Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Princely Papers by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

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.

The Princely Papers
Genre: 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?

Torie flashed an image at him. Full length of Albert hugging a woman from behind, her also nude. Thankfully her long hair hid her face. “She’s not great at them either.” Not even a laugh.
            A woman with a thick waist and heavy-soled shoes came in to take each of the protesting children out, holding their hands. “Come now, let’s see if we can find some biscuits.”
            “Head home now,” Torie called from off screen. “We’re handling it.”
            Home? What about Sparkle – the screen went blank in his hands. The silence in the empty sitting room rang in his ears after the commotion of the last few minutes. They were handling it. Albert pulled off his tie in frustration.
True to form, Edward opened the double doors at the far end of the room. “This way, sir.”
“I’m not leaving,” Albert protested. “I have an award to give out.”
“All arranged,” Edward said. He persisted in holding the door open. “The Earl of Nottingham was happy to be of service.”
“What, old Louis?” Albert’s voice rose. “For a cinema honor.” He had no one to be mad at but himself.
 “They wanted someone from the peerage,” Edward said. “The car is here.”
“Peerage? They asked for me,” Albert growled. This man had seen him through far worse. From the dark days of his parents’ divorce into the oblivion afterward.
“Someone. Anyone.” Edward flicked a hand. “This way sir.”
You couldn’t reason with them that you might need to blow off a little steam. Not that there was any way to justify his romp. Those girls assured them they knew how to keep a secret. “A prince! I can’t believe I’m with a real life prince,” they squealed throughout the night, kicking the phrases back and forth like footballs. At the time, their chorus washed over him, like a soundtrack to his life. The spare was exciting enough for some – particularly Americans. He scrolled through the headlines, searching for the worst as a preparatory strategy.
Sexy Soldier!
Private Prince.
Grainy photos, backlit by a floor lamp, him kneeling in rumpled white sheets. Thank God for those hands he thought, a second time, albeit for completely different reasons. The woman who held his genitals left him a shred of dignity. From Sandhurst to this. His grandfather’s ire would be inescapable. Albert recoiled at the questions that awaited him from his family and the paparazzi. He flung the iPad away and stormed out of the room, winding his way through a series of hallways to the back of the Victoria and Albert hall. Edward ushered him into the back seat of a tinted SUV, murmuring, “I’ll follow.”

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:

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