ROYAL ROMANCES: Titillating Tales of Passion and Power in the Palaces of Europe is the fourth book in my “royal” nonfiction series for NAL. After writing ROYAL PAINS, the third volume in the series, which focuses on royals behaving very badly, I wanted to shift my focus to some happily-ever-after stories, although, admittedly, some of the relationships that I profile in ROYAL ROMANCES focused on extramarital affairs where the royal spouse wasn’t exactly thrilled about the liaison.
This book differs somewhat from the first book in the series, ROYAL AFFAIRS, in that ROYAL ROMANCES focuses on happy and successful royal marriages as well as on long-term love affairs (rather than the objects of fleeting desire), where the paramours are truly the Grand Passions of the royals, the men or women the sovereigns or princes might have chosen for a spouse, had they been able to marry for love.
The final two chapters in ROYAL ROMANCES do indeed focus on the rare occasions when a royal did indeed choose his spouse, a woman who clearly was (and in the case of Prince William and the former Catherine Middleton, the current Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) still is the love of his life. The penultimate chapter focuses on William’s great grandfather George VI (the royal stammerer of “The King’s Speech”) and the venerated “Queen Mum,” who were about as symbiotic a couple as royals can get. Each relied upon the other to a tremendous extent, and the chemistry between them transcended their already mutual physical attraction, incorporating an equally mutual respect for each other’s intellect and judgment, poise and excellent taste.
The royals and their spouses or lovers who had the full package: looks, brains, wit, breeding, sympathy and empathy, and compassion as well as passion, are the people of ROYAL ROMANCES. It’s a book full of secret marriages, clandestine affairs, and wedded bliss. And who doesn’t love a good love story, especially when it’s clipped from the pages of history and involves generations of royalty—those glittering and glamorous personalities who never fail to capture our imaginations?