Mar 24 2014 9:05am

Reckless Royal Rogues: Real-Life Royals Behaving Badly

Recklessly Royal by Nichole ChaseToday H&H is pleased to welcome author Nichole Chase. Nichole's latest book, Recklessly Royal, is the second in her Royal Series, and pairs a perfect princess with a man who is perfect—for her. Nichole knows, however, that many royals are far from perfect—and offers a few examples of some reckless and royal types. Thanks, Nichole!

“Off with his…er…pants!”

Royal families have been around for a long, long time. And from the first of the royals, there have been royals behaving badly. Some of them were downright frightening, others were silly, and the rest just tried to ignore the crazy cousins.

If you’re going to talk about royals behaving badly, you have to start with one of the most well-known. Henry VIII is by far one of the most infamous and naughty of the royals. When he wanted something, no one, not even the Pope was going to stand in his way. He created his own church just so he could divorce a woman and marry another—and later had the new wife beheaded! Oh, and the next wife lost her head as well. And the wife he divorced so he could marry Anne Boleyn? He divorced her because she was ugly. Yep. That was his honest reason. Thank goodness she escaped before he turned so bloodthirsty!

That guy divorced someone because he thought she was ugly. Too bad he didn’t look like the actor (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) that portrayed him in The Tudors.

(Jonathan sure does add a certain amount of man-candy to the historic show!)

Modern-day royals are just as likely to cut loose—maybe a little too loose considering that everyone and their mother and grandmother has a cell phone equipped with a camera. And one of the most well-known royals to be caught without his pants… or anything else… is Prince Harry. When you’re a royal, what happens in Vegas just isn’t going to stay in Vegas. But, maybe that’s why we love him so much. He’s a little wild and crazy, but what guy his age isn’t up for a game of strip poker (or strip billiards in this case)? The thing about Harry is that he not only plays hard, but works hard too. Maybe that’s why much of the public tends to forgive his shenanigans. Well, except for his dear grandmum. I bet that was an uncomfortable conversation as she peered over pictures of her naked grandson…

Of course, it’s not only British royals that misbehave. There is a plethora of other royal families in Europe and even in Japan. They all have their share of illegitimate children, racy affairs, saucy children, and dark secrets.

The Spanish royal family is currently dealing with tax fraud. Not to mention one of the younger princes shot himself in the foot (OW!)… which was only made worse by the fact that no one under the age of fourteen is legally allowed to handle a fire arm. (Ouch.)

It’s no wonder that so many writers enjoy writing about royals misbehaving. There is plenty of fodder for our imaginations. There is something equally enthralling about how their bad decisions can affect the world and our history. The thing is, they are people, just like you and I. Only the have parliaments, media, and the public watching their every move. The money, the pomp, and extras that come with the title have a cost. It makes for dynamic characters and dramatic tension.

There are tons of historical romances where the Duke, Earl, or Lord decides to forget the world’s expectations and to take the bride that he wants. There is something swoon-worthy about bucking tradition for love.

There are even modern day fairytales where the royals cut loose. Or maybe a president’s daughter? Not exactly a princess, but as close as it comes in the United States. They defy the rules to live a little, break out of their carefully maintained schedules and routines to experience the real world.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of Recklessly Royal by Nichole Chase, available March 25, 2014:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Indiebound



Nichole Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Suddenly Royal and Recklessly Royal. She lives in Georgia with her husband, toddler, superhero dog, Sulcata tortoise, and two cats. When not devouring novels by the dozens, you can find her writing, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.

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Lynne Connolly
1. Lynne Connolly
While I know this is done lightly, I really hate it when one of my favorite monarchs, Henry VIII, is disparaged in this way!
Not an autocrat, didn't create the Church of England just so that he could marry Anne Boleyn (he desperately needed an heir, though, it was either that or civil war, and his wife's nephew was controlling the pope at the time), was a perceptive connoisseur, tall, red-blond and blue-gray eyes, so anyone less like Rhys-Meyers is hard to imagine! He divorced Katherine of Aragon because she'd gone through the menopause and hadn't produced an heir. He didn't behead the next one - that was Jane Seymour who died in childbirth. The one after that, they divorced with mutual consent. The one after that he beheaded, because she committed adultery, which was treason (she really did, she never denied it).
But nice article, and I loved the rest of the comments. For kings behaving badly, try George IV, the Prince Regent. The fashion was for pants so tight you could tell if they were circumsized or not!
And for today - the Monaco royal family are pretty wild.
A shame Prince Harry looks so much like his father!
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
If anybody wrote a king in fiction like Henry VIII, readers would talk about how unbelievable it was. I felt bad for Harry during his Vegas escapade--many young men at that age do stupid things, but they don't have to worry about said stupid things making gossip columns worldwide.
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