Thursday, July 22, 2010
Not long, perhaps, for Anna, but for her companion, only 19 years old, half a century was a long time...Anna softly brushed the dress against her face, as a swirl of memories rose before her. The last time she had seen Astrid, a week before her death, on vacation in the Alps with King Leopold, the Queen had been wearing this dress. Leopold had warmly admired her beauty: "Isn't she radiant? Like a butterfly. Ravishing." After the tragic car accident in Kussnacht, the King had given the dress to the Countess as a poignant memento of the Queen. Anna had long considered writing memoirs of Astrid, but had always hesitated to do so, finding the painful memory too close, or fearing she might not portray the Queen accurately. But now, at last, she was inspired to make the attempt, to keep Astrid's memory alive.