Lord Cardigan led the famous (infamous) charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854. The brigade mistakenly charged down a valley with guns firing at them from both flanks and from the main Russian army at the end of the valley. It was a corridor of death and the brigade was destroyed as a fighting unit. Cardigan returned to England a hero, much celebrated for his misguided courage.

In the story… Diana attends a ball at Stafford House early in 1855. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are also in attendance. Cardigan makes an appearance. The crowd is enthralled with him, as was all of England. They want to hear him recount the charge of the Light Brigade. He delivers a bombastic account that leaves Diana in tears as she has suffered personally from the charge. She exits the ballroom and lets her emotion flow in the empty hall outside. Queen Victoria approaches her there, wondering what is wrong.