When the way between her mother’s kingdom and the neighboring realm ended, Queen Sophia was only 11. She had barely been allowed out of the castle until then, since it was so dangerous. She had kept herself busy in the library, reading as much as she could.
She learned a lot. The third of the royal children, Queen Sophia would never sit on her mother’s throne, with two older brothers ahead of her in line. Their education was very tailored to what a king might need to know, while Sophia’s was much more broad and included the scientific names of birds and plants, as well as which were good to eat and which would cure a snake bite.
With her new found freedom, she became a great outdoorswoman. She would always invite her brothers for camping trips—who would join her when they could, which was, sadly, not often—into the forests and fields on their mother’s kingdom. At first, the Old Queen insisted she take bodyguards, but soon enough, the Old Queen realized that Sophia was the one keeping them safe, not the other way around. Even then, the Old Queen asked that Sophia not go alone—just in case.
Alfred, the young king of the neighboring country was a frequent visitor after the war. They had always been friendly, and both liked being outside, so whenever he was visiting, Sophia and Alfred would take walks around the castle gardens together. She would point out interesting species of plants or insects to him, showing off recent additions.
After knowing each other for several years, they were bother surprised to realize that they were in love with each other when Alfred picked a rose for Sophia and took care in removing the thorns before handing her the flower.
With her mother’s blessing, Sophia was free to move to Alfred’s kingdom and be his queen. They’ve been very happy in their marriage. For their 20th wedding anniversary, Alfred gave her a strand of pearls that Queen Sophia now wears daily.