WIP Me Inspired: SA Gordon
When Prince Harry visited Australia in October 2013, his presence provided me with the inspirational spark for a novel that would be called The Prince and which will be published just over one year after that visit, on 25 November 2014.
Watching television coverage of Harry as he greeted crowds and went about his duties, I started to ponder what it must be like for him trying to find a woman who would be prepared to take on this life with him, the way his brother, Prince William, found his Catherine. I recalled an interview with Harry in which he talked about how he needed to find someone who was prepared to take on ‘the job’ of being his wife. And I also thought about the princes’ mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and how she had struggled with so many aspects of royal life, even though she was more aware of how the court worked than many of the women Harry has met and will meet.
Royal life seems glamorous from the outside – and Harry’s life is certainly more carefree than William’s – but marrying into a royal family still means marrying into a job for life, as it has done for Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. So no matter how handsome the prince, and how luxurious the lifestyle, anyone who wants to have a relationship – let alone marriage – with a prince has a lot to think about, and potentially a lot to sacrifice.
In The Prince, an ordinary American girl named Caitlin happens to meet a very handsome English prince named David. David is the middle of three children. He has a younger sister, Margaret, and his older sister, Alexandra, will inherit the throne – just as Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will inherit her country’s throne.
The Prince is a love story, of course, but it’s also a story about what we’re prepared to give up for love. What are the risks and what are the rewards of loving a prince? Can the love of one man, no matter how wonderful he is, ever make up for the sacrifices that might ensue?
These questions also apply – but in an even more amplified way – to Alexandra, who is the subject of my WIP, The Queen. The core theme of this novel is: When you’re the most famous woman in the world, how do you find a boyfriend? Alix – as she is known to her family (and royal watchers will also note that this was the nickname given to Queen Alexandra, the consort of King Edward VII) – is close to her brother and sister, but being the monarch isolates her from pretty much everyone else. How can she even meet someone suitable, let alone date him? The men she sees most regularly are her personal protection officers, and she’s hardly allowed to date them … not that Alix has necessarily ever stuck completely to the rules.
At least the PPOs are trustworthy. The same probably can’t be said for the billionaires, the sportsmen and the rogue foreign royals who all fancy becoming the consort of the Queen of the United Kingdom but who are hardly made of the right stuff to reign beside Alix. Crown Princess Victoria met her husband, Prince Daniel, because he was her personal trainer. I’ll have to wait and see who ends up winning Alix’s heart …
The Prince: The Young Royals 1 will be published by Momentum on 25 November 2014.