Judging by the cover art, one might assume that this is simply a piece of William and Kate fan fiction, which would have been enough for me to pick it up, but after reading only a few pages into the book you can see that it is so much more than that. Written by the dynamic duo behind the hugely popular blog Go Fug Yourself, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, The Royal We follows the love story between American student Rebecca “Bex” Porter and Britain’s future king, Prince Nicholas from their meeting in Oxford and through the trials and tribulations leading up to their impending wedding. It is a wonderfully satirical romp and a touching romance all rolled into one.
The Royal We opens the day before the couple’s royal wedding, but something is amiss and we are left with the troubling proposition that an event so terrible has occurred that it may cause the wedding to be called off entirely. We are then taken back to the beginning to witness how Bex Porter went from being an American exchange student to the possible future Queen of England. Along the way we meet a fascinating cast of extremely well-developed characters such Rebecca’s much more outgoing twin sister, Lacey (hello, Pippa), Nick’s fun-loving, rakish younger brother, Freddie (Harry), and a group of friends so believable that you’ll be ready to grab a pint with them at a local pub. Part of the fun in reading The Royal We is deciphering exactly who certain characters are based on and just how close to the truth those portrayals might actually be. Some, like Lacey and Freddie are fairly obvious, but there are others that only the most dedicated royal watchers will catch. The book is also peppered with inside jokes and references that daily readers of Go Fug Yourself will surely be able to pick up on.
Cocks and Morgan are quick to pull back the opulent curtain of royal life, exposing the dark reality that can sometimes accompany and overshadow the glamour and privilege that royal life entails. In order for Bex and Nick to be together, they must make sacrifices that take them so far away from who they once were that it leaves us, and them, questioning whether their love is worth all of the sacrifice. Questions turn from whether they want be together to should they or can they be together. It also looks at how when a person falls in love with the heir to the throne, they aren’t just marrying the man, they are marrying the institution.
Although it is a breezy novel at heart, The Royal We has its fair share of hard hitting questions which at times causes you to question whether the end result will be that of a fairy tale or a cautionary tale. It is reminiscent of Bridget Jones’ Diary with its charming characters, witty dialogue, and clever plot line that leaves you guessing right up to the end. My only complaint is the ending. The book ends rather abruptly and I felt like it would have been nice to have a bit more. I can’t really explain exactly what I mean without giving away the ending other than to say that I was a bit disappointed that the story didn’t continue for at least a couple more chapters because I would have liked to have seen how the dust settled after the final decisions were made. The way that things ended, however, may have just left open enough room for an eventual sequel (fingers crossed).