Lady Margaret Rose Chesham

Defending Sovereign, Church, and Country from the Forces of Darkness

Before the arrival of Team Girl, just about everyone who knew Sir Differel Van Helsing accepted that she had no friends. While she attended Gresham's School before she was excluded at the age of 12, she had a number of playmates, but none were allowed to visit her at her ancestral manor, Caerleon Hall, for security reasons, so any budding friendships were slowly strangled before being killed off by her exclusion.

After exclusion, she was tutored at home, and even as she grew older her senior staff restricted her ability to leave the estate, again for security reasons. Only when she turned 16 did they allow her to take trips on her own, but they insisted upon her traveling incognito. It wasn't until she turned 21 that she was finally granted full autonomy, but by then she had become set in her ways. She eschewed social gatherings and events, except for those she was required to attend, and she resisted all attempts by others to get close to her, whether for platonic or romantic reasons. Even her most recent employees, Magdalene Ingrid King and Sharona Turing, are treated more like servants than colleagues. The only person who succeeded in breaking down her self-imposed barriers was Victor Edward Plunkett, 26th Viscount Dunwich. They not only became friends, she married him and bore him a child. However, after his death she seemed to retreat even further into herself, shutting off all contact except of a professional nature.

Lady Margaret Rose CheshamBut appearances can be deceiving. From the age of 12 on she has had one person close to her who could be considered a friend. Though she is the last possible person anyone would imagine in that role. Lady Margaret Rose Chesham began attending Gresham's School in Holt, County Norfolk, the same year Sir Differel did, when they were both 4. They were placed in the same social group, and during Reception and Year 1 they got along just fine. Beginning in Year 2, however, when they were both 6, Lady Margaret began bullying Differel. The reasons are unknown, even to them. Things did not improve as they grew older. When both entered the Prep School at age 8, Lady Margaret began boarding while Sir Differel did not, but both were assigned to Crossways House for sports and social events. At that time, Gresham's did not have a comprehensive anti-bullying policy. As such, responses to Lady Margaret's actions varied from the belief that Sir Differel needed to learn how to stand up for herself to assigning them to different classes, but if anything the problem intensified, even to the point of Lady Margaret engaging in public displays with seeming impunity. It was during that time that she began calling Sir Differel "Dribble Van Spitsink".

Lady Margaret at age 12It all came to a head after the start of Year 8, when they were both 12. By then, Sir Differel had released Vlad Drakulya, and he had demonstrated a propensity to appear at Gresham's whenever she felt frightened or intimidated. She and Lady Margaret had been assigned the same class, Chemistry, and one day Sir Differel answered a question during lecture that Lady Margaret couldn't. Afterwards, she made it very clear in no uncertain terms that Sir Differel was never to do that again. However, her actions prompted the sudden appearance of Vlad, who frightened her out of her wits. Sir Differel then threatened to have him kill her if she ever bothered her again, but whereas she simply wanted Lady Margaret to leave her alone, Gresham's took a dim view of her actions and excluded her.

Unfortunately, Lady Margaret did not consider that sufficient punishment for her humiliation. She campaigned to have Vlad declared a menace and destroyed, and for Sir Differel to be "censure", which effectively meant she would be removed as Director of the Caerleon Order, stripped of her title and estate, and imprisoned in the Tower of London for eventual trial before the House of Lords. As a minor, her entreaties were not taken seriously, but there were enough sympathizers in Whitehall that Her Majesty and the Privy Council felt compelled to act.

Even so, their solution was novel if simple: they instructed Lady Margaret to stay for a week at Sir Differel's estate in the hopes that the two girls would come to an understanding. At first the plan seemed doomed to failure. Sir Differel made an effort at reconciliation, but Lady Margaret refused to cooperate, though she seemed surprised by a number of aspects of Sir Differel's life, as well as a level of assertiveness she had never displayed at school. For example, she took to calling her "Maggot". However, an incursion of Spriggans forced them to fight together to save their lives, forging a mutual if grudging respect. They agreed to bury the hatchet, and as far as anyone was concerned that ended ther matter. Thus, it came as some surprise when in January of the following year Lady Margaret asked to visit over the Lent home weekend. As it turned out, she was having trouble with a one of her classes and she wanted Sir Differel's tutor to coach her, but she also wanted to get to know her better. Thus began a series of visits that lasted well into adulthood.

Arms of the Dukes of AnglinLady Margaret was born on Sunday the 29th of February, 1976, and so is 70 days older than Sir Differel. Nonetheless, she delights in calculating her age based on leap years, thereby claiming to be one-quarter her actual age, a practice that annoys Sir Differel no end. Her father is Lt. Col. Chester Marmaduke Chesham, 18th Duke of Anglin, KG, GCVO, CB, CBE, MC, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant, Earl Marshall, and Chief Butler of England. He is generally referred to simply as "Anglin". He holds the subsidiary titles of Earl of Camdel and Baron Downham. The position of Earl Marshall is one of the Great Offices of State for the United Kingdom, and as such he is one of only two hereditary peers automatically admitted to the House of Lords rather than being elected by the general body of hereditary peers. He is counted as the Premier Peer of England and serves as Lord High Constable, essentially the highest law enforcement official in the nation. All this makes him the third most powerful figure in the government, after the Sovereign and the Lord President of the Privy Council.

Her mother was Lady Teresa Susan Lavinia Abney-Rawdon, third daughter of the Earl of Carryn. Unusual for the aristocracy, she intended to care for and raise her children herself, with the help of a nurserymaid, rather than turn them over to a nanny. During the summer of 1982, however, she drowned in a boating accident while saving her 6-year old daughter. The event so traumatized Lady Margaret that she had nightmares for years, and she blamed herself for her mother's death. Anglin turned her over to the nurserymaid and she was raised by the servants after that. The lack of parental affection may have caused a severe loss in self-confidence and esteem, which resulted in her turning to bullying to feel better about herself. In any event, as she became older she was bothered by the fact that her father didn't seem to care for her, and she believed he also blamed her for her mother's death. But while her need for acceptance fueled her antagonistic behavior towards anyone who did not kowtow to her, it also triggered her "frenemy" relationship with Sir Differel. They acknowledged to each other that they would never be friends, but they also both realized that they were no longer enemies. They had no idea what their new relationship was going to be like, but for her part Lady Margaret concluded that she could confide in Sir Differel, and trust her not to betray her.

She barely interacted with her father until she was 14. During that time she assumed she was his only child, and he showed no interest in getting remarried. Then one day Anglin told her she had a half-brother, born out of wedlock to a barmaid. Moreover, he intended to recognize him so he could inherit the duchy. The news disturbed her, but not for the reasons most people might think. Being as the duchy could only be inherited by the eldest surviving son or closest male relative, she had no expectation of becoming duchess, and as there were no other male relatives that she knew of, the title would have gone into abeyance on Anglin's death, though if she were to marry and have a son he could claim the title when he came of age. Furthermore, her father had provided her with a trust fund worth a few hundred million pounds sterling, more than enough to live on, so she wasn't worried about her prospects with another heir around. Instead, what bothered her was that she would no longer get to be a social prima donna. Despite not being duchess, as the only child of the Duke she could have expected to become the family figurehead once Anglin passed on, especially if she became the mother of the next duke. As things now stood, her half-brother would receive the respect and accolades of head of the family, and while the pressure was off her to produce an heir, she would now become just another younger child of a peer required to make her own way in life.

Lady Margaret at age 16Fortunately, being all of 14, she had plenty of time to decide what to do. Though her inheritence would mean she would not be required to work for a living, and while she had every intention of being a party girl like her celebutante heroines, she understood that respectability would best come from being useful in some fashion. There was no shortage of professions she could practice, but unfortunately few held any interest for her and she had no desire to go to college, except perhaps to a party school. She realized that she needed a role model, someone in a similar position to her own, and the only person she could imagine that fit the bill was Sir Differel. The similarity was not perfect. Sir Differel was nearly the exact opposite of her personality, and unlike her she was the head of her family, she had obtained her father's title and directorship, and she had a calling. However, like Lady Margaret she still was uncertain about just what she wanted to do about the Order, she was unlikely to ever go to college, and she had yet to prove herself to the powers that be. As far as Lady Margaret was concerned, that made her the perfect role model. All she had to do was observe her and see how she handled the same kinds of issues.

As such, her visits increased in frequency, and she always tried to have a reason, even if the real purpose was different from the one she stated. But whereas in the early months the reasons had been largely childish—school, parents, clothing, boys—in later years they became more serious, though they did bear some similarity to the earlier excuses. Aside from the specific motive for a particular visit, she took advantage of amenities and activities she did not otherwise have access to: Differel's tutor for one, but also participating in her self-defense and sword training, exploring the archaeological sites on the estate and the manor's dungeon and catacomb levels, learning gymnastics and about antiquities and artifacts, and playing games with Vlad (with whom she developed a relationship which mimicked that between him and Differel). Whenever she needed help with a school or personal project she asked Differel to be her partner, and whenever she wanted a companion for a trip or special excursion she invited Differel first. They found they had many interests in common: art, theatre (their rendition of the fight scenes between Petruchio and Katharina from The Taming of the Shrew were particularly realistic and dynamic), history, popular science, equitation, and monsters. Music was another mutual interest, with her piano skills complimenting Differel's cello playing, and they often jammed together. However, their tastes could be very different; in music, Differel preferred classical music, whether orchestral or rock, whereas Margaret worshiped contemporary post-punk death-metal electronica blood-goth rebel-rage riot-grrrl groups.

Through it all, however, she often found herself facing monsters and other paranormal threats. Despite being totally unprepared, she always acquitted herself well, and she found she enjoyed it. By the time they both became adults, Differel could ask her to accompany her to Hell, and not only would she agree to do so, she would call ahead to make reservations. When Sir Differel took full control of the Caerleon Order at the age of twenty-one, she had come to rely on her as a confidant to such an extent that she made her the Order's ad hoc "frontman"; a combination public relations officer and brand ambassador. She presented a socially respectable and acceptable face for the Order when dealing with the public. And while she had Differel's trust for years, she proved her loyalty and fidelity when she made no attempt to seduce Victor despite her reputation as a man-eater.

Though Team Girl can be credited with coaxing Differel out of the background and persuading her to engage the larger outside world beyond the Order and HM Government after her husband's death, including teaching her how to have fun and reintroducing her to her girly side, it was Margaret who had paved the way by putting her in touch with that side in the first place, as well as getting her involved in British society. Differel's relationship to Eile and Sunny can be described as being like a steady, serious older sister to younger, more fun-loving twins, but with Margaret it's more like soulmates, in a manner similar to the Girls, except that whereas they are bound by mutual love, Dribble and Maggot are bound by respect and trust.

Margaret's affect on Differel's life cannot be underestimated:

  • She acted as her sponsor when she was presented as a débutante at "court"
  • She served as Matron of Honour at her wedding
  • Differel selected her to be godmother to her son Henry
  • She presided as chief mourner at Victor Plunkett's funeral when Sir Differel refused to attend
  • She helped Differel work through her grief and recover her life
  • And she has saved her life a number of times.

Margaret is a typical British aristocrat, though her behavior can border on the stereotypical. On the positive side she has dignity, integrity, reserve, courage, and fortitude, but on the negative side she can be prideful, arrogant, dogmatic, avaricious, and callously indifferent. Though they share a similar ethical morality and sense of decency, they can hold polar-opposite opinions on certain subjects, such as the importance and worth of commoners and servants. At first glance it can almost seem impossible that they can even tolerate each other's presence, much less have any kind of friendly relationship. For example, Margaret is an extrovert, loves parties, collects men the way some people collect stamps or butterflies, and covets the spotlight. She needs to be the center of attention at all times, or as Differel once put it, the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral. In contrast, Differel is introverted, hates most kinds of social gatherings, avoids romantic entanglements like the plague, and would rather disappear into the background whenever possible. Yet they seem to compliment one another perfectly, like yin and yang. The Queen once referred to them as Janus; one face always looking outward, the other inward, but thereby supplying a continuous dual perspective vital to the nation's survival. They share a wellspring of spiritual, emotional, and psychological strength that they can tap as needed to support themselves and each other in a crisis. They each have been heard to defend the other in private, even when doing so cost them social prestige and respect. Though their conversations often appear disrespectful, even antagonistic, neither seems offended or hurt, and in an instant they can drop their combative pretense and form a cooperative partnership to deal with whatever problem arises.

Note [Top Secret – Ultra Level Clearance – For Your Eyes Only]: It has come to the attention of HM Government that Sir Differel and Lady Margaret have, since at least the age of 19, engaged in an on-again, off-again sexual relationship. How it began and how serious it might be are unknown at present. However, their continued relationships with men indicates that they are not crypyo-lesbians, and their lack of interest in other women indicates they are not bi-sexual. Government psychologists have evaluated them to be little more than "lipstick lesbians", actinmg more out of curiosity and a sense of experimentation than true romance, but there is some concern that this could be used as leverage to compromise the Caerleon Order.

We Hold the Line, and This Line Shall Not Be Crossed!