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Arranged Royal Marriage AU #2

Arranged Royal Marriage AU #2 published on 12 Comments on Arranged Royal Marriage AU #2

Another installment in this AU from almost a year ago. (I might possibly have too many AUs.)


Thorn: So, Ragnild . . . you know the difference between being “married” and “together”? We’re married for political reasons, but we’re not a couple in other ways. And it’s okay if we go out with other people.

Ragnild: Mmhmm, I get it. My Mamma and Papa had a setup like that.

. . . although for a long time Pappa didn’t know it.

Thorn: Ahhh.

Well, you let me know if you start dating anyone. And they have to be the same age as you.

Ragnild: Like, exactly the same age?

Thorn: Well . . .

Because the only person exactly my age is my twin sister Iona.

Thorn: Okay, rules lawyer. You can only date someone if your age is at least half their age plus seven — and vice versa.

Ragnild: Great. If I wanna date someone, I gotta do fractions first.

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He forgot to mention discretion, which was rather key for such marriages. It being publicly a sham would fail to archive the very things they political marriages supposed to set out to do.

Frankly, the age thing should be only one aspect. He should be explaining the precariousness of the situation to her rather than try to lay down ground rules.

It’s not quite that bad — remember, different world, different rules and social norms. Same-sex relationships and open relationships are both more generally accepted.

The issue isn’t the choice of partners, but having a relationship within an established marriage in the first place (unless the aristocracy are expected to swing?). Aside the reasons why “bastard” is a bad word, the point of a political marriage is to have a public bond that cements an alliance.

The classic justification is that if you marry a potential enemy’s child, that potential enemy will not risk a war to lose that child. By marriage, you join not just people but families, clans and much, much more by proxy. It is also a clear message to the world and the people within the factions whom make the political marriage.

Hence why I am talking about appearance and why that is important. If the marriage is publicly not taken seriously, that would be an insult to the alliance that the marriage was for in the first place. Even when married kings (and I don’t see why queens would be any different) were publicly acknowledged to have concubines and almost-official mistresses or such, there were rules to ensure privacy and discretion. Not to mention to create “official” narratives to maintain respectability and authority of the crown. Scandals can brake a kingdom.

This is not even getting into being very, very careful about who to be close with in a royal court. As a consort or queen especially. I get that Thorn is being nice and humorous here, but he is neglecting the larger issue.

At least in Europe, “flexible” noble marriages were basically always an open secret. You made a point of procreating with your spouse, and then you spent time with people you actually liked. A society where people actually acknowledge poly should make it even easier.

I didn’t notice until now (…I also thought “circut” was a word until I was in in my second year of undergrad… as a physics major), but is “Caiomhe” supposed to be “Caoimhe”? Only one’s a name in our world and the other isn’t…

Contemplating this lead me to realize that the “half your age plus seven and vice versa” rule would mean no one can date until they’re at least 14, because for anyone younger than 14, half their age plus seven is older than their own age*. I guess that’s a reasonable age to start dating, though I think some start a little sooner…

*For example, Ragnild is 10, so half her age plus 7 would be 12… but half the 12-year-old’s age plus seven would be 13, which would mean 10-year-old Ragnild is too young for the 12-year-old anyway.

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