Veronica Cline Barton
Why I Decided to Use Faux Royal Characters in My Books Instead of Real Royal Family Members—th
Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud American Anglophile living in California who is in love with all things royal. While in London last spring, I happened to be at the Buckingham Palace gates when the queen drove in, she and Prince Philip waving and smiling at the crowds. I was able to take a video of them as I giggled like a schoolgirl, and promptly ran to the Buckingham Palace gift shop and bought everything in sight labeled ER 🙂
In the My American Almost Royal Cousin Series books, I have royal characters who have prominent roles in the various evil doing, murder and romance events in the stories. I made the decision to consciously fictionalize (Thank you Gwyneth Paltrow) the royal characters in my stories out of respect for the living members who have every detail of their lives made public. I figured they didn’t really need to be featured in my books, they have enough on their hands with the upcoming royal weddings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Princess Eugenie, and the upcoming births of the royal babies to Prince William and Duchess Catherine, and royal cousin Zara.
The reality is I simply can’t keep up to date with the real royals and I admittedly do not know them. In my books, I need characters in my story that I do know, so that they can speak and participate in the stories without being tethered by any reality shackles. I also have to admit in today’s litigious society, I do not want to step on any legal toes either. I’d rather face the guillotine than mess with an attorney over any legal breaches thank you.
So with my faux royal decision, I began to re-write the British royal family members and their history starting in the 1930s to better fit in my storylines without ruffling too many royal feathers (I hope). I try and follow all the title and etiquette rules for the positions and titles (including the aristocratic titles and peerages) but I will disclose upfront that I am sure there will be mistakes made by this American royal neophyte (faux royal or not).
My faux royals include Queen Annelyce and her Prince Consort husband, Prince Thaddeus. Faux Queen Annelyce inherited her title as queen when her cousin, Joseph, Prince of Kingwood, abdicated the throne to marry his true love, a many times divorced woman of his dreams, actress Sophie Jenkins. Upon abdication, Prince Joseph, who was now a Duke, joined his wife travelling the world as the Dancing Duchies, and lived happily ever after, so forth and so on.
Queen Annelyce’s mother, Queen Regent Eugenie, was a close friend of the famous Aunt Pippa in my books, the woman who gave up her American roots to bring the Lancaster British and American family factions together, and put her enormous inheritance into the Cherrywood Hall estate. Pippa and the faux queen regent became quite close after their husbands passed, and the friendship between the lady faux royals and the Lancaster women continues to be close to this today in my stories. The friendship is real.
You’ll read about other faux HRHs, dukes and duchesses, handsome single princes, and favorite nieces of the faux royals, and you’ll probably even be able to guess in some cases who may have inspired their creation 🙂 I’ve tried to take the high road when the faux royals grace the events in the books–I don’t allow any disparagements or derogatory snipes on my pages, it wouldn’t be proper. What the faux royals may not know however, is that since they are fictional, they may be subjected to an occasional murder or two given that they rule and reside in the pages of a cozy British mystery book. It’s a bit dangerous living in the land of the cozy mystery…
So I hope that my inevitable royal nomenclature, protocols, titles and behavior mishaps and faux pas won’t be too outrageous to my readers. I ask for royal forgiveness in advance 🙂 Queen Anneylyce would approve, so I’ve been told.
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. I have become infatuated with all things crown and have become quite the collector. Crown rings, tea towels (yes I have bought two Harry and Meghan royal nuptial tea towels to date), fairy lights with crowns, slippers, and yes, I do have a crown. Faux of course, those crowns are heavy!