So it was finally agreed, and the crown set upon the candidate’s brow. Some might have questioned the notion of giving the crown to the late King’s pug dog, but none could argue with the results. The prime ministers and the cabinet ran the country without interference. The monarch was present at every major ceremony, and never had a gaffe. He was, in every way, the perfect, silent king.

But he had been fixed, and after seventeen years the end of his reign was nigh without an heir in sight.

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