Falling in Love with a Prince

What must it be like to be Kate Middleton? Now, imagine that you are an American from the midwest, with no idea of the rules of etiquette or the finer points of titles and protocols. Just how much would your life change if you fell in love with Great Britain’s next king? The strength of [...]

What must it be like to be Kate Middleton? Now, imagine that you are an American from the midwest, with no idea of the rules of etiquette or the finer points of titles and protocols. Just how much would your life change if you fell in love with Great Britain’s next king?

The strength of The Royal We lies in the character of Bex. She’s so ordinary, so humble and likeable. She’s not a royals-watcher. She doesn’t care about the dresses or the parties or the other perks of being loved by a prince. She wants to be an artist, is a huge Cubs fan, and she doesn’t intend to change for Nick. Still, most of this book is about the trials and tribulations of living in the public eye, the trauma of the tabloid lies and paparazzi stalking, as well as all of the work that goes into becoming a princess.

At the same time, of course the book is full of delicious insider moments–attending the Royal Ascot, vacationing on the ski slopes with the family–and some wicked humor. From what I understand there are fun parallels between Bex & Nick and Kate & William, but I don’t know enough about the British royal family for it to affect my enjoyment, or assessment, of the novel one way or another.

Readers who have a fascination with twins, or stories about sisters, will also enjoy following the changing dynamics of Bex and Lacey’s relationship. They could not have been closer before Bex left for England, and everyone would have thought Lacey more likely to end up doing something notable or outrageous. What happens when the quiet twin starts getting all the attention?

The authors offer the first 7 chapters for free on their blog, Go Fug Yourself.

MORGAN, Jessica & Heather Cocks. The Royal We. 464p. Grand Central. Apr. 2015. Tr $26. ISBN 9781455557103. LC 2014049047.  

Morgan and Cocks, cofounders of the celebrity fashion website, Go Fug Yourself, deliver a fairytale romance with their first adult novel. At least it starts out that way. Rebecca Porter (Bex) leaves Cornell for a junior year at Oxford. Nick, as in Prince Nicholas, the future King of Great Britain, happens to live just down the hall. They hit it off over late-night viewings of Devour, a show that sounds vaguely like HBO’s True Blood—much like Bex and Nick are vaguely based on Kate Middleton and Prince William. From the beginning, their relationship is sweet and sincere. They are wonderfully down-to-earth, smart people. But there are hurdles. Bex’s over-enthusiastic, beloved twin sister, Lacey, comes to visit and then quits med school and moves to London after falling for Nick’s brother, Freddie (i.e. Prince Harry). Nick and Freddie’s father is a hateful man, and their mother has been tucked away in her own mind since they were mere babes, unable to handle the strain of the royal life. Worst of all are the paparazzi, who hound Bex mercilessly. Or are the royal family’s own people the worst, as they micromanage Bex’s every move until she barely recognizes herself?  It culminates in a wedding day will-they or won’t-they. Rather long (eight years from meeting to wedding) but never dull, The Royal We balances angst and drunken parties with true love and loyal friendship. It’s all about the price of life in the public eye. Teens who enjoy Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer E. Smith will eat this up. VERDICT This work is like The Princess Diaries taken to a whole new level, with readers getting an insider view.—Angela Carstensen, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City

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