Ximene works her way towards an accommodation with the Black Prince. She discovers that he is constrained by the influences of his Father and Mother but, most importantly, by Countess Joan of Kent.
Joan was described by a court chronicler as “The most amorous woman in Europe” and no one has any doubt what is meant by that description.
Joan has now set her heart on marrying the Black Prince and becoming the next Queen of England.
This leaves her with two major tasks; to dissuade King Edward from the idea of splitting his kingdom into four segments and to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.
Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley; not an easy task as there are a number of relatively unusual barriers to be overcome.