I found The Royal We excessively charming, for all that it is — as others have mentioned — Will and Kate Cambridge fanfiction. Every major player in their IRL romance has a direct analog here as far as I can tell (though I don’t truly consider myself an expert) and though our protagonist, Bex, is American, she still comes from money as Kate Middleton did. All of the major events in their romance are covered here, and, cover illustrations aside, even the physical descriptions of the characters are basically on-point for their real-life counterparts. (The notable exception may be the description of Bex’s hair as thin, with the commentary later that she got Palace-mandated extensions, which is particularly amusing if one has the context of knowing how envious the Fug Girls are of Kate Middleton’s eminently shiny, thick hair.)
As yet another someone who is a big fan of the writing and humor on Go Fug Yourself, I’ve read each of Cocks and Morgan’s three books. I thought Spoiled was fine, Messy was an improvement, and, now, this one lands the best of all. Perhaps because it has more adult aspirations, and maybe because it’s a more straightforward romance (which I’m known to like,) The Royal We was so engaging that I finished it in just a few hours.
I was expecting a pretty light read, and overall, it is. I was not expecting how frequently moments of genuine pathos affected me, like SPOILER
when Bex’s father dies, and the grief she feels seemed so articulately accurate that I wondered if either of the authors had recently lost a parent.
Likewise, Bex’s spiraling during her and Nick’s separation was as resonant as it was harsh, without extra histrionics. As much as this is an entirely fictional princess tale, there are some universal descriptors of depression that seep into the darker moments and bring truth to fiction.
While this is Bex and Nick’s story, the side characters, their friends from Oxford, are worth the hat tip, as they are colorful, amusing characters who are admirable in their loyalty to both parties, and whose overwhelming Britishness can even make a thing called “The Glug” sound posh. On the other hand, I never found myself really warming up to Lacey, Bex’s twin sister. Though I can sympathize with the mentality that caused her to act out as she did, I was often frustrated by her oblivious selfishness.
So, what is there that is left to say… not much, I don’t think? I am not sure there is a lot here for people who aren’t already romance/chick-lit (ugh) readers, fans of the Fug Girls, or fans of the British monarchy. Two of the three for me means I liked it a lot.