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It isn’t easy being royal!

So often I meet someone who says that Britain should get rid of the royal family. They take public money to live a life of luxury and do nothing for it. This really does make my hackles rise because most members of the family work very hard. The queen, now aged 92, had over 300 public engagements last year. That’s almost one a day! Some days she has more than one public appearance. She’ll travel several hours to a town, tour a school, hospital or factory, have people presented to her, sometimes have to have lunch with them, then drive on to another event. This doesn’t sound too tiring until you try it. She can never look bored or yawn, always seem fascinated by people who make nuts and bolts, never smile when something serious is happening. She knows the paparazzi are waiting for that one moment to catch her out. And just think how long she has to go between visits to the ladies room!

I only really appreciated what the royals have to do when I started being sent on book tours. Flying into a city, being picked up by an escort, driven to other stores, maybe TV or radio interview and then the bookstore speech in the evening. You never get a proper meal because you leave for the bookstore at 5:30 and come back after nine, too tired to eat. And you have to be, like the queen, ON every moment. Gracious to a line of people who have taken the trouble to come and meet you. And after a couple of weeks of this I’m exhausted. But the poor old royals do it all year round!

My heroine, Lady Georgiana, is only a very minor royal. Not close enough to the throne to represent her monarch, King George V. But life is complicated for her by her royal connections. For starters… she wants to marry a Catholic. This is not allowed for any member in the line of succession. This rule remained in effect until literally a couple of years ago! So Georgie has to renounce her claim to the throne if she wants to marry her sweetheart Darcy. But this is not a hard decision for her. As she says, it would take a particularly virulent plague to wipe out all those between her and the throne!

However, there are other complications for her: she wants a simple wedding. The queen lets it be known that of course she and the king expect to be invited. What’s more the little princesses would be thrilled to be bridesmaids. Oh, protocol demands that Georgie invite her relatives from among the crowned heads of Europe. Golly! as Georgie would say! The simple wedding is rapidly turning into something akin to Harry and Meghan’s.  So the question is whether Georgie can get her own way and keep the occasion the way she wants it or will she find herself walking down the aisle of a cathedral with crowned heads on either side of her? And that is if someone doesn’t manage to bump her off first. You’ll have to read the book to find out!

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