Monday, 6 October 2014

Princes

I was reading one of Georgette Heyer’s murder mysteries - yes, I know, hands up who knew that she wrote murder mysteries. My hand stays firmly down. But, in any case, the story ‘No wind of blame’ starts with the changes to a household when they are expecting a Russian prince as a guest.
I have met a few princes and princesses in my time. Tanya, the princess of Banda was an acquaintance when I lived in Jakarta but we never did make it to Banda Island. Travel there was pretty tricky; erratic flights cancelled at a moment’s notice.
My first prince was Lorenzo Montesini, who bore an Italian title: Prince Giustiniani, Count of the Phanaar, Knight of Saint Sophia, Baron Alexandroff. He was a guest at a party held by Yvonne Swift at her terrace house in Chippendale. Now she was a fabulous woman. She used to be a nun, and when she retired from the convent, she opened a law firm in inner city Sydney and did criminal law. I worked at Legal Aid and she defended a lot of our clients. She knew everyone in Sydney.
Her secretary, whose name I can’t remember, Mavis or Mabel or something old fashioned like that, was as old as Yvonne and took a long time to get the hang of word processors. For example, if she made a mistake, she retyped the entire document instead of just correcting the mistake.
Lorenzo had just published a book about Sydney society called Cardboard Cantata and was engaged to Primrose Dunlop - usually referred to as PittyPat - to distinguish her form her mother.
The wedding was the talk of Sydney society and was planned in Venice but was cancelled some days before the date when the best man took too much interest in the stand-in for the father of the bride. Still not entirely sure why that caused the cancellation of the entire ceremony, but it did.
Kid 3 assures me that this all sounds like a script for a fanfiction, but it is true. You know the old saying about truth being stranger than fiction.