Chapter 19- Making It Official

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Eliza liked to think that her engagement would be a big deal. Every woman wanted it to be. A big engagement would mean that they'd made that climb up the social ladder that was expected of them.

Her engagement hadn't allowed for a party. It had had allowed for a ball.

She was going to be Princess Elizabeth.

Princess.

It didn't seem real yet it was. She was engaged to a good, kind man who she loved with all of her heart. All of those dreams she'd nurtured about romance and a love match had not just been a fantasy consigned to her favourite novels. Eliza would have what she always wanted. They'd marry and hopefully have children. She wanted at least three children, enough for them to have playmates and the fun she had.

Her children wouldn't get to go to finishing school.

Eliza smiled at her reflection. She wore her favourite blue with a diamond headband placed in her blonde curls. Her mother and sisters had been helping her get ready in a palace suite but she'd asked for a moment alone.

The dress was a slim fitting one with sequins that puffed out from the waist. It was simple without being too boring. The sequins glimmered in the light and sparkles against the eye. Her sleeves were capped against her shoulders and finished with lace.

The perfect gown. 

Lady Marianne had given her the family jewels to wear, talking about how it was the perfect thing for her. She was the first Greystone daughter to be married. Such an occasion was momentous. One would expect Hannah to be the first as the only child but it could be forgiven in this circumstance.

Hannah had sworn off marriage anyway.

Eliza gazed at the engagement ring with a smile. Alex said they'd get a blue diamond or sapphire for her wedding band. He promised the finest jeweller in the land for her but she told him he didn't need that. Still, princesses apparently got that gift.

Heck, she'd be Queen one day. Eliza hoped that it would be a very, very long time before that.

Someone knocked at the door.

"Enter."

"Well doesn't someone look beautiful?"

Eliza turned in her chair to see Alex beaming at her.

"I see you have given up on frightening me."

"A habit that I will surely find rather difficult to stop but will strive to nonetheless. I just wanted to tell you that the families have been informed."

That was something Eliza hadn't been looking forward to.

"How did they take it?"

"The Norcotts took it extremely well though I suspect they knew they were never in the running. I didn't want to marry Lavinia but she's a good type and her family are too."

"The Kellers? The Brownings?"

Alex sighed, "Well, not too great if I'm honest. I thought Alice's mother was going to have a sobbing fit. The Earl looked as though someone had killed his entire family before his eyes. Cecilia's family were absolutely furious. I think Alice will be fine because she's your friend but I do not think Cecilia will ever forgive you. It doesn't matter anyway; you'll be head of the social scene."

"I do hope I haven't caused any trouble."

"Eliza, we've been through this. You're not going to cause a scandal by marrying me. My father said that it was fine. You're a noblewoman not a farmer's daughter. Besides, everyone really likes you. You saw how everyone was when you were injured; I've never seen so many people visiting a house. We're getting married and nothing will stop us."

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