Monday, April 2, 2012
An update on Royal Dish friends Trine Villemann and Malcolm Brabant.
This news is a few months old, but explains why BBC correspondent Brabant hasn't been seen during all the upheavals in Greece over the last several months. We hope you are feeling better and back to being yourself, Brabsie! What a nightmare for you and your family.
Article: Daily Mail
As for Trine, she's got a new book out in Denmark. "Det var engang en Dronning" (There Once Was a Queen) is a ficticious novel about a dysfunctional royal family. One guess as to which one. Not enough stupid Mary Boganson, but in fairness, that merits it's own book entirely!
Review: Litteratur Siden
Review: Politiken 4 out of 6 hearts!
Monarchy skeletons tumble out of closets in former court reporter's novel
Do you love the Danish royal family?
Totally out there, where you take a day off and stand faithfully with teeth chattering in the courtyard, even when royal birthdays fall in the winter?
You are therefore advised to read Trine Villemann's novel 'There Once Was a Queen.' Illusions will fall like dominoes of gala dresses, tiaras and all the smoking jackets.
Trine Villemann is a former court reporter for Billed Bladet and Extra Bladet, among others. And if just a fraction of the cases she brings to the bookshelf in her fiction novel are rooted in the reality behind Amalienborg's heavy gates, then the monarchy's demise is imminent.
The novel's two parallel stories are woven together with two women's fates in a watershed moment for them both. The Queen of a tiny country is ill with lung cancer.
At its extreme, she takes the train back to memories of her miserable life in a fierce confrontation with the consequences she endured as a result of her position as heir to the throne.
There are not many nice memories in the album. Her marriage to the alcoholic, Italian duke with a taste for minors mingle with warped relationships with the children they dutifully have bred.
The queen and nurse
Another Roman empire crashes with the royal family members' depraved behaviour.
Skeletons tumble out of the drawers and cupboards, as different people show up at the sick bed, and catapult the Queen in orbit around the painful memory fragments.
Fate forced her service in a continuous violation of her own needs and ordinary, sound judgment. With a wasted life, now she wishes only death. Despite this, her imagination is nothing more than a repetition. That her son must necessarily continue where she escapes.
The queen, however unwittingly, is linked to a young female nurse who has previously had a serious love affair with her son, the heir to the throne. After many years the young woman reveals the fruits of the relationship, because the child wants to know his father's identity.
But knowing that the next life will never be the same for her and the boy, she hesitates.
Crown Prince's illegitimate son
It is not a literary heavyweight that Trine Villemann has written. But less can actually do the trick, if the purpose - besides entertainment - is to trump with a hypothesis of the more spectacular.
Villemann pulls a case out of the hat, which has several historical models: Imagine if the Crown Prince had a child out of wedlock and the child was not just his firstborn, but also the only son in his otherwise legitimate flock of children? Who would then be crowned? And would the monarchy ever survive a bourgeois bloodletting?
The thought experiment is interesting, given that it entices readers out of their comfort zone. It also illustrates the razor's edge, today's royal cake figurines move on when they attempt to endow the role as an untouchable monarch with a human face.
Namely, the people demand both. But ideally in a correct dosage, so that the mixing ratio is not tilted in the direction of unpleasant human revelations.
The novel is not primarily a discussion of the constitutional anachronism, the monarchy is in a late modern democracy. This part of the mindset is good enough and simmer snug behind Villemann's actual heart, namely to castigate the golden cage human costs.
One is not left untouched by the Queen's portrait tragedy. Nor can one avoid the considerations intentional piling up at the end of the text: Can be monarchs be people? When the design is not temporally passé long ago? If a dinosaur knees you, in the name of decency and humane reasons should you kill?