The King of Spain has been a widower for nearly twelve years, the Queen having died shortly after their daughter the Infanta was born. The Queen's death has left the King a deeply melancholy man. He cannot bear to look at his daughter for long because she reminds him too much of her late mother. Consequently, on the day of the Infanta's twelfth birthday, the King withdraws from the celebrations early, leaving the Infanta in the care of her uncle Don Pedro and other courtiers.
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