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A Mystery Visitor April 25th


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King's Drawing Room


The King's Drawing Room, just beyond the Presence Chamber, was also sometimes referred to as audience room or even throne room. The only chair in the room was put on a levee with a large burgundy canopy around it. Chairs could be provided for the princes of the realm, but save for the elderly and the pregnant all were supposed to stand in the King's Presence.


This is where private audiences were held, hidden from public view. The reception of Ambassadors and other official happenings were more likely to take place in the Banqueting House.



The KIng sat alone in his drawing room. The Life Guard had searched the visitor for weapons to protect their monarch.


"Thank you for seeing me so quickly Your Majesty," spoke the stranger with an accent. "And for allowing me access through the back stairs. It would not do to have me seen with you."


"It is quite alright. I was happy to welcome you to London. My Northern Secretary has given me the purpose behind your visit, so I thought to hear you out personally." The visitor was waved to a chair, which he took.


"Espana is in a difficult way," the handsome man began. "Its king is nothing more than a child, and shall never be more. Unlike the Portuguese, we have no brother to take the throne from him. He is ruled by his mother, who has no skill whatsoever with statesmanship. It is very sad."


"I can empathize," Charles Rex replied. Spain had once been a great power and was now in decline. "So, you hope to become the King's ... Chief Minister and rule in her stead. Why should England care about Spain's internal problems?"


"Because the Spanish Empire, if it is ruled by caprice as it is now, will cause all sorts of problems in Europe. It will also fail to check to Imperial aspirations of the French, leaving Louis to gain at the expense of other kingdoms, and leaving England further behind in the process."


"What do you want from us?"


"Merely recognition of the new government when it is formed."


"And what does England receive for this recognition?"


"Access to Spanish ports in the West Indies, including Havana." Typically, the Spanish ports in the New World were open only to Spanish ships.


"That would make some of our subjects happy. What would make us happy I wonder?"


"We would find a tangible way to express our gratitude."


"Excellent. I think you might find us amenable. Now then, how long are you in London?"


"Only a week. As soon as my ship is refit and stocked, I must sail onwards."


"Do tell me that I might arrange some entertainment for you."


"There is no concern in that regard. My man has been in contact with your man Killigrew, I believe."


"He'll have you come to the Playhouse, perhaps in a mask."


"The thought had occurred to me. Though I am more interested in the voice of a nightingale than a play."


"A softness for music Your Grace?"


"Yes, something I acquired in Vienna. She was exquisite."


King Charles found the response to his liking and laughed. "May I offer you something to drink?"

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