Hobnob with the Queen and Enjoy A Proper Cuppa with 'The Royal We'

Hobnob with the Queen and Enjoy A Proper Cuppa with 'The Royal We'

Friday, 11 October, 2019

The right book can instantly transport you to anywhere — and anytime — in the world. Every Friday, we recommend one of our favorite books with a strong sense of place so you can see the sights, meet remarkable people, go on exciting adventures, and feel big feelings. Bonus: You don't even have to put on pants.

This post is part of our 'Weekend Getaway' series.

rule

This weekend, we recommend a getaway to Oxford University and Kensington Palace with The Royal We. You just might fall in love with a prince. And learn a proper curtsy. And be mobbed by paparazzi. And find yourself joining the royal family.

Rebecca Porter, a.k.a. Bex has her feet firmly planted on the ground. She’s American, neither overly romantic nor glamorous; she loves junk food and beer; and she’s got the brains to have landed herself at Oxford University.

But then her equilibrium is interrupted by Nick, the dude down the hall… because Nick, the dude down the hall, is also Prince Nicholas, future king. He’s intelligent, charismatic, funny — and he’s about to upend her entire world.

This is sort of an alternate reality version of everyone’s favorite royals, William and Kate, or Harry and Meghan. And while it could easily have fallen into romantic comedy clichés, it 100% does not. This is an unflinching look at how damn hard it would be to fall in love with someone, like the Princes, who wear such a heavy crown of responsibility and expectation.

people walking in front of Buckingham Palace
Photo courtesy of Debbie Fan

Buoyant and fizzy as champagne on the surface, this novel also packs a wallop of genuine emotion and turns an unflinching glare on the sordid side of modern media. It brings to painful light the endless grasping of the paparazzi, the 24-hour news cycle that delights in tearing down the very people it built up a day ago, and the strain that scrutiny puts on the real live people caught in the maelstrom.

As you might expect, there are plenty of bubbly, exhilarating, and — yes — romantic moments as Bex is inducted into the world of royalty, but they play out in a way that shows just how multi-faceted the situation would be.

There are also humorous, fish-out-of-water incidents that feel authentic and some teary scenes as Bex and Nick fight to protect their relationship in the face of the biting British tabloids, back-stabbing frenemies, and the burden of family ties. Forget that stiff upper lip stuff — there’s plenty of genuine emotion.

Just when you think you know where the story is going, there are plot developments and surprises to remind you that people are unpredictable and complex — even if you’ve seen their faces and heard their voices a thousand times before.

I don’t know why it takes something monumentally destructive to remind you what you want to save. — Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

The Royal We

by Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan

This romantic comedy (496 pages) was published in September of 2015 by Thorndike Press. The book takes you to the University of Oxford and getaways with the royal family. read The Royal We and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if didn't recommend it.

The Royal We

 

Top image courtesy of Archives New Zealand.

Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!

keep reading

This weekend, we recommend a getaway to Victorian England. Meet a lady lepidopterist, celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, and — oh, dear! — get caught up in villainy, kidnap, and a little murder.
Daunt Books Marylebone is like Strong Sense of Place became sentient and took up residence in an Edwardian bookshop. Its collection of curated books, stained glass window, reading nooks make it a must-visit bookshop.
Our heroine Jane Eyre is much put-upon, but during her first day at Lowood School, the harsh privations of the place are tempered by the kindness of a teacher named Miss Temple and her secret stash of seed-cake.

sharing is caring!

Wanna help us spread the word? If you like this page, please share with your friends.

comments!
our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas 2020!

This 30-page 2020 Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is © 2019 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.