Sunlight is streaming through the stained glass windows of the dining chamber when the princess arrives. The large double doors close behind her. The king is not here yet; she sighs an inward sigh of relief, making her way towards one end of the mahogany dining table. The legs of the heavy gilded chair scrape across the carpet as she pulls the chair back and takes her place. Her legs dangle from the edges. Leaning her arms on the table, she looks up at the stained glass windows, admiring the way the sunlight makes them glitter. Her gaze moves to the high ceiling, painted with elaborate but fading designs. She closes her eyes, revelling in the warmth and serenity of the moment.
Bang. The princess is jerked out of her reverie as the dining room doors fly open. In marches the king. His crown glints in the sunlight as he strides across the room. The princess hastily stands up. An attendant pulls the king’s chair back and he takes a seat at the opposite end of the table. The princess bows in a low curtsey, clutching her dress in clammy hands. Adjusting his taupe robes, the king acknowledges her presence with a curt nod. She returns to her seat as the doors open once again.