The answer is poorly. They are rebuffed at the castle door by Count Gruffanuff, whose rudeness gets him turned into a door-knocker. They also discover that the craven Earl Valarosa has usurped the throne from Giglio, but Vivat Valarosa! shows that the “king” fools no one. A letter has arrived from Crim Tartary: Prince Bulbo seeks a Marriage of State with Valarosa’s daughter Angelica to whom Giglio gave his engagement RING. The Prince enclosed a photo of himself holding the ROSE which causes Angelica to break off the match with Giglio and discard his RING.
The RING works at once. Betsinda finds herself besieged with suitors – Serenade for a Chambermaid – Valarosa and Bulbo ludicrously among them. Confusion ensues during which Giglio comes to her rescue, flattens Valarosa with a bedwarming pan, and flees with Betsinda. Awaking, the furious King calls for the Prince’s beheading first thing in the morning, but Gruffanuff shrewdly points out to Captain Hedzoff that he didn’t say WHICH Prince, and Act I ends with Weep for Bulbo.
Giglio handily faces down Valarosa to universal satisfaction and calls for his bride. Which of course brings Countess Gruffanuff grandly to the fore with Giglio’s own written declaration of love in hand and calling for her husband. Blackstick obliges: With a flash Count Gruffanuff is restored from knockerhood (this is most effective: we have completely forgotten him.) Prime Minister Glumboso smoothly presents the proper paperwork to Get it in writing and all Raise their glasses high to the new King and Queen of Paflagonia.