Looking back, the pea was just the start of the problem. And no number of mattresses was ever going to fix it. She should know, she’d had them shipped in from every corner of the kingdom. It was when she found herself ordering mattress nine hundred and ninety nine that she pulled up short and said to herself, “there must be another way.”
The trouble was, she didn’t like the sound of the alternative. It just wasn’t the done thing to walk away from a Prince. Well, it had been done, but that was in another kingdom, and the poor woman had never lived it down. “I was vilified,” that’s what she had said in her letter.
So for a while, she did nothing. And, as I said before, if it had just been a question of the pea and the mattresses, then maybe she could have coped. But there was also the issue of the socks. And the cutlery tray. And the clothing rations. And the surveillence equipment. And the very private goings on that Princesses just don’t talk about, but which she didn’t like at all. No, not at all.
And once she started on this train of thought there was no going back. And so she decided that the best course of action would be to leave as gracefully as she could, thereby keeping the peace and avoiding the vilification.
But unfortunately she didn’t realise that even fairy stories don’t work like that. A happy ending was simply not on the cards. An amicable split was never, ever going to be an option. And as for that happy ever after? Well, we should never say never, but it certainly wasn’t going to happen overnight.