Lady Periwinkle

Palace Social Secretary

Bertha Jane Periwinkle was the last of nine children born to Lady Evelyn and Lord Byron Periwinkle who were members of Queen Grace’s Court. The younger Lady Periwinkle went by her middle name Jane, as she hated the name, Bertha. She said her mother must have run out of names when she got to her. Jane was tiny and sickly as a baby not expected to live to adulthood. However, she beat the odds and grew into a petite and slender young woman. Lady Jane Periwinkle married briefly when she was very young, but her parents had it annulled. They disapproved of his ordinary heritage and social status as a gongfermour[1]. Because of the attention drawn to the scandal, the young man left Berensenia in disgrace taking Jane’s heart with him. She was inconsolable and became defiant. She stopped speaking to her parents and cut them completely out of her life. She dedicated herself to her studies and earned her Upper Levels diploma. A plague-like illness swept Avington Palace when Jane was in her early twenties claiming the lives of both her parents and several of her siblings. Queen Grace and Prince Winston also succumbed to the sickness, as they were already in a weakened state having lost Princess Abigail so suddenly.

Lady Jane had grown up with Princesses Melania and Abigail. They were all close friends, so it didn’t take much to convince Jane to accepted the position of Palace Social Secretary[2] when Melania ascended the throne. She considered it a tribute to her lost friend Abigail, who would have been Queen, as well as to her parents with whom she never had the chance to repair their relationship. Melania was overwhelmed at taking on the duties of Queen so unexpectedly and had been living abroad in Aradinia for some years, so having a well-educated woman of culture who was familiar with all protocols and inner workings of palace society was a godsend. When Queen Melania was killed, Lady Jane was devastated at losing another friend. She was one of the trusted few who were privy to the knowledge that Maagy had been born. Jane never remarried, as her heart always belonged to her first love. She regretted she would never have the joy of giving birth, so when King Henry’s world was thrust into turmoil, Lady Jane stayed the course and took on many responsibilities for running the household. She secretly imagined Maagy as her own. She and Lord Percival and Lady Blythe Farnsworth became surrogate guardians for Princess Maagy when the king was away on state business.

Lady Periwinkle took on responsibility for Maagy’s early education, teaching her fundamental mathematics and reading. She also tutored Maagy in manners, etiquette, and the palace protocols she would need as the Crown Princess and future Queen. She was patient and tolerant of the little girl’s tantrums knowing how difficult it must have been for her not having her mother. Lady Periwinkle tired her best to fill that void by accompanying Maagy to palace events, especially after Lady Madelaine moved back to Edgewyck with Lady Cecily. She took her to all the mother-daughter teas at the palace, although Maagy probably did not fully appreciate her efforts. Maagy’s jealousy of the other girls and longing for her own mother overshadowed Lady Jane’s kindness.

Lady Jane made sure that she and Maagy constructed the perfect ornament for the Queen’s Tree lighting every Krispen. It was a well-planned endeavor that took several months. She anticipated with great joy the excursions into Montclair with the little princess. She designed and sewed elaborate costume disguises for the two of them in order to give the sheltered royal a taste of the village celebration. She felt it

[1] A man who worked in the waste disposal business for the palace as either a wagon driver or one who raked in the manure field. He is in service to the Necessary Woman of the castle. While not a glamourous job, it was one that was appreciated, and the individuals were well respected even though usually anonymous.
[2] Palace Social Secretary is a higher position than Lady-in-Waiting, so Melania chose Lady Jane for her advanced education and previous experience as part of a member of Court.

was the least she could do for her friend Melania. She considered it an honor to be entrusted with such great responsibility and cherished the opportunity to have a child of her own, if only for that brief one-evening event each year. When Maagy refused to go the year she was almost kidnapped, it shattered Lady Periwinkle. However, Maagy came to grasp how much the trips had meant to Lady Jane. She made the effort to spend the time making the costumes and ornaments with her so they could sneak off in secret for their special frolic. Then Maagy went off to Academy and couldn’t come home for their clandestine excursion. Lady Jane went alone, but it just wasn’t the same. The thought crossed her mind that perhaps she and Maagy would never get back to their cherished tradition.

The next Krispen was during the great war. It was the worst of Jane’s life. Not only had she almost lost Maagy the summer before, but the Queen’s Tree celebration had been cancelled due to safety concerns in Montclair. Everyone at Avington Palace had been touched in some way by the devastation. During the invasion where so many lives were lost, Lady Periwinkle took up arms and learned enough blade skills to help defend the family hallway. While delicate looking and still petite in her middle-years, she was a formidable and tenacious opponent. She received a nasty gash on her side, but kept fighting for her life and was victorious. She was instrumental in helping to coordinate and supervise the reconstruction of the palace.

When King Henry came to her and asked that she plan Maagy’s Coronation, it was her greatest honor. Every event was organized and executed down to a tee. The Coronation and surprise wedding went off without a hitch. Lady Jane had even helped Grandma Polly with the grand reception and ball at Whitmore. It was all done to perfection with great love. That next Krispen, a pregnant Queen Maagy and Lady Jane Periwinkle sneaked off to Montclair in disguise with homemade ornaments for the Queen’s Tree celebration. For many Krispens to follow, Maagy and then her children accompanied Lady Bertha Jane Periwinkle to every Queen’s Tree celebration for the rest of her life. She left the world at a very old age having spent her golden years at Avington Palace being pampered as a revered and favorite member of the royal family.