It weighed her down, ruling. The chains of office, the traditional tired metaphor, were so real some days she could almost feel the chaffing at her skin and cold iron sucking the heat out.
No, chains could be broken. Chains on the soul were something more. Duty and guilt for every past mistake. Her own guilt would have eaten her alive but the constant accusations and power jockeying from nobles meant Serenity would never be able to relax, show weakness. Everything would be a black mark against her someday, no matter how things seemed at the time the decision was made.
No backing down for her. No resigning in shame at some real or imagined mistake that had the court and people incised. Her daughter was the light of her life, a butterfly, a shining splash of gold among silver. She was utterly unfit for command. That weighed on her harder than anything. It was criminally irresponsible to let the only heir to the throne remain ignorant of statecraft or war and play in the gardens all day in her riot of color. She must be a queen, not a mother. Not that not helping her child to grow-up made her much of a good mother.
Queen Serenity could only silence discontent and keep living forever and reigning forever because there was no good alternative. And she was only a mortal woman.