The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

As soon as I heard about The Royal We, I knew I wanted to read it. I submitted a request through the library network, and it arrived quickly. I started to read, and I was enjoying myself so much that I decided to use an Audible credit to purchase the audiobook version.

The Royal We is a collaborative effort from Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, the women behind the fashion blog Go Fug Yourself. This is the story of Rebecca Porter, who is preparing for her wedding to Prince Nicholas at the beginning of the book. There is an official biography, but Bex assures us that it is highly inaccurate. She then proceeds to tell the reader the real story behind the courtship. Seven years ago, Bex was an American college student spending a semester abroad at Oxford University. She ends up living on the same hall as Prince Nicholas, third in line to the British throne. They bond over a weird American soap opera and American junk food, and they fall in love, even though neither of them intended for that to happen. Their relationship is often tumultuous, and involves an ensemble cast of characters including Bex’s twin sister Lacey, Nick’s wild brother Freddie, stuffy aristocrat Lady Bea, and more.

The Royal We is gossipy and fun. This was a book that I enjoyed listening to; I was always anxious about what was going to happen next. The Royal We is both an homage to Prince William and Kate, and a satire of our collective obsession with the British Royal Family. The authors have slyly changed identifying details slightly, while maintaining enough of the truth for the reader to recognize and appreciate. The Porter family’s wealth comes from a hybrid couch mini-fridge, something that is shocking and gauche to the British public. Bex’s sister Lacey, not wanting to be left out of the fun, comes to England to soak up some of the attention that Bex is receiving. The girls become known as the “Ivy League”, a nod to their alma mater Cornell, and that they are social climbers. Lacey is delighted by this, even after Bex glumly points out that it is NOT a compliment.

The Royal We captures the pain and angst of going from obscurity to being thrust into the public eye. Much of the stress on Bex and Nick’s relationship stems from it never being a good time for their relationship to go public and official. This doesn’t stop the press from speculating, and the paparazzi are relentless. On a more poignant note, The Royal We explores the toll that life in the public eye has taken on Nick and Freddie’s mother Emma.

I especially enjoyed that even the minor characters are complex. There is no denying that they are all there to fill a specific role, but they all have their own motivations, and they change over the course of the novel. At times, the minor characters and their subplots are more interesting than the main story.

I would absolutely recommend The Royal We. If you are delighted by the birth of Princess Charlotte and young Prince George’s antics, then you will definitely enjoy The Royal We. This is a fun book, and I hope there’s a sequel- Bex and Nick need some babies!

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