As Rose made her way to the castle, many girls walked ahead in groups of two or three. Could they all be Princesses-in-Training? Surely not. She knew there would be many, but she hadn’t known it would be this many.
Her gaze searched for someone familiar.
Far ahead, she thought she saw Veronique. She tried to scurry to catch up, but the gown and her new slippers made it impossible to run. Instead, she continued on in a more sedate, ladylike way.
Perhaps that was the point of the gowns and the shoes? To turn her from the tomboy her mother always was calling her into a Princess.
As she made her way into the Great Hall, the sight was astounding. So many girls and from so many different parts of the Kingdom. The hair styles and dress styles made that obvious to all.
It was as if every girl in the Kingdom was there.
Perhaps they were? She hadn’t thought every girl in the Kingdom had the opportunity to become a princess, just as she had. But it seemed as if that was exactly the case.
“Rose. Rose.” A voice called.
A moment later Bells came bounding over to her. How did she run like that in her slippers? Rose could barely walk in hers.
“That’s Princess-in-Training Isabella to you, my dear.” She curtsied and then winked at her.
Rose returned it with her own curtsy. “Oh, I’m so sorry, My dear Princess-in-Training Isabella. And how does this day find you?”
The two girls dissolved into giggles as they hugged each other. “This is going to be so much fun. Don’t you think, Rose?”
“I’m not sure if fun is the point, Bells.”
“Of course it is. Life is all about having fun. What else could be the point?” Before she could answer Bells grabbed her hand and they wove their way through the throngs of chattering, excited girls.
Veronique smiled and waved at them. When they arrived at the spot where Veronique sat, there was only one seat available.
“You sit here, Bells. I’ll find another spot.”
“No. No. No. What’s the fun in that? We’ll all sit together.” Bells tapped the girl sitting beside Veronique. “Do you mind? We need to sit together.”
“No need to be sorry, my dear girl. Just go find another seat and all will be forgiven.”
Rose was fairly sure that wasn’t what the girl meant when she’d say sorry. Nevertheless, the girl gave up her seat and wandered off to find another.
Rose gratefully slid into the seat. Her feet were already hurting from the new slippers. However would she be able to dance at the Ball? She gritted her teeth. She’d find a way that was for sure.
Bells sat down as well.
Veronique motioned around her. “Can you believe this? I had no idea there would be so many of us.”
“Nor did I. It seems as if every thirteen-year-old girl from the Kingdom is here.”
“Indeed it does.” Bells agreed.
Rose rolled her eyes.
“You aren’t happy about that?” Veronique asked.
“Not particularly. I thought we were special, but what’s so special if everyone gets to be a princess-in-training?”
Before Veronique could answer, a loud gong reverberated throughout the Great Hall bringing instant silence from the giggling girls.
All eyes looked to the front.
There stood a beautiful princess. Her hair was black as coal and her skin looked as if it were made from ivory porcelain. Her eyes were as blue as the sky itself.
This must be the Princess-Of-All-Princesses.
It was said the Princess-of-all-Princesses was the most beautiful of all in the Kingdom. Surely there could be none more beautiful than the one who stood in front of them.
“I am Princess Michella.”
Not the Princess-of-all-Princesses. Gasps could be heard all around the room, including Rose’s. How could there be someone with more beauty?
It was hard to imagine.
“Before Princess Lilianna comes to share her wisdom, I’m here to take care of the more mundane details for this very special day as well as to explain a bit more about what it means to be a Princess-In-Training.” She grinned. “Or as we like to call you, a PIT.”