My first insight of royal weddings was, like many people, courtesy of fairy tales. I grew up reading Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, and always had a soft spot for Sleeping Beauty. It wasn’t the idea of a heroine rendered somewhat powerless, though, so much as the villainy of the evil fairy, and the idea of our fate being predestined, that caught my attention. The concept of a curse, laid at birth, is just so menacing, and the parents’ desire to outsmart the curse by ridding the kingdom of spinning wheels speaks of such love – it’s hard not to find that compelling. With a growing sense of dread throughout the story, there’s such a delightful relief when the princess gets her happy ending – all of which is expressed with an ‘all the trimmings’ royal wedding. Of course! Nothing makes us happier than knowing all is right in the kingdom – and what better way to show that than with a glorious, fancy-pants party?
Fairy tales though were just the entrée. My love affair with real life, bonafide royal weddings began in earnest in 2004, when Australia’s Mary Donaldson married the Prince of Denmark. Their wedding had everything you could hope for – but it was simply the icing on the cake of a love story that captured the world’s imagination. There was so much glamour it hurt. Those hats! The dress! The flowers! Her train! And let’s not even talk about the army of adorable and miraculously well-behaved little girls and boys who brought more than their fair share of ‘awww’ to the occasion. If you have a spare hour and want to lose yourself to the day, here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RVIEF8jveY
Mary was a commoner, with the couple meeting in a pub, and therein lay a promise that every little girl could become a princess. Don’t get me wrong, I think the actual job would be a lot of work (so much publicity that no amount of lovely dresses could compensate for!) but the idea is nonetheless a romantic one, and I guess that’s what I love most about royal weddings – particularly with our recent examples, which show royals finding their true loves from anywhere but the aristocratic set.
What I really love to show when I’m writing royal-set romances is the normality behind the pomp. A nervous bride on her wedding day, the dress fittings, the choosing of a tiara (from, naturally, dozens of gorgeous specimens), discovering how to cope with the tabloid press, the steep learning curve that someone must go through when adapting to that way of life, and most importantly, the true connection between a hero and heroine.
Royal weddings are the ultimate fantasy and thanks to romance novels, we get to live that fantasy out time and time again!