Timing is everything right?! With news breaking today of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement, we just HAD to speak with Rachel Hawkins, author of the upcoming and now super timely Royals, about everything Hazza’n’Megs and why she is your go-to royal expert.
Today we got news of a royal engagement! Rachel, your upcoming book Royals is ALL about a royal engagement. Tell us the truth, did you speak with Harry?
Rachel: I can neither confirm nor deny this conversation due to a non-disclosure agreement and some vague threats involving attack corgis. HOWEVER, if I DID speak with Harry, I feel I would have used such terms as “lock it down, dude,” and “the cross-promotion opportunities,” and “is the fascinator in my Twitter profile pic too much?”
How much research went into creating your royals and what special planning does a royal engagement take?
Rachel: A LOT, but luckily I live for that kind of thing. One of the fun things with ROYALS was that I invented my own royal family, giving Scotland back a separate monarchy, and that meant I could use some stuff from the British royal family, but also invent my own thing. I felt like the Scots might be a liiiiitttllle more laid-back than their English cousins, but a royal engagement is still QUITE the production. Depending on where you are in the line of succession, you have to get permission from the monarch, plus the royal schedule is always pretty tightly packed, so finding the right time is a beast. And all that has to be locked in or close to it before you can announce the engagement which has to make your wedding feel kind of like a rocket launch.
Give us a sneak peek, is there a Harry-esque character in your novel? A William? A Kate?
Rachel: Prince Sebastian, Prince Alexander’s younger brother, is definitely very Harry-esque. Well, Harry in his younger days when he was causing scandal in Vegas and all that. Alexander and Ellie aren’t quite William and Kate, but they’re definitely a little more staid and steady than the younger royals in the book which makes them feel a bit like Bill and Cathy Cambridge, although Alex still has all his hair (I’M SORRY, WILLS, BUT FACTS ARE FACTS.)
From your understanding how many hoops did Meghan have to jump through before the engagement was official and does your character have to go through similar hurdles?
Rachel: One of the interesting things about Meghan is that she is just whirlwinding it through those hoops! Today was the first time she’s actually been presented to the British public, which is WILD. Usually there’s a gradual acclimation, but Harry was clearly all, “This is my lady, everyone DEAL,” which I am so here for. My characters would definitely be jealous because OH THE HOOPS. Daisy, my main character, is definitely put through her paces- races, tea with the Queen, a ball, a shooting weekend…and she’s not even marrying the prince!
What’s the most challenging thing about royal wedding for your characters?
Rachel: When to curtsy, what hat to choose, not saying The Swears, who gets a “your grace,” versus a, “my lord,” and where do you even FIND the bathrooms in a cathedral?
An American marrying a British Prince – just like in your book!? Do you know the future?
Rachel: Again, cannot confirm, but talk to me later, I have some lotto numbers y’all might be interested in.
Were there any actual royal weddings that inspired Royals?
Rachel: I came up with the idea while watching William and Kate get married at 4AM back in 2011. Drinking my tea, eating the (terrible) scone I had baked, looking at Pippa and thinking, “I want a book about a girl who gets famous because her sister marries a prince.” And as anyone knows, sometimes when you want a book, you just have to write it yourself, so 7 years later (ugh, books take so long), we have come FULL CIRCLE, and I love it. Hazza, you have done me a solid, good sir.
Can’t wait to read Royals? Pre-order your copy before it comes out May 1, 2018!
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.
While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.