if a dog had run across in front of her and tripped her up. Would she have to return to her rooms and get changed. Did she had a spare wedding dress even. Was Lady Habersham helping? Or was she actually hindering. Was it Edith’s fault that Caroline was not here yet. George had always suspect that Edith was jealous, and might, if she was younger, have walked down the isle to be Georges bride instead.  Well rested, the Archbishop had asked, truth was that George had narry slept a wink these past few days!




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Autumn brought with it a use for earth colors.  So it was that Louis arrived with a light brown coat, edged with brocaded golden thread.  A dark cape, with the neck edged in ermine (or stoat) white fur, which kept the earl warm on these chilly days at Windsor.  His cravat pin displayed an emerald instead of his signature ruby.  The ribbon holding his hair was purple.

Sliding into an empty pew he could claim for himself near Buckingham, Louis nodded towards the groom when eyes met, and he relaxed for the marathon that would be called a wedding ceremony.  Unlike George, Louis was well-rested, having been rather restrained his first few days of the season.  His eyes wandered to the other guests, with friendly nods to each.  Given George's quiet ways, it was a surprise that he did not choose to marry in private at his estate.  Louis was wondering whether the lord would revel or be uncomfortable with the attention.

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Well, finally it was here, the wedding day. All the preparations and also the behind the scenes discussions were to be culminating with the church wedding as per George's desire. Caroline let him have his way in most everything involving the wedding and why not, he was footing the bill for it. Yes, traditionally the father of the bride was to shoulder the expenses but her father could never afford anything so fancy as all this, the man still had his pride but damned little money. George had dismissed Caroline's worry about that when he generously came forward to pay for it all, assuring her and her father he could easily afford it.  Needless to say, the traditional dowry was not going to be forthcoming either though George seemed not to care. This kindness was one of the things that most impressed Caroline about the man and filled her with confidence that this, her second marriage, was going to be a successful one. She would repay his kindness with loyalty and obedience in return.

Nicci had stepped in rather late in the arrangements to be her bridesmaid, Caroline could think of no one she wanted more to be at her side at this ceremony than her longtime best friend. Nicci had also helped with finding just the right gown for the occasion, her sense of fashion and color was quite superior to Caroline's own. Once more Caroline simpy went along with Nicci's choices, serene in her faith in the other French girl.

As the carriage pulled up and the two young ladies alighted in their matrimonial fineries Caroline was determined to put up a quietly confident front even though within she could not help but be nervous. Her memories went back to her dear mother, she would have so loved to see this day. Whether the woman would have approved of the groom was a bit debatable but in all things her mother had always honored the daughter's desires and decisions.

By now there was little margin for error, but fortunately they were not late. It was time to start her new life as of today.

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Lady Habersham was there to meet the coach, just in case Caroline should need a hand.  One could not trust the servants to keep the bride's dress free of lint. She would sneak in to be upfront when all was ready.

Douglas FitzJames attended in uniform.  The Scottish baron sat in the back and would be leaving immediately after the ceremony to return to Dundarg.

Caroline's father was there, wearing his best finery for the event.  He moved to Caroline's side to escort her to the altar.

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Mademoiselle had done her very best to help her friend prepare for her wedding - this was in fact the first time that she had been a bridesmaid, so it was quite likely she made a few mistakes. 

They had enjoyed a fine morning of pampering to begin, two tubs were brought up and filled, and they had soaked with bubbles and wine.  There had been manicures also, until the water got too cool and they had to shoo those others away.  Wrapped in robes, the pair then had their hair styled. "With only one comb for Caroline," Nicci winged it and made a bold instruction, "then it will be easy for you to toss down your locks when it comes to the boudoir!" 

There was giggles, and great deal of a little speculation, along with another glass of champagne of course. 

Actually dressing had been the final thing to do.  Here own gown choice had been simple enough to decide, she wore an luxurious costume of deep green with pale green gauze overskirts with applique leaves spilling about. Her stomacher decorated with miniatures of those leaves all coiled about with vines was neatly drawn upon her petite figure, while for the festive occasion she wore a playful headdress with sprigs of fresh cut and fragrant foliage. To draw a breath near the young lady, was to inhale lavender lemon balm and thyme.

Caroline's though, was breathtaking. 

Her wedding gown was almost an almosy caramel shade of cream satin, overlaid with tulle and peppered with pearls and golden bows so that they nearly appeared to float around her. Her bodice was lattice work of dark cream ribbons, with a multitude of golden faux flowers at every interval.  A single tortoise shell hair comb held her hair aloft, while a deliberate single curl fell down from her coiffure down over one shoulder.  About her neck was a pearl necklace (one which Caroline advised had previously been given her by her fiancée). 

Hopping lightly out of the carriage, Nicolette did not know who Haversham was, so simply continued to help Caroline with the replumping of crushed skirts.

Edited by Nicolette Vauquelin
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Arrival of the Mountjoys

Lord and Lady Mountjoy arrived arm in arm. Charles was bedecked in a velvet coat in burnt umber, a vermillion vest heavily accented with gold lace and a crisp white waterfall lace cravat held in place by a tiger’s eye opal pin. As always, he had red heels on his cordovan court shoes. Ursula was resplendent in a silk gown of seafoam green with a stomacher of cream bunched taffeta embroidered with spring flowers. A jade cameo pendant hung about her slender neck and emeralds graced her blond hair.

They had arrived in a covered berlin and upon alighting Charles was distracted by a dog hanging about the street in front of the chapel and immediately exclaimed “Oh look, a Talbot Hound. Perhaps it is a stray.” He started to veer off in the canine’s direction but steady pressure on his arm and a look from Ursula soon brought him back to their main purpose. “Yes, you are right, we do not wish to be late.” Said the pliant Marquis before adding wistfully “Perhaps he will still be there after the ceremony.”

They walked slowly to their seats Mountjoy’s head inclining to that of his wife’s as he no doubt commented upon one guest or another…perhaps even the nervousness of the groom.

“Shall we take our position here My Dear?” indicating a position behind Buckingham. “That is if Lord Kingston’s coiffure does not fill you with jealousy.” For he oft teased Ursula that Kingston’s hair was almost as pretty as hers.           

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The Archbishop

He was an able judge of time and once he had been told of the Bride's arrival he took a few moments of quiet contemplation then with a twitch here and there made ready. All the invited personages should be seated. 

Only then would he appear and the Ceremony would begin.

He expected the Brides' father to walk her to the Alter as his sign that he had given his consent to this marriage. He anticipated no problems with this union but one never knew. 

He knew that Lord Chichester had been Catholic but now was not yet he must surely expect his own marriage ceremony to be a familiar one - if only within himself. That is why he had chosen pieces that would add more length and have Symbolism. He did after all appreciate the difficulties that must have made the decision to 'convert' hard ones.

With a quiet word he 'hushed' two of the boys attending adding that there would be some rewards for their good behaviors ......

A Few Minutes Later  .....

It was then that he was given a nod so he walked thru and to the front of the Alter where he offered a bow then turned to face the assembled Company.

He would move to stand at the base of the stairs calmly awaiting the arrival of the bride and her father. He gave a nod to Lord Chichester who would then assume his own place.

And so the Service was about to begin  .....


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The Mountjoys

Ursula was also attended by one of the Queens Ladies, Dorothea (who had angled saying she had not attended an English wedding yet).  Young Dorothea had hopes of seeing Kingston, who was absent from the Queens Chambers this season, and was missed. But she had hardly expected Lord Mountjoy to sit them exactly behind him!  Her teeth pressed to lower lip as she enjoyed a little happiness of closeness - though he might not even realise she was there. 

"As long as you are not tempted to brush his locks for him, I shant mind." Ursula returned to Charles tease as she settled herself down.  

Dorothea remained silent.

The Beverleys

"I bet an elephant could eat them in one gulp." Mary replied with a repressed grin. 


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Upon exiting the coach, Caroline saw there was Lady Habersham and greeted her with a big smile.

"Good day to you, Lady Habersham, I thank you for coming ...oh, and I love your dress." 

She was about to ask Nicci if the two ladies knew each other when there was another individual striding her way. Goodness, it was none other than her father!  She had not spoken with him let alone seen him in quite awhile. Even the wedding plans were discussed by letters. But he was here for her and he actually looked quite distinguished on this glorious day.  She could not resist as old quarrels were dismissed and no sooner had they acknowledged each other but she hugged the man.

"I love you, father," she whispered while they embraced.

Then it was time for quick introductions, in her usual informal style, "Nicci, I do not think you know either of these fine folk. This is Lady Halbersham, a longtime friend of George. Lady Habersham, this is my dearest friend Mademoiselle Vauqelin. And this distinguished looking gentleman here is none other than my father, Jean-Marie Claude Despanay Sieur de Naronne. Father....Lady Halbersham and Mademoiselle Vauqelin."


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Edith was distracted by the compliment and huffed that it was not nearly as nice as Caroline's.  The bride's father was pleased to be introduced to everyone, and greeted each in turn.  Caroline had seemed genuinely happy to see him, which made the man's travel worthwhile. "I love you too," he whispered.


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The Mountjoys with Dorothea

As was only proper Charles saw to it that his two companions were properly seated. Lady Dorothea seemed to be perfectly content with her placement and Ursula spirited enough to return his tease. Pleased that his wife was showing a spark of her old confidence he smiled and conceded “I shall attempt to control myself.”

They did not have much time to pursue such pleasantries as the arrival of the bride curtailed such chit chat. He watched the bride and her party walk down the isle and join the groom whereupon the Archbishop began the ceremony.  

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Anne-Elisabeth arrives and sits near Louis


What did one wear to an English wedding?


Her own nuptials had taken place in Barbados where bright colors were common even among the English nobility. She assumed that attire would be much more subdued here. After asking Bess to lay out several gowns, she finally chose one in salmon and aquamarine shot silk, trimmed with cream braid and salmon and aquamarine ribbon. It was one of her spring outfits, but looked festive enough for a wedding.


When she arrived at the chapel, she noted the beautiful decorations as well as a plethora of coins on the floor. Making certain that nobody was looking, she quickly scooped one up as a keepsake. There were lots of seats to choose from and she selected one near a handsome gentleman with dark hair who appeared to be alone. She had no idea that he was the cousin of one of her best friends.


Nodding in acknowledgment, Anne-Elisabeth turned her attention to the front of the church where Lord Chichester stood with the bishop. He looked quite nervous. She remembered that same expression on her own late husband’s face when she had walked down the aisle. Smiling at the memory, she pushed it away to the back of her mind.


Had he seen her nab the coin? She grinned at him, hoping that he would see her.

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Sophia outside, unsure if she should approach Caroline and company


Sophia could see Caroline, Nicolette, and an older lady and gentleman whom she did not recognize from the window of the Toledo coach as it pulled up in front of the chapel. Her friend’s gown was gorgeous and she looked so beautiful. As she alighted from the carriage with Esteban’s assistance, she decided to greet Caroline before entering the chapel. “I’m going to say hello to the bride,” she informed her husband. She had promised to introduce Caroline to Esteban, but that could wait until the reception. “If you'd like, go inside and find us some good seats.”


Dressed in a lovely gown in pastel blue, sprinkled liberally with pearls and trimmed with beaded Venetian lace, she took a few steps toward the group and then stopped as a realization hit her, accompanied by a swift strong kick from the baby. The older gentleman resembled Caroline and was most likely her father. She had told Sophia that he hated Spaniards. If she joined them, would it cause problems and ruin the most important day of Caroline’s life? The petite Countess didn’t look like a Spaniard, but her surname and her title would give her away.


Caroline's father would see Esteban eventually and learn that he was a good friend of his new son-in-law. With his olive skin, ebony hair, and somber attire, her husband could not be mistaken for an Englishman. Yet that would occur later, after Caroline had officially become Lady Chichester.


Sophia hesitated. Perhaps she should leave it up to her friend. She waved at Caroline. If Caroline beckoned her over, she would approach. If she simply waved back, the young singer would go into the chapel instead.


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Nicci knew of Caroline's history with her father, so that as a man strode towards them, and it being apparent that this was the previously negligent father, she held a mental breath to her friends reaction.  But immediately her concern vanished, with Caroline’s warm embrace given... it seemed that the fresh start with this marriage might be a fresh start for their relationship also.

"It is wonderful to meet the father of my dearest friend." Nicolette warmly glowed with a dip of curtsy as due a man of higher rank (the celebrated rank for today was being Caroline’s father). 

"And Lady Habersham, I'd not yet had the pleasure, though I know well enough of your legendary status at Court." Yes Flattery came very easily for the French Belle, who then fell into place as she saw that the Archbishop and persons inside were impatient to begin. 

As the Father took Caroline’s Arm, Nicci fell back to walk behind – and seeing Sophia, another of Caroline’s friends, she beckoned her over to join her and Lady Habersham to enter after.

The Mountjoys with Dorothea:

Ursula smiled at his reply, and then leaned close with a nostalgic reflection.  "A very different affair than our own ceremony." 


He turned to see where his Bride might be?  Bride.  Yes on the wedding day she was now due that elevation, no longer mere fiancée (though that title too held a certain wonder to his mind).  Turning, he finally caught a glimpse of Caroline, radiant in her bridal finery - and that man with her, must be her father. His family had literally just doubled. 

A small smile crept to his usually too serious face, while he pressed the vision created into his memory.  

Looking back to the Archbishop he revealed an expression closer to relief than anything else, a great deal of the tension he held for this day easing as his target was now within close proximity.  The look was fleeting however, as he turned back around to watch her walk, freely of her own choice, towards him.




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Buckingham's Pew


The Duke took notice of all things going on around him. It behooved him to be observant at court. He made a few comments in Kingston's ear, first to remind him to take advantage of the perspective to notice the machinations, even in pew selection, and then to deride a few of the colors chosen by the occasion. There was a particularly offensive chartreuse! 


He gave a nod as Basildon sat in the pew nearby.


It was he who noticed the Mountjoy's approach with the little German princess that gave rise to Kingston's fondness. As they sat right behind them, the Duke had to wonder if the girl knew more of machinations than first glance might suggest. 


Turning some in the pew, to put an arm along the back so that he could face them, Buckingham thought to pass the time.


"Two German jewels, Mountjoy! My but you are a lucky fellow this afternoon," he commented, giving the company a gracious smile and nod. "And how is your brother finding England?" he asked Dorothea, noting how quickly Francis' attention had been caught, for his younger counterpart turned slightly to face those behind them as well.



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Buckingham's Pew


Francis had not found the machinations of a wedding as interesting or imperative as Buckingham until his uncle whispered in his ear that every moment not spent noting potentially valuable information was a moment wasted for a courtier. 


The fact that Buckingham then commented on clothing made him wonder just how much the duke believed his own statement, for the mundane nature of a poor choice of colour hardly seemed imperative to note for Francis' own success!


He did, however, do as he was told and paid more attention, so when the duke took it upon himself to note the arrivals behind them - especially considering the German comment - Francis also turned some in the pew.


It had been the first he had truly seen of Dorothea all season. He had spent one afternoon on the Queen's side whilst the King visited with the Queen, but he had not seen her and had spent it speaking to Lord Mountjoy. 


"Good afternoon, Lord Mountjoy...Ladies." If his blue eyes lingered a bit longer on Dorothea as he spoke, it was not consciously. He listened eagerly for her answer to Buckingham's query.

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Beverleys (also joining Louis and Anne-E)


Beverley fought back a chuckle as his lady wife commented that the elephants could eat the flowers in one gulp. She was far wittier than he was and that was an asset in conversation. He surely was not the wittiest conversationalist. It struck him again how well-suited they were. He pat her hand on his arm in compliment for the notion, trying to keep his chuckles from escaping still. Chapels had the tendency to echo, and he did not wish to be inappropriate!


"Shall we join Lord Basildon, he looks rather on his own," he commented to his wife once he had his voice back. Basildon was, after all, a relation of his wife, and he did not know any of the other guests very well. He noted Anne-Elizabeth taking up on one side of the earl, so he guided them to enter from the other side of the pew.

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The Mountjoys with Dorothea

Speaking to Buckingham & party

At the time he was completely overwhelmed to the point of almost suffering a brain cloud at their impromptu wedding he had since, with the mellowing of time, come to look back at the occasion very fondly. “Very different yet ours was very special. I must admit that I was in such a state of shock that I did not have the time to be as nervous as poor old Chichester is.”

If any machinations were in play they were of his wife’s devising for was unaware that his wife was bringing a companion. The Duke had naturally chosen the most advantageous position and Mountjoy had followed up by taking the second. The poor Marquis was barely keeping up with his own lady issues to take any notice of others.

“I am exceedingly lucky Your Grace. It is much like those auspicious mornings when the sun and the moon are both visible at the same time.”

He nodded in reply to Kingston’s greeting leaving the stage to the ladies.           

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The Mountjoys with Dorothea, speaking to Buckingham & party

"He does look perturbed, he does not possess your trademark composure." Ursula nodded in agreement.  How many years ago was their marriage now, the time had gone so very swiftly.  Then just like that His Grace was speaking to them, and Charles in his characteristic manner, spoke poetry about them.  This was the sort of thing that had won her heart back then in the beginning...


Meanwhile Dorothea believed herself about to sit quietly in contemplation of the blonde curls of Lord Kingston, her mind had pleasantly emptied in fact with a contentment to the occupation.  But the Duke Buckingham was not an idle man, and looking about he caught glimpse of her - and if her eyes did not deceive her, his shone with the recognition.  Then just like that, he though to engage her in conversation!

Francis turned too of course, and she flushed feeling like she'd been caught out in her stalking (because actually she had).  "Oh..."  her eyes slipped to Francis and she gave a small smile, it was lovely none the less to see him  ".. my brother seems pleased with his visit so far, and spoke with some enthuse following his time aboard the yacht with Lord Kingston the other day." 

She would like to have told Francis just what her brother had said after the outing, but this for now would have to do. 

"He has spent some time in the township of Windsor since, speaking to locals about the waterway. I believe he intents to put up some good competition." Her gaze drifted back to Francis then, before modestly dipping to her clasped hands.  Lord Buckingham's inspection was somewhat daunting, he was one of those sorts that seemed to see right thru a person. 


Beverleys (also joining Louis and Anne-E)

Mary was very happy to evoke a chuckle from her husband, this was the sort of thing thta made her feel that she was a good wife for him. 

"That’s a fine idea." she nodded and moved together to take places on the other side of Louis, her sisters husband. 

There were smiles and nods, and then she thought to ask Basildon, "Have you recently heard from Lisa?"  Which was a simple conversational opening, for she did not think that her husband had much otherwise in common with him. 


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As Nicci greeted  Lady Halbersham, Caroline took note of another friend of hers, Sophia, giving a little wave in her direction. She was here with her husband no doubt. That Spaniard. No, today was not a day for any bitterness so Caroline was determined that if necessary she would even be warm and friendly with the Devil himself. So she could be nice to Sophia's Spaniard then. However she could make no promises for her father. She could only hope he would behave himself. She waved back at Sophia.

But time was moving too fast for the two to have a little chat it seemed. The Archbishop was waiting. The crowd were in their pews. Hopefully later Caroline could talk with Sophia. Now was time to do this, to seal her future with George. She was ready, eager even. A new life awaited her.

And there was George, waiting for her approach. She smiled serenely at Nicci and then began her stately promenade down the aisle. She only stopped when she joined him in front of the Archbishop. It was strange, she wasn't nervous. Well maybe a little, apprehensive she might just flub her lines.

Edited by Caroline Despanay
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Now that all have arrived the Ceremony could begin. He paused for a moment to quietly greet both the Bride and Groom then turned to speak out over the assembled company  .....

"DEARELY beloved frendes, we are gathered together here in the syght of God, and in the face of. his congregacion, to joyne together thys man and this woman in holy matrimonie, which is an honorable estate, instituted of god in Paradise, in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the misticall union that is betwixte Chryste and hys Churche: whiche holy estate Chryst adourned and beutified with his presence, and fyrst miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galile, and is commended of Saincte Paul to bee honourable among all men; and therefore is not to bee enterprised, nor taken in hande unadvisedly, lightely, or wantonly, to satisfie mennes carnall lustes and appetites, lyke brute beastes that have no understandynge: but reverently, discretely, advisedly, soberly, and in the feare of God: Duely consideryng the causes for whiche Matrymonye was ordayned. One was the procreacion of children, to be broughte up in the feare and nurtoure of the Lorde, and prayse of God. Secondlye it was ordeined for a remedye agaynste synne, and to avoide fornicacion, that suche persons as have not the gyfte of continencie myght marye, and kepe themselves undefiled members of Christes body. Thirdly, for the mutuall societie, helpe, and coumforte, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperitie and adversitie; into the whiche holy estate these two persons present come now to be joyned. 

Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together: let him now speake, or els hereafter for ever holde hys peace."

He waited the customary few moments and then continued. This time his words were directed at the couple standing before him.

"I require and charge you (as you wil aunswere at the dreadful day of judgment, when the secretes of al hearts shalbe disclosed) that if either of you doe knowe any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joyned together in Matrimonie, that ye confesse it. For be ye wel assured, that so many as be coupled together otherwyse then god's word doth allowe, are not joyned together by god, neither is there Matrimonye lawfull.

At whiche daye of mariage it any man doe allege and declare any impediment why thei may not be coupled together in Matrimony by god's law or the lawes of this Realme, and wyl be bounde, and sufficient suerties with him, to the parties, or elles put in a caucion to the full value of such charges as the persons to be maried doeth susteine to prove his allegacion: then the Solemnizacion must be deferred, unto such tyme as the trueth be tryed."

He did not expect either to have any objections so he then put the question first to the Groom asking 

"Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after god's ordinaunce in the holy estate of matrimonie? Wilte thou love her, coumfort her, honour, and kepe her in sickenes and in health? And forsaking al other kepe thee onely to her, so long as you both shall lyve?"

After his reply then he would ask the Bride

"Wilte thou have this man to thy wedded housband, To lyve together after god's ordynaunce, in the holy estate of matrimony? Wylte thou obey him, and serve him, love, honor, and kepe him, in sickenes and in health? and forsakyng al other kepe thee onely unto him, so long as you both shall lyve?"

After her reply comes the giving of the vows which will be between the Archbishop and the couple. The rings will be blessed and each will put one onto the left hand of the other and they will repeat the words spoke by the Archbishop. Once this is is complete then the Archbishop shall address the Company and begin a Prayer.

*(time for any comments from guests during this part if so desired)*

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There Caroline arrived at his side, she did not seem nervous at all, but he'd already realised that she was fearless of many things. Even to enter a second marriage after the first having been unhappy (though George did not know the details of all that, having not intruded to ask). 

A smile was upon her face, and George, looking at her now, smiled in return.

Remarkably he was actually getting married, without drama, that most particularly being no hateful sister to murder his bride.   George now turned to listen to the words of the ceremony, planting it all deep to his mind with sure belief that The Lord watched on and the promises they now made were sworn to him rather than the Archbishop himself, while witnessed by his peers, the men and women who knew him best.   Recently converted (and for the past year or so temptationless) George was quite a devout man really.

He responded in the affirmative as the Man of God had instructed him, pleased to answer, and pleased when Caroline spoke her part.  The promise of faithfulness resounded in his mind, and at that moment he'd no second thought of giving it, while he was pleased that his previously libertine bride was making that same promise. He looked at her again as she agreed, it was a repeat really, of the promise they had already made each other in private. 

It was good. It was right. He was pleased. 


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Buckingham's Pew and Mountjoy's Pew


Let it not be said that any man could outdo the Duke of Buckingham in poetry, or at least that was the view of George Villiers, who enjoyed flexing his verbal muscles.


"I will venture the observation that our young, German princess here is the moon, for the moon is the light in the darkness, and that is when the light is most noticed and most a blessing." 


While Buckingham was not known for his piety, the breadth of his religious knowledge was wide enough that he had successfully pretended to be a Rabbi during the Republican experiment and exile. The reality of the matter was rather that he did not view religion in isolation but within the context of a greater and related construct: freedom or liberty of conscience in both their faith and greater beliefs. It allowed for people to make choices, for shades of grey, or even for darkness. One of the few good things about faith was that it was a light in the darkness. He thought the pious Dorothea would enjoy being the moon in that instance. 


With his blue eyes that missed nothing, Buckingham took in her reactions to both he and to Francis, noting the linger of her gaze, the demure smile, and was quite convinced now that she was smitten with his nephew. 


Even though the Duke could school his expression when needed, he was still susceptible to be taken by surprise, so his blue eyes widened briefly when Dorothea said her brother had a good time with Francis. The stodgy German seemed to have been considerably won over by the cub in record time! 


"Enthuse? Well then. His Majesty will be happy to know Kingston performed the service your brother requested so capably and that he intends to put up a fight in the race we all know I shall win," he added the last with a cheeky wink.


Although there was time for Dorothea to reply, there was not much time for further conversation beforehand as soon enough the bride appeared...but Buckingham now interested was not abandoning the idea of finding out more afterward. There was, no doubt, the expected festivities after the nuptials after all.

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Buckingham's Pew and Mountjoy's Pew

He smiled as Buckingham complimented the lady, but he could not compete with the duke's choice of words in the instance. It did make him think about the old sailor's tales about the moon influencing the tides of the sea. It was a rather interesting coincidence.


Francis himself had thought that Dorothea's brother had enjoyed himself to some degree, but even he was surprised to hear the word "enthuse." 


"Though it was a service on request, it was an enjoyable duty, so much that it hardly seemed one at all. We are do it again tomorrow on His Majesty's craft rather than my own."


There was not much time to further the conversation for before very long the bride appeared and the ceremony was underway.

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