*Laying my sleeping angle down in his crib, the world around yet to touch his innocent soul. I look up to see John leaning against the door frame bursting with pride, whispering to Alexander Mamma and Papa love you very much.*
Lullaby, twilight is spreading Silver wings over the sky;
Fairy elves are softly treading, Folding buds as they pass by.
Lullaby, whisper and sigh, Lullaby, lullaby.
Sleep now my baby child, when dawn breaks your future is decided by divine right. Sleep, my little Prince.
*With a loving kiss on his cheek I lay Alexander down to sleep, sighing tomorrow is his christening his naming and the title of the 9th Duke of Braganza will automatically be bestowed upon him. Looking upon my innocent child I pray he will be safe from those who would harm him. *
*Alexander sleeps peacefully in my arms swathed in his christening robe and shawl, he fell asleep as soon as the carriage rolled out of the Palace sucking on my little finger for comfort as I sang softly to him. Nervously glancing from the window of the coach to see where Amalure is, he nods reassuringly mounted on his black stallion riding on the flank of the carriage on the nearside his presence is reassuring. John sits next to me his arm slid across the back of the seat his fingers resting softly against my neck playing with a loose strand of hair. I am truly grateful for him to accompany me in the carriage and not riding with his men. This practice is something we must grow accustomed, his safety now the responsibility of the Palace guard, and Joao when travelling on official duties. I cannot release myself from the feeling of impending danger, this is the first time Alexander has left the protective environment of our chambers, there are so many reasons for my fears, I look to John for reassurance, he must have concerns of his own but as always, they are hidden from public view. * Meu Amor! I will be a lot happier when the christening is over and we are back at the Palace.
*I rest my arm around Aurore’s shoulders, keeping both her and our son close. My sword is hung at my side, and though it may appear ceremonial, from the edge Joao put on it yesterday, I really hope no one tests its authenticity. While Aurore may not be so obviously armed, I know from experience that she will have at least one very sharp knife stowed on her person somewhere, and Amalure shadowing her every move. My own safety is my own responsibility, despite having Joao riding ahead of our carriage, and Miguel riding on the front of the carriage horse, but my place is here, with my consort and heir.* That makes two of us, meu Amor Once Alexander is officially christened, and his place in the succession to the throne confirmed, we will all rest easier.
Captain Amalure @BlackBasque201611h.. // Striding ahead of John and Aurore pushing the eager crowd back with a wave of a gloved hand, and a well place word gruffly spoken close to the offender’s ear sends them on their way back into the thronging mass. Entering the church stepping to one side, fingers of gloved hand curl tightly around the hilt of the sword hanging from the black belt hold up leather trousers, the weapon sheathed tapping against boots well-worn in combat. I nod to John when he escorts Aurore down towards the font where father Ryan waits for the small party. //
Porthos @bravemuskie19511h.* Nods to Amalure eyes fixed on his, he acknowledges the gaze and it is understood………..large fist gripped around the sword hilt…he knows I have his back! And my Captain’s, of course. *
Father Ryan @FatherPRyan11h.*Strides to the centre aisle of the church and nods to John and Aurore. Reaches out a hand to gently stroke Alexander’s cheek. Turns to the congregation and raises a hand to quell the muttering and murmuring.* I welcome all present to the House of God this fine day, especially John and Aurore, and the godparents. I must remind you of the joy with which John and Aurore have welcomed this child as a gift from God, the source of life, who now wishes to bestow his own life on this little one. Now, before we can welcome the child fully, there are a number of questions I must ask. *Turns to John and Aurore.* What name do you give your child?
John @DukeBraganza11hAlexander Joao Miguel. *I resist the temptation to glance at Miguel and Joao. In truth, we’d been torn between which name to give Alexander, with Aurore favouring Joao, as it is a reflection of my own name, while I preferred Miguel because it isn’t a reflection of my name. I think the compromise of using both is an excellent choice, although maybe we should have warned Joao and Miguel beforehand.*
Father Ryan @FatherPRyan11h.You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?
John @DukeBraganza11h.*The fact Ryan has to ask is faintly irking. and I know it’s not Ryan, but merely the formalities and ceremonial niceties that are now demanded of us.* We do.
Aurore Braganza👑 @auroretrav201411h.We do. * Looking up into Johns azure blue eyes I see only love and devotion and he melts my heart once again as he has always done. Alexander will know such love given unconditionally from his parents. *
Duchess of Cadaval @andrianatwinsis10h.<< A small tear forms in the corner of my eye, so filled with emotion am I on this divine day, catching a glimpse of Abilio standing to the side of the front in the crowd, and I pray for the blessing of a child with him one day. >> I am.
CaptTreville @CaptTreville10h.//Nods appreciatively. Alexander may be the closest I ever get to a grandson, and I’m sure with these people to protect him, he’ll do just fine. I am so proud of Aurore, and despite my initial misgivings about John, he certainly seems to be deeply in love with her, and fiercely protective of his family.//
Porthos @bravemuskie19510h.* nudges Amalure on the arm, head cocked to the side, whispering! * Is there a drink on offer after this…….I could down a barrel!
Captain Amalure @BlackBasque201610h.// A flash of white teeth shows through a smile curling from the corner of my lips. // Undoubtedly my friend you can depend on Basque hospitality, and I know of your tastes there could be a wench or two. // Restrains a laugh, as his Captain turned and glared in our direction. //
CaptTreville @CaptTreville10h.//Glares at Porthos, wondering why I didn’t simply bring Athos with me. He i, after all, a gentleman of breeding, even if he hides it well beneath layers of alcohol. Ah, alcohol, yes, that’s why I brought Porthos. He is likely to remain sober until after the ceremony, and to abstain from chasing the women until then as well.//
Father Ryan @FatherPRyan10h.Alexander Joao Miguel, the Christian community welcomes you with great joy. in its name I claim you for Christ our Saviour by the sign of his cross. I now trace the cross on your forehead, and invite your parents and godparents to do the same.
*Signs the child on the forehead, in silence. Then invites the parents and the godparents to do the same.*
Now, it is time for the legal formalities to be concluded, but before we bore ourselves with paperwork, I have time for a more personal blessing.
*Rests my thumb gently on Alexander’s forehead.*
I’m supposed to say something on the lines of “May almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, bless you”, and while those are fine words indeed, I prefer to use my own. Words that are a blessing from the heart. *Sneaks a glance at the visiting cardinals who are already looking heavenwards.* May God grant you many years to live For sure He must be knowing The Earth has angels all too few And Heaven is overflowing.
Aurore Braganza👑 @auroretrav201410h.*Slipping an arm through that of my uncles we stroll away from the baptismal font, comfortably in the conversation along the nave towards the narthex, guest wait happily in groups talking and laughing. Peeling from the church steeple bells ring out the joyous news of the Christening. I sigh happily kissing my uncle on the cheek. * I never thought my life would change to allow love and happiness to enter my life, and it truly has. *Squeezing his arm leaning in speaking in a whisper. * Have you someone special in your life my dear uncle, its time for you to be more comfortable and have come to love and take care of you. * A raised brow with a smile creasing the corners of his eyes, the warmth of the look I realise there is someone he cares for back home in Paris. *
John @DukeBraganza10h.*I sense it is my turn to make a speech … not something which I feel I will ever be comfortable with. I slip my arm around Aurore and kiss her cheek, nodding at her uncle, who, thankfully, seems to have accepted our union with far more grace than my own family managed to muster. I gently take Alexander in my arms, adjusting my grip, so as not to produce a loud squawk of protest, and hold him aloft for all to see.* I wish you all to raise a glass to the future of Portugal. *I smile as glasses and voices are raised and the lineage of the throne is acknowledged and secured.*
Traditional Portuguese song…….
It’s so good to be small And I of you be your mother
In this sort of fate The loves that life has I never sang so softly.