Review: The Royal We

The Royal We
The Royal We

This was quite possibly the most unexpected, and entertaining read I have had in a very long time. I picked it up on a sale – and had very low expectations, despite all the good reviews. As a royal watcher, I don’t know anything I dislike more than when people write royal fiction a) get things wrong and/or b) set it in an existing country. In short, I was super skeptical.

This is the story that went beyond that for me. It is built on the story of Will and Kate, but with a whole different origin premise in who inherited the throne after Victoria I – and it keeps wobbling back and forth on the backstory of the royal line. What if the heir to the throne falls in love and marries an American?

I laughed, and I cried (several times) during the reading of this. It is so well-written that the pages just fly by, and even though I had planned on going to bed early, I just had to finish it.

In several ways the story was as implausible, but it was sweet and interesting. The book worked for me in a major way, and I can’t wait to reread it.

Summing up January in pictures

January has actually been pretty eventful – even though it may not seem like it here on the blog. We had snow. And freezing cold. And I just curled up under two sets of duvets (both designed for winter) and decided that I might consider hibernating like a bear during this period of year. Then I decided on being social instead. I had a tea party with good friends. Nothing like gathering a bunch of great people together a Thursday evening in January and just doing warm tea  and eating buns with jam and cheese. (When I found myself excusing that I hadn’t made the buns from scratch, but actually bought them, I realised that it may be time to downsize my own expectations a bit. Buying pre-made is not something I need to excuse, ever.)
The electrical work is done. We started tearing off wallpaper in the downstairs bedroom. Still not completely done with that – but just getting started is a huge relief. Not finding anything particularly horrendous behind the three layers of wallpapers was even better. The amount of ease with which the wallpapers came down, cemented my decision that wallpapering another layer on top of the existing ones wouldn’t be a good idea.

The plan is to finish that room before we move on to the next step in the renovation. Use it as a test run.

I have made like a gazillion Pinterest boards for smart things I see for almost every room in the house. I am apparently very into dark floors and white walls, (considering I have limited amount of either at the moment it may be interesting.) window seats and craft storage. Speaking of craft storage – I am really into knitting. These are going to be socks for me. I was really unsure about the yarn on the skein, but knitted out, it just looks so pretty and makes me happy.
 And my Dad turned 60 in the middle of the month. The above is the cake table. (And that is us being restrained.) I made the chocolate cake.

 

King Olav’s grandchildren remember him

It recently was 25 years since King Olav passed away. Almost all of his grandchildren* gathered at Skaugum to share some of their memories of him. NRK has the video here.

It is kind of an awkward video setting, but there are some great stories shared. How he was different with his grandchildren – Haakon and Märtha Louise got treated more formally as they were Prince and Princess, whereas the other grandchildren got to stay in jeans when they visited him. (To the shock of Princess Astrid.) And when they were heading out to a party (after they were confirmed), he would give them a bottle of wine to bring with to the party.

The Ferner siblings had the greatest stories, because they are older than Haakon and Märtha Louise and lived closer than Haakon Lorentzen and Ingeborg Lorentzen. One of them told a story when she was Christmas shopping with King Olav in London (as he would do every year.) and it included a trip to watch Arsenal play. After the match it was seen as a matter of fact that the King (being an honorary member/VIP) would want to visit the team in the dressing room. Only he hadn’t realised what that would involve for his 21 year old granddaughter who was accompanying him, into the dressing room of changing, half-naked/naked football players. It was apparently awkward. (Surely, there is a fiction novel in that premise somewhere…)

Also when Queen Elizabeth II visited, Haakon and Märtha Louise had to attend the luncheon, but the other children/teens didn’t. They were scheduled to meet her, but the lunch was delayed, so they were stuck in the hallway and played dressing up with The Queen’s coat, hat and shoes. They were not discovered by the Queen.

I recommend watching, if you can, even if you don’t speak Norwegian, because the interaction between the cousins is really nice.

Subtitles with Google Translate: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Ftv.nrk.no%2Fprogram%2FNNFA41001516%2Fvaar-bestefar-kong-olav&edit-text=&act=url

* Ragnhild Lorentzen Long was not present.