How I’m Inspired by Modern Royal Family Scandals
My next book – The Royal Bodyguard – is the second book featuring the Royal House of Laurent in the fictional European nation of Drieden. The main character in this book is Caroline, the former princess of Drieden. You may remember mentions of her in The Royal Runaway. She’s Thea’s sister, who eloped with a Formula One driver and had her title revoked.
To find out what happened to her and why she’s single and ready to mingle with a former bodyguard, you’ll have to read the book and find out. #sorrynotsorry
But I will disclose that I enjoyed poking around the histories of modern European families for inspiration while writing of the Driedish royals’ many affaires du coeur.
In fact, nearly every major European royal family has had some pearl-clutching moments in the past century – and not the kind that they’re trying to drum up against our beloved American princess, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. (That time she wore a messy bun! Or sent emails in the morning! Or that time she dared to be pregnant at another person’s wedding! OMG. How will the monarchy ever survive such a dreadful person? /sarcasm font)
In Britain’s own history, let’s just recall that not one hundred years ago, they had a king renounce his throne to marry his divorcee American mistress (Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, later the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.)
And let’s just conveniently forget that same king and his wife were Nazi sympathizers, shall we?
One of the best things about the Netflix series, The Crown, is that it is reminding us of the complete and total messiness of Princess Margaret – her ill-fated affair with a married Royal Air Force Officer and then her marriage to a commoner (later the Earl of Snowden) who had affairs with men and women, which is totally fine – except when you’re married to the Queen’s only sister.
Really, almost all the Windsors have been messier than Meghan Markle’s favorite hairstyle. Prince Charles dated Lady Sarah Spencer then married her little sister, Diana, then had a long-term affair with another old girlfriend (Camilla) who he then married (and really, I’m happy for those two kids. Just wish so many people hadn’t been hurt along the way, you know?)
And do we have to talk about the Yorks? Andrew’s soft porn actress girlfriend and the Duchess of York’s toes being sucked look positively innocent and sweet compared to the nastiness of the Duke of York’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
(Someone! Quick! Mention that Meghan Markle didn’t curtsy or hold her purse in the correct position to distract us from possible pedophilia accusations!)
I could go on and on about the Windsors but cross the channel and we find more and more scandalous royal stories fit to be written about in novels.
I’m sure someone would tell me that it is “unrealistic” in this day and age for a monarch to have not one, but multiple secret babies with girlfriends and mistresses. However… have you met Prince Albert of Monaco? The press has reported about two illegitimate royal babies but there’s always whispered speculation about more….
And in my books, Caroline’s titles are stripped when she elopes with a handsome race car driver, Stavros. Is that unrealistic? Not so much. Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf removed his sister’s, Princess Christina, HRH status when she married a commoner (and the same thing had been done to their other two sisters by their father) yet two years later, he married a German (non-royal) interpreter and gave her the title of Her Majesty Queen Silvia. All three of his children, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine have married commoners as well (a personal trainer, a reality star and a businessman, respectively.) They’re all beautiful and have good hair and no one ever mentions that Queen Silvia’s father *might* have joined the Nazi party at one point anymore, okay?
In fact, there seem to be just as many commoners in royal households as people who were manor-born and these real-life stories are so inspirational to me, a writer of royal romance. When Norwegian Crown Prince Harald met the love of his life in 1968, a commoner named Sonja, King Haakon reportedly had serious misgivings. But Harald declared that if he could not have Sonja, he would not marry anyone which would have effectively ended the Norwegian monarchy because he was the only heir to the throne.
A story fit for a romance novel, right?
King Harald’s oldest child, Princess Martha Louise, announced in the Spring of 2019 that she had found love as well. Actually, her exact words were, “her twin flame.” Sounds spiritual, doesn’t it? Rightfully so, since her twin flame is a celebrity shaman.
Y’all. I don’t think even I could make this stuff up.
The queens of the Netherlands and Denmark and Spain were all born commoners as well. Queen Letizia of Spain was a television journalist and divorced and supposedly she and King Felipe dated secretly just like Harry and Meghan did!
Similarly, Crown Prince Fredrick of Denmark met his Australian wife, Mary while at the 2000 Summer Olympics and flew back in forth in secret for over a year to see her until the press discovered them. (JUST LIKE HARRY AND MEGHAN.)
And finally, let’s talk about one of my absolute favorite royals: the woman formerly known as Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti.
The one. The only. Queen Máxima.
The story goes, that when Máxima met then-Prince Willem-Alexander he only introduced himself as Alexander and didn’t tell her he was a prince until he knew if they would keep seeing each other. Their road to a picture perfect royal HEA was bumpy when the press discovered that Máxima’s father was an Argentine cabinet minister at the same time a bunch of people were rounded up, killed or disappeared. Ouch. Her parents weren’t even allowed to come to their wedding because of the… (dum dum DUM!) SCANDALO!
When I read all this, I almost wonder if I haven’t gone far enough in my books! Maybe that’s why one blogger called The Royal Runaway “completely unrealistic.” Maybe I should have included more toe sucking and illegitimate kids and shady foreign connections.
Maybe I will fix that in the next book…
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I am one lucky, lucky author.
I have a book releasing.
It’s the second in a series.
And it has TWO covers already.
Earlier in the summer, when I released the new UK/ World English covers, I was overcome by all the positive responses. But the number 1 question I got was, “Well, that’s great for all your British fans, but what about the Americans and Canadians who also want to order THE ROYAL BODYGUARD???”
I can now announce that all the information you want can be found here: The Royals of Drieden Series
And when you read this book, you’ll understand how perfect this cover is. And I loved how both my publishers got it soooo right. You can maybe guess what some of the main themes are…
THE ROYAL BODYGUARD has:
a princess in hiding
a grumpy bodyguard
thousand-year old secrets
luxurious European residences
a king in a car park
a grandmother with a sword
I heard you say that. ^^^^
For the full info on the book, please click to this page: The Royal Series.
If you’re American or Canadian, you can reserve your copy of The Royal Bodyguard here or at your preferred retailers:
If you’re British, Irish, Australian, etc., you can reserve your copy of The Royal Bodyguard here or at your preferred retailers:
And I’ll be dropping more hints, clues and sneak peeks on my Facebook, my Instagram (make sure you’re checking my Instagram Stories!! I have some fun stuff planned over the next few weeks) and my newsletter. Sign up and follow now to get all the scoop (like who I dedicated the book to and why they made me rewrite the whole darn thing.)