Cromwell Castle Throne Room
I had lived a fair share of the 22 years of my young life out on stages, be it actual stages in the true sense of the meaning, performing alone or with one of my famous relatives; or just the stage of life as the daughter and granddaughter of celebrities with the media and fans always watching every step my family and I took, secretly hoping we’d stumble.
Today was September the 9th. 9-9-22
A day that would forever go down in history, recorded for all eternity as the day of the royal wedding of Crown Prince Maximilian to a former commoner, who was now a Princess following the ceremony earlier today in the royal throne room. Yes, it was official now. I was a real-life princess. Gasp. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around it yet either.
Mom and dad were there, bursting with pride, of course Nick and Adrianna, but also Rohan and Bianca. None of the Vampire kind of my family would attend either my elevation into royalty status nor the wedding or the large celebration party afterwards, since the royal house did not and would not take any official stance on that still very controversial topic of Vampires. Yes, after all those decades since my great-great-grandmother Maeve had made their existence undeniable in her very own way, they were still a very hot topic for politics and with the mortal citizens the world over. Along with the apparent majority of people, who believed the statements or knew that most Vampires adhered to a very strict honor codex, there was a lot of opposition, screaming for all Vampires to be eradicated as unpredictable threats to humankind. So, as awful as it may seem to not invite them, my Vampire relatives all understood the reasoning and agreed. A lot of my mortal family wasn’t going to be there either.
It would have been a logistical nightmare trying to invite absolutely every family member on my side. Let’s just say our family tree was more a forest by now. Nobody attended everyone’s weddings anymore, only those who were closest to each other.
Among only a small circle of closest family, friends and some of the royals’ peers it happened. His Majesty the King told me – winking and smiling, so I don’t know how much of this is truth and how much his sense of humor – that Her Majesty the Queen had been on him about it for a long while, because supposedly, the tiara she had chosen would go sublimely with my wedding gown. Well, true or not, she was right. It DID! Went extremely well with my ego too. A princess. Wow.
This was unprecedented, usually, your status might change after the wedding, or it may not, then again, much of what His Majesty, King Frederick had implemented during his reign were firsts, he was a great King, a very progressive leader, and I am very relieved to report also a pretty awesome future father-in-law. He had a great sense of humor, and was genuinely kind, his love for his wife and children was real and reminded me of my own family, which made being so far away from them a lot easier. Her Majesty Queen Margaret was such a soft-spoken, kind and quiet person. So calming when things had gotten too overwhelming for me, learning all the royal etiquette mixed with homesickness. Even after all this time, jury was still out on Max’s younger siblings. They were still polite, but just as aloof as they had been when we met. Princess Genevieve had turned 18, meaning she now could attend all big events and she was just itching for a husband. I kid you not! So weird to me. Currently she had her eyes on some Italian guy, not my type at all, then again, didn’t have to be. Prince Leopold was now 13 and I don’t even know how he spend most of his time. The royal palace wasn’t exactly small, and I had my plate plenty full.
St. Michael's Cathedral
Fast forward a little and here I am at the ancient and impressive St. Michael’s Cathedral on shaky legs at the arm of my dad Liam, both of us looking down a seemingly never-ending aisle to where somewhere in the far distance I see Max waiting for me looking incredible in his full royal garb with the crown he and his family only wear on very rare and very special occasions. Like our wedding.
Man, I had gone out before large audiences before, but this was too much. I told daddy so, he just squeezed my hand in with his arm as if trying to prevent me from pulling it out and running for it, kissed my forehead, then chuckled.
“AG, relax. I am gonna put that veil over your face now anyway and you won’t see those people anymore.”
“Dad! The veil is transparent! I can still see EVERYONE!”
“Well, then pretend they can’t see you. Like a magic veil.”
“Dad – I am 22 not 2!”
“Then act like it, your Royal Highness! You are now a princess, marrying a prince, of course there are people watching! There will always be people watching now. More so than ever, you know, because of your mom, THAT got old fast for me with the paparazzi and fans every turn we take, still today, and I still hate it, but take it from me, you can get used to anything if you love the other enough. I love your mother, your brother – and I love you, my little princess, more than you will ever know. You’re a Cameron, even if your name changes after today, you will always be a Cameron. Camerons face problems and fears head on, we don’t chicken out. You got this.”
With that he tenderly kissed my forehead, I smiled bravely at him as he carefully draped the veil over my face and on we went, down that endless aisle, me with pudding knees and a death grip on dad’s arm.
Finally, we reached Max, seeing his eyes well up with emotions made my heart jump and made me want to run to him and snuggle him. I didn’t, obviously. This new life fate and I had chosen for me wasn’t going to be easy, so much was already clear as day, I disliked being so disconnected from my parents and brother, but I loved this man who was about to be my husband more than I could say. My prince. In more than one way.
With an elegant motion dad lifted my veil, careful not to get it stuck to my royal tiara, which took us a lot of practice runs earlier in the dressing room to perfect, then he handed me over to Max, after giving him a brief hug, which dad wasn’t supposed to do because of rank and respect, but dad is my dad and Max was more than eager to hug him too and that’s that. A few words were exchanged between two of the most important men in my life, dad smiled at me with that melancholic look only a dad who really loves their daughter knows, you know the one where he is happy his little girl found love but reluctant to let her go.
As dad left the elevated, stage-like area where normally masses were being held by the same archbishop who was waiting to marry us now, I heard my mom let out some odd sound between cheer and sob, which echoed eerily off the very tall and ancient walls in this cathedral with amazing acoustics.
You wouldn’t want to accidentally fart here. Trust me, my belly was still aching from laughing so hard from when Grandpa Blaine dropped by off the record yesterday and I took him here to show him … you know, never mind. This is a wedding. Let’s keep it sophisticated.
The ceremony commenced every bit as pompous as you would imagine. The few times I looked over at my family they were all very emotional.
My heart was still racing so hard, but both of us got through the vows without stumbling, Max’s little brother, Prince Leopold – who meanwhile had become a teenage boy and wasn’t so little anymore after some serious growth spurt – was the attaché with the ring pillow, since this wedding didn’t have any bridesmaids and groomsmen and such.
Royal weddings evidently never do. But we had a cathedral and a real archbishop marrying us so, win some, lose some, I guess.
The kiss to seal the deal, and my mom is sobbing her heart out while dad had to look away, so nobody up front knows he’s crying. Oh daddy.
Observe my daddy sitting right next to the royal couple, also not the usual procedure, but they both insisted on it. If you look closely at some of the pictures, you see the packs of security and guards all around.
And then there I was, just last year I had been the final year music student wondering what to do with her life, who had come to Henford-on-Bagley as Aria-Grace Cameron, daughter of pop icon ViVa, girlfriend of Max, and now I had graduated college, moved to another continent, which had not only become my new home, but also my rightful place to be, by the side of my husband the future King, as Her Royal Highness Princess Aria-Grace Cromwell of Henford-on-Bagley, Duchess of of Henfordshire. All that at 22 years of age.
It still felt so surreal as we were exiting the huge cathedral, me a married woman now and a freshly baked princess, to face the masses while being introduced as a wife and royalty for the first time in my life …
The way back to the castle grounds for the wedding celebration party was deliberately chosen to be long and through many of the small cities, to present me as the new member of the royal household to those who couldn’t attend the very exclusive ceremony in person.
Everywhere there were crowds waiting and cheering as our carriage rocked past.
The Cromwells were most definitely one of the most beloved families of monarchs. Big shoes to fill for me to find my niche in their midst.
As amazing as this might sound to you, it’s a million times more surreal actually living it. I had never been the type of girl play-pretending to be a princess, maybe because there was already so much ado about me and my family wherever we went anyway. All I had ever wanted was to just be a regular girl, able to go anywhere I liked without press, paparazzi and fans flocking to me.
That dream, however, had now become forever and completely unattainable for me.
Now I was the furthest thing away from regular girl and no matter what the future might hold, I would never again be able to not be recognized in public.
Time to make new dreams.
Cromwell Castle grounds Wedding Celebration Party
First though, the wedding celebration party at the castle gardens. There was a live band playing soothing, upbeat, but sophisticated melodies, the singer had a calm buttery voice.
Vivien walked up to Liam in some quiet corner of the sprawling, meticulously decorated party area.
“Oh Liam, here you are hiding. I can’t stop looking at her. Our little princess. And there is our little boy, who will be a daddy next year with his wife talking to a King and a Queen. How far we have come. It’s not been easy, but look at us, we must have done something very right.”
“Yeah, all it took was for me to have a catastrophic heart attack for us to pull our heads from our derrieres and get it together and had it not been for Rohan, I would not be standing here to dwell on it at all. But I think it’s no coincidence our kids turned out the way they have. There was never a lack of love in our lives, not for each other, but definitely not for our kids. That means something.”
“I agree. But it’s gonna be rough. I always thought AG would move back home after graduation, and in with us at Villa ViVa with Rohan and Aryelle. Now she definitely won’t come home for good, and Nick and Addy have built their life in San Myshuno, with a little one on the way now, I can’t see them moving to Del Sol Valley either.”
“Tell me about it! Kids growing up is always hard, but both of them moving, one of them THIS far away? It’s almost as if both couldn’t get far enough from us. Then again, look at me, living in Del Sol Valley while my elderly parents are all the way in Windenburg. They don’t have eternal life. You and I need to go visit more often, and while there, we can drop by Nick’s, San Myshuno is just 45 minutes from Windenburg.”
“Okay, sure, we will. Walk with me. No point in worrying and sulking.”
“I am not sulking. I am processing.” Liam corrected.
“Well, you can process while walking over to the bar, we can arm ourselves with some delicious drink, then we can check out this place a little more. This is incredible. Makes me want to hire in a landscaper and have them do something like that to Villa ViVa.”
“You had me a bar! Thinking one whiskey for each hand. Doubles. And woman, no remodeling inside or outside our home! I need peace and quiet. You wanted me to work from home, then let me work from home, not get distracted by banging and loud machinery and what not!”
“Liam, you know you are not supposed to have a lot of booze.”
“Who said I was gonna have a lot, geesh woman! I’d sip on it, left, then right and repeat. With the kids married off you don’t have to try and mother me. Take it out on the dog and the cat back home. They like all that attention.”
“Or … we could have another child. Adopt. Or surrogate. All been done before. I am still the queen of pop. Celebrities are known to do weird stuff in their fifties.”
“Now I REALLY need a drink. That’s crazy talk, woman! If you want another kid, you better find a new husband to go with that! Who do you think we are, your parents? No more kids, not fostered, adopted and most certainly not homemade! It took all I had to walk my little girl down the aisle, I don’t need any repeats of that! Besides, we are going to have a grandchild in some months. Let’s keep it realistic, Viv!”
“Addy isn’t even really showing yet! Look at her!” Vivien pointed at Nick and Addy with King Frederick and Queen Margaret.
“Doesn’t mean it isn’t there. And you heard the King. With the ring now firmly on AG’s finger and the tiara on her head, he is expecting her to grace them with an heir before long. So, we will be grandparents by both kids within the next year or two. Count on it. And then there is still Rohan’s little girl. Next year she’ll start school! Somehow, we have become the honorary grandparents even though her real grandparents, my sister Abby and her husband Jay are very involved too, but I am not taking us away from Aryelle.” Liam pointed at Aria-Grace standing and talking with Rohan in her now third different outfit of this day. First a coronation gown, then the wedding dress and now a lighter summery gown. Behind her Bianca talking to Max.
“You’re right. I was just being melancholic. And probably horrified at the thought of being a grandmother. Oh my God. Liam. Us, grandparents. Grandpa Liam and Grandma Vivien. UGH! I definitely need a stiff drink now. I feel so old now! Oh hell no!”
“Ha ha ha – too late for that now, babe. That bun is in Addy’s oven and it’s happening. And I am telling you, AG won’t be too far behind. Mark my words.”