A someone with zero knowledge of what royal people really do, I’ve always thought the second, in the line of the throne has it best. I mean, yeah, okay, they may have to attend some charity event and live through a boring meeting or two, but really. They have all the access of royals and none of the responsibility. And this book tells the story of that person, living the life when suddenly–oh, crap, a crown. Should be fun to see how he manages. Also, I have Author Mohanalakshmi here with me to tell us where this story came from.
The story is The Princely Papers by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, a Contemporary Romance.
Albie Ringham is like most twentysomething men. He likes fast cars and women who look good driving them. As the spare in the Ringham dynasty, he parties in the best nightclubs around the world while his sister Victoria prepares to take the throne one day. When fate thursts the crown back onto Albie’s head, three generations of romance, hopes and frustrations come along with it. Can Albie fulfill generations of his family’s obligation to become the people’s prince? Or will he be lured away from duty by love when introduced to the winsome Rachel?
Here’s my chat with Mohanalakshmi.
Thank you for being here with us! What inspired you to write this book?
I was in college when Princess Diana died in her fatal car crash. At the time I didn’t understand why my friend was so upset – she called me that morning and woke me up to tell me – but over the years I’ve come to understand what a complicated legacy she had and also what an amazing impact she had on so many different areas; fashion, charity, media, motherhood, etc.
The idea for this book was always a whim, something lurking in the back of my brain for years as a ‘fun’ project I might never get to. And then as I got caught up with my writing goals, Diana’s boys, as the princes are known, were getting older and making big choices, like getting married, etc. and the idea for the book came back.
The Princely Papers is more the story of a mother like Diana and two children, a girl, Victoria, and a boy, Albert, who inherit both their mother and father’s issues (and throne!). I hope readers will enjoy this imagining of what it’s like to a royal.
It would be really fun to see this made into a film or television series, like The Crown; I could see James McAvoy playing Albert and maybe Jessica Chastain as Victoria. Their mother would be much harder to cast…. Maybe Uma Thurman or someone with a theater background.
Excerpt from chapter 2
Albert Present Day
Albert leaned back, though he might as well have tried to move a brick wall. The ornate chair gave no quarter. His lower back remained a knot of muscle, a remnant from his flying days, whenever he sat still. Overhead chandeliers cascaded fifteen feet above the tables, laid for a three-course meal. Oyster forks. Albert unbuttoned his jacket. The schedule read four hours – at the rate they were going, this ceremony would be slower than the Oscars. At the opposite table, a blonde bombshell flashed the valley of her breasts while bending forward for her napkin. Frigid aircon blew on the top of his head though most of the women wore one-shouldered gowns, if they had straps at all. Simpering glances from the others on either side of the blonde came his way. As they had done since he was old enough to register women’s interest. When had that been? When he was five? Shuttled from his mother’s side into boarding school and then the army; his family worked to keep him as far from women as they could. Or was it women as far from the century’s most eligible bachelor? In either case, the women themselves couldn’t be stopped. Like father, like sonthe tabloid captions read, as Albert worked his way through a stream of interchangeable blonde girlfriends while at university. He shuddered at the comparison.
Tonight no one of fuckable age sat in any of the eight seats at his table or at the one immediately to his right. Two women out of the hundreds scattered in rows throughout the ballroom were at his table and these were matronly types. Normally this would irk him. Torie never missed a moment to remind him that, as the keeper of the family crown, her duty was to ensure he stayed in line. Her darling little brother. The heir meant to be the spare.
Tonight, however, Albert could use a break after his weekend in the American city of Las Vegas. Like they say, detox. He smirked at the gent in the tuxedo to his left. Seventy if he was a day. Earl… Lord… something. Cufflinks glinted in the dimmed lights. There was a crest there, he could make it out if he squinted a bit longer. Albert lost the summary card with the event details and hadn’t listened while his aide, Edward, gave him the run-down of those seated at his table. Albert shuffled through the notes tucked inside his jacket. Thank everyone for their time. Recognize how important the events are.
“Sir.” A waiter, his face filled with wrinkles pulling at deflated cheeks, harrumphed on Albert’s left.
“Yes, what is it?”
“I present Miss Heather Sparkle.”
About the Author
Mohana is a writer and scholar of gender, race, and writing. Her work has appeared in academic journals and books. She is the award-winning novelist of Love Comes Later and An Unlikely Goddess, among others. As the host of the Expat Dilemmas podcast, she peppers each show with reflections from a decade of living abroad. She teaches courses on literature, argumentative and creative writing. You can read more her website: www.mohadoha.com.
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