Sunday, May 20, 2018

Royal Wedding Fever!

I've been a royalist since I was a child. I grew up in South Africa, at that time the back end of the planet and hopelessly out of touch with the wider world. My German grandmother used to receive shipments of German magazines from abroad, and those magazines were like manna from heaven - a gateway to the larger world. Though the Germans ousted their own royals a century ago, they're passionate royalists, and their magazines are littered with stories of the European royals as well as the British. Poring over those magazines helped me bond with my grandmother, and left me with a life-long passion for royalty.

Yesterday's wedding was the fourth British royal wedding I've watched live. The first was the grand ceremony when the Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer. As it was a school day, my primary school arranged for each class to walk to a neighbouring house to watch the wedding live. I don't remember much of the wedding itself, but I remember being packed into some stranger's living room with all my classmates. Since that was still during the height of apartheid, and the British musicians union was boycotting South Africa, all the music sections of the service were blanked out. Boy am I glad those days are gone!

In a day filled with so many magic moments, it's hard to choose just one, but this one, of the  bride and groom gazing deep into one another's eyes, is what the day was all about for me: magic, romance, love, passion.

Of all the royal weddings I've watched since (which includes a few European ones) yesterday's was particularly special for me. I know a lot of people are saying that, because it was so different, because it felt so intimate and personal, because it felt modern and accessible, but for me it meant more because it's exactly the royal wedding I'd envisioned for the couple in my first contemporary romance novel.

In Waking up in Vegas, European vintner Max and American cocktail waitress Phoenix marry in Vegas, in a quickie wedding complete with Elvis and glitter guns. When she wakes the next day with amnesia, brought on by a mix of sleeping tablets and champagne, Max has a hard time convincing Phoenix to stay married to him. That task gets even more monumental when he unexpectedly inherits the title of Archduke of Westerwald. The last thing Phoenix wants is the responsibility and the attention of being a princess, so she does the one thing she does really well: she runs.

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself married to a prince, and in the centre of all that attention, your life no longer your own?

Since a secret Vegas wedding isn't an option for an Archduke, Max not only has to win back the love of his life, but he also needs to convince her to marry him again - this time in a big, public royal wedding. The wedding I'd choose for them is the one we saw yesterday - family, friends, flowers, a gospel choir singing Stand by Me, followed by a coach ride through quaint streets. Since Phoenix has no family, she too would walk down the aisle alone, holding a simple bouquet, and throughout the ceremony, the bride and groom would hold hands, barely able to take their eyes off each other.
The romance writer in me just couldn't get enough of it!

If you're anything like me, and yesterday's royal wedding just whet your appetite for more, why not give Waking up in Vegas a try - it's the perfect romantic royal read, even if it starts with a most unconventional royal wedding.