n the king's absence the queen holds the annual masquerade ball but, after a lavish entrance, slips away for a romantic picnic with her secret lover, childhood sweetheart Alistair. Gemma accompanies Liam to the ball but, whilst he gets on well with Nick, Ophelia's escort, the young prince is plainly jealous and invites Ophelia to spend a weekend in Monaco with him. Eleanor is angry when, to prove his power over her, Jasper refuses sex with her but is she is unable to go through with his challenge - to announce publicly that he is blackmailing her. Meanwhile Casper hopes to get the House of Lords on his side to scotch the referendum on the abdication and leans on Prudence to spy on the king on his behalf.

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