Saturday, 30 April 2011

HRH Robyn of Fantasia

Beneath the veneer of bitterness and sarcasm that makes up my outer shell lurks a shameless romantic and starry-eyed believer in happy endings. As a little girl, I not only wanted to be a princess but couldn’t quite imagine any other fate befalling my adult life. I wasn’t entirely sure which princes were available to me, nor did I have a particular preference either way (I was nothing if not pragmatic; it’s good to keep one’s options open) but I spent hours practicing my royal wave and drew up several versions of the speech I would give to my loyal subjects. As I carefully sketched out a selection of wedding gowns with ever-increasing petticoats, my dress swung from mildly spectacular to necessitating its own postcode.

I understood that the road to my future royal happiness would not be easy. I knew I would find myself enduring complications including enchantments, battles, evil step-relations and the occasional power-hungry sorcerer. I was prepared for this. Not for nothing had I scrutinised my Disney videos, bumper book of Hans Christian Anderson fairytales and focused with rapt attention upon the occasional cheerful interlude from the Brothers Grimm. My English teacher had long noted my overactive imagination (positively or negatively, depending on whether it was me or my parents interpreting the carefully-worded reports) and I put it to good use creating scenarios in which my prince and I would meet and fall in love, usually instantaneously. The general chit-chat of courtship was skimmed over, the practicalities brushed aside; nasty bits like kissing and stuff were inevitably brief. The dress, flowers, bridesmaids, global media attention . . . the happily ever after . . . these were the focus of my daydreams.

It took me the best part of two decades to appreciate that these dreams and aspirations were, perhaps, a little on the unrealistic side. Princesses don’t generally swear or do tequila body shots. They wear beige twinsets and nude kitten heels, not turquoise ballet pumps with purple tights. It’s not common for them to do a Sunday morning walk of shame through Clapham Junction whilst smeared in gold glitter. They can’t spend a week at Glastonbury or take the tube. They aren’t allowed to dance on a table or go skinny-dipping or flash their bra (deliberately or otherwise). The more I thought about it, the more I realised that actually, I wouldn’t make a particularly good princess. It’s hard work to be married to a prince; far harder than we romantics might ever imagine, especially if you’re what my mother kindly terms “eccentric”. It’ll be a tough man who ever asks me to marry him, should that mystical day arrive . . . a tough man with a character to match my own and ideally without a thousand years of family tradition to which he expects me to adapt.

And then I saw the wedding. And Kate looked so beautiful . . . and Wills so happy . . . and they still managed a cheeky smile and a wedding car bedecked with balloons and cans . . . and above all, a commoner marrying a prince. And suddenly, it was as if the long and painfully-installed understanding of reality was wiped from my joyful, idealistic, romance-saturated, utterly besotted mind. I’m pretty sure the only way this story will end is with me tying the knot to a member of royalty, dressed in an Alexander McQueen frock (or possibly Vivienne Westwood; equally British, after all, but a little heavier on the ribbons and sequins). Yup, it turns out it’s not so unrealistic a fantasy after all.

Plus, I’m pretty sure Harry doesn’t have a problem with party girls.

Anyone fancy a trip to Boujis?

1 comment:

  1. Robyn, I had similar musings as a youngster, but I was a little more ambitious - I had worked out how to become the Queen of England. What would happen is I'd be orphaned somehow, a terrible accident or something I imagine, and would get a job as a cleaner at the 'Queen's house' (I didn't embellish too much on where I thought this was), and then she would become so fond of me that she would adopt me. Soon after she'd pop her clogs and the job would be complete! I was the Queen! Woop! Queen Laura of Liverpool!