Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot is the latest instalment in The Princess Diaries series and is aimed at adults who grew up reading and loving the adventures of the main character, Mia, an ordinary teenage girl who turned out to be the heir to the Genovian throne.
In Royal Wedding, Mia is all grown up at 26, and still madly in love with her childhood crush, Michael. Mia and Michael’s romance is decidedly adult, which makes this book unsuitable for younger readers. (Mia’s favourite game is playing ‘Fireman’ with Michael). I expect my teenage nieces would enjoy The Princess Diaries books, but I wouldn’t want them to follow up with Royal Wedding for a few years yet.
Mia is now a fully fledged Princess, with plenty of royal duties to keep her busy. The paparazzi make her life a living hell, constantly rating her popularity on a Royal Rating website. The story is told via Mia’s journal, which she writes as a way of managing her stress.
Mia’s grandmother, Princess Clarisse, is a heavy drinking, smoking, manipulative, strong-willed tyrant. I can’t remember if I ever read The Princess Diaries, but I certainly watched the movie of the same name which starred Julie Andrews as Princess Clarisse, and Julie Andrews’ version of Princess Clarisse, although stern, was kind and loving. I could not reconcile Princess Clarisse’s character in Royal Wedding with my memory of Julie Andrews in the movie role.
Most of the characters from The Princess Diaries feature in Royal Wedding, Lily, Mia’s best friend from school and Michael’s sister, is studying to become a lawyer, Tina is about to finish medical school, Mia’s mother is now a widow and a single parent to 12 year old Rocky, Mia’s half-brother. Mia’s father, Prince Phillipe Renaldo, continues to get his name in the papers for all of the wrong reasons.
I didn’t love Royal Wedding, but I have a feeling that Honey-Bunny, who was a teenager when The Princess Diaries was published, and grew up reading the subsequent books in the series, is Royal Wedding‘s target audience, will love this book.