Featured image art by Iceburns, at: https://iceburns-manri.tumblr.com/post/143427181824/i-hate-you-so-much
By HM Queen Anna
Her Majesty’s personal column is published exclusively by The AG.
Let me confess something to you: I’ve been in touch with Hans.
Yes, him. Prince Hans, the piece of crap (I hope my editor will let me print that) who wanted to stage a coup and murder my Elsa, before tricking me into marrying him and becoming King of Arendelle. The only reason why he ever revealed his true evil to me was because I was about to literally die from my frozen heart, and he didn’t see me as useful to his plans anymore. By all rights he should have been locked up, if not worse, by Elsa after I punched him in his smug mug and sent him plunging into Arendelle’s cold sea. We did him a mercy by sending him back home in disgrace.
My spies in the Southern Isles were able to relay to me his abusive childhood and unhappy upbringing, and from then on I did my best to let go of my resentment and vengeance. But no, I didn’t feel sorry for his penance of shovelling horse and ass shit. No personal suffering excuses you to become a psychopath who lies like second nature and uses and discards people like chattel. Can you imagine if Elsa and I let the losses and tragedies in our lives define us? We’d be the best baddies ever.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I’m in touch with Hans not because I’ve gone insane and want to get back into a crazy relationship. I’m communicating with him because that is what representatives of states do with each other, regardless of personal feelings. The destinies of our countries rest on our shoulders. It’s not about us. And I’m sorry to share with you that Hans, though he’s not king of the Southern Isles yet, has made rapid gains at court and in the public eye. He’s staffed his government with loyalists, patiently pushing his brothers aside, inch by inch. If I’m honest, I’d say they underestimated his duplicity, and yes, his charm. He’s taken on a demagogue’s identity, reaching heights of incredible popularity among the public. No one, not even the king, can get anything done without his help now. He’s come a long way from the stables.
If what my spies tell me is true, well, I feel a bit of puke coming from the back of my throat when writing this: Hans is making a serious comeback and I must be prepared to parlay and negotiate with him.
What’s worse, I’ve reason to believe that he’s become a major stockholder of the East India Company and a secret ally of Lord Palmerston, the British foreign secretary.
As much as I despise the territorial violence and opium smuggling of the EIC, I always thought they pretended to be “gentlemen” in the tea and spice trade – it seemed uncharacteristic of them to randomly attack the ships of another country’s company, like Bjorgman House. There was absolutely no strategic value in attacking Kristoff’s flotilla of civilian cargo carrying good ice to the British colony of Hong Kong. If they wanted to outcompete Bjorgman House, they’d just get into the ice trade, or mount a hostile takeover. Military action, especially if sanctioned by the EIC’s directors and even the British government, needs to serve the disruptive purposes of someone behind it all.
But why? Why the disruption? To instigate a war and damage Arendelle? To turn a powerful country like Britain against us? What is Hans’ endgame?
Right now, Lord Palmerston is staying in Arendelle, meeting me every day for negotiations that can end this standoff between Britain and our kingdom, which was caused completely by the EIC’s impulsive violence. Well, it’s only impulsive if you don’t make the connections, and the connections lead somewhere a bit closer to home: the Southern Isles.
I may find myself having to meet with Hans personally… in time. We’ve been exchanging letters. The thought of even reading what he says makes me sick. I need to get to the bottom of all this.
Oh, Elsa. Give me strength.
Signing off with trepidation, your friend and servant.