Monday, June 4, 2012

Princes and Princesses

It's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - the perfect excuse for a royalty based blog post. And I have a question. Is Royalty Romance live or dead?

Royalty Romance. The reluctant prince, the princess in trouble. Unexpected heir to the throne, conceived in a moment where the prince dallies with a commoner, without revealing his royal pedigree...

So - back to the question. Alive or dead?

Here's my pros:
First, because I love location, there's the opportunity to create a country, because it's impossible to use a real one.... the typical royalty romance kingdom is hot (that's a must for me, anyway) and beautiful. The writer and reader alike can be sucked in to this mysterious kingdom and it's people.

Second, a royal price or princess have a strong inner conflict - after all, being royal brings with it its own challenges, and we've seen those again and again. Everyone can identify with how tedious it is to be a reluctant heir to the throne, constrained by duty and honor. Or be:
1. Forced into a marriage of convenience with another royal (for the sake of the country)
2. Not allowed to do things commoners can (like go out into the world) due to being controlled by a bossy King.

Third, there's usually an easy excuse for flashing lots of cash around, lots of private jets, beautiful homes, sparkling jewels, and excellent clothes.

Here's the cons:
First - predictability. If we're dealing with a prince, we know that however he starts, returning to lead his country is going to be in there somewhere. And princesses always get there own way, so although there may be problems along the way, it can be pretty much guaranteed that she'll get her HEA.

Second - unreality. In life, princes and princesses in Europe can do what they like, mostly. In real life, there are princesses who have run away to the circus - had multiple affairs, and married who they like without constraint.

Thirdly - country building. With a completely fictious country it can be difficult to see how that country fits in to the world. Is Starnovia part of Europe? If so, is it in the Eurozone, and how is it coping with the financial meltdown of the Euro? If it's in Europe and this isn't an issue, are we totally in fantasyland?

My answer to the question posed at the top, is that I think Royalty Romances struggle today because the fairytale princes and princesses of yesteryear don't really exist any more, and so there has to be a suspension of disbelief in order to really be sucked into the story. In the same way that marriage of convenience plotlines can be dated, as there are so many other options than a forced marriage available today, that they can seem contrived.

What's your take? I'm ready to be contradicted!!


Romy Sommer said...

Great post, Sally. I really hope royalty romances are not dead, since I adore them. (Not that I've read one in a while).

I also wrote one that I'd like to re-visit sometime, so I really hope there's renewed interest in royalty what with Jubilees and royal weddings.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yes, you did make some good points! I do love royal romances but the storylines can be a little difficult for authors to tackle today.

Lacey Devlin said...

I love a good royal romance, but I have to admit I avoid writing them :).

Great post, Sally!

Kerrin said...

I always love a royalty story! I'm currently trying to write one and yes that involves the country building, but it's fun doing the research, and even if it's just me that gets the end result - i love it!

RLA said...

I seem to be the odd one out here in that royalty romances are not really my thing - don't get me wrong I do read them, they are just not my fave kind.

But I'm all for aspirational stories, after all I do love Presents most of all, and you can't get more aspirational than royalty!

Great post.