Although entirely fictional, the Calypso Chronicle series give an accurate portrayal of the closed world of Royal teens, created feverish speculation and comparisons to actual royals and Aristocratic teens – specifically Prince William and Prince Harry – were inevitable. After a heated bidding war, Bloomsbury won the USA rights to the series at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2004.
Sound the Alert! Americans Are Storming the Castle!
According to my darling ‘rentals, I lack a sense of proportion. Oh, and I thrive on melodrama. They base this on something that happened in the Beverly Centre shopping mall when I was three years old, which was henceforth referred to as ‘The Incident.’
Whenever the ‘rents want to back up their claims of my lack of proportion and need for drama, they mention The Incident. Allegedly, it involved a Christmas tree, a pair of black lace knickers and a police report.
The padre usually adds something daft like, ‘One day you’ll go too far, Calypso Kelly.’ To which my madre will nod sagely and say, ‘All right, well, I think we’ve made our point. Let’s not go there again.’
The mad ‘rents, who insist I call them Sarah and Bob, are not going to win any prizes for their own sense of proportion or lack of drama. And as for going too far, well, they crossed that line years ago when they named me Calypso and packed me off to boarding school in England so I wouldn’t become ‘too Hollywood’ – whatever that means.
No, Sarah and Bob are the very apex of dramarama. They tell lies. Yes, whopping great porkies – and I’m not just talking about the alleged Incident in the mall or the Tooth Fairy. They also told me I was the cleverest, prettiest, most talented girl in all the world. That’s what I mean. They’re sweet, but daft as socks.
Anyway, on this particular day, I was over the moon-arama for an indisputably good reason! I was off to stay with Their Royal Majesties. But every silver lining has a cloud: my parents were driving me and staying for luncheon.
Absolutely nothing was going to spoil my excitement over going to visit my fit prince in his Scottish castle, that enormous grey stony one with the fairy-tale turrets, where kilt-ish carryons such as reeling, haggis eating, grouse shooting and jigs like the Gay Gordons are de rigueur. They often show the royal family standing outside their castle on television and in magazines. It is très, très divine.
All I had to say to anyone who doubted our love would last was, eat your knickers. I was still – pinch yourselves – pulling Prince Freddie, as regularly as I reasonably could. I mean, heirs to the throne do spend a lot of time in training to be king, which was tedious. But I never complained. No, I was determined not to be a tragic, clingy-type girlfriend. My wildly independent American streak still thrived!
You’d think any normal parents might be proud that their daughter was dating the heir to the crown, but no, no, no, no, no. That would be too sensible for Bob and Sarah. ‘You don’t think you’re being a bit melodramatic about this relationship with Freddie, do you, Calypso?’ Bob suggested as we hit the Ml motorway. ‘I mean, you’ve only just turned fifteen last week and you’re acting like you’re going to marry the boy.’
I turned up the volume on my iPod and started humming loudly to a particularly tuneless and depressing song which my best friend, Star, wrote. It’s called ‘The Only Guarantee in Life Is School Sucks.’
I think she got the idea for the song from our three-thousand-year-old religious studies teacher, Sister Bethlehem. She’s always banging on about how there are no guarantees in life, which is a blatant lie, because you can always guarantee that Sister Bethlehem will fall asleep in class. Mind you, there are certain Old Testament books that send me off into a good snooze. Like Leviticus.
Even so, I am feverishly fond of old Sister Bethlehem. She is always teaching us useful life skills, like how to win money by betting on things – such as who cut off Samson’s hair in the Bible.
‘Yes, girls, you can win quite a tidy sum of money on that one,’ she told us once. ‘A lot of people will tell you it was Delilah, but if they bothered to read the Good Book more closely, they’d realise she actually called for a servant to lop off his locks. Mark my words, if you’re ever short of a pound, that one will come in very handy. I won a fiver off Father Conway two years on the trot with that one.’
But back to guarantees. I could guarantee I would never, never, never tire of Freddie’s lips. So don’t start running a book on that because you will lose. The ‘rentals call it puppy love, but then again, theyare absurdly old and quite, quite foolish.
Freds didn’t seem keen for me to visit him in his palatial grandeur initially. I can’t think why, after I exposed him to the lunacy of Sarah and Bob. But eventually, after aggressive hinting on my part (what is it with boys that they can’t take hints?), he caved and invited me to stay the weekend at Harthnoon Castle. I guess he finally realised that if he kept me and his Kiltland retreat apart for much longer, I would start growing paws from all my shameless begging.
It was all quite surreal being invited to stay with the Royal Family. Like the rest of the world, I’d seen Freds and his family in their mad kilts doing photo calls outside Harthnoon Castle. But like every other girl who has drooled over this fit prince, I never imagined in my maddest of mad dreams that I’d ever actually be invited to stay with him there. Okay, so maybe in my maddest dreams … but then, what girl my age hasn’t? Freds was the object of desire for teenage girls worldwide.
Apart from my best friend, Star, that is.
Star thought he was ‘an arrogant, boring, unworthy drip with bad taste in clothes.’ Oh, and did I mention, seriously unworthy of moi? Then again, Star didn’t think any boy was good enough for any girl. Not because she’s from the Isle of Lesbos or anything, it’s just that she had a much higher opinion of girls than of boys. But then if you met her father, Tiger, from the legendary rock band Dirge, you’d understand why. It’s a wonder she isn’t deeply unhinged.
Love her though I do, her snide comments about how “stuck up” Freds was were becoming très, très, très annoying. He couldn’t be that stuck up if he loved an American Freak like me, could he? Well, that’s what my psycho toff anti-girlfriend Honey said, anyway. It’s hardly ideal when I have to cite something the poisonous Honey has said to defend something as fundamental as my love for Freddie.
Star had been ultra horrible about Freds, especially after she dumped his best friend, Kev. Oh yes, that’s my latest news flash. Hold onto your knickers – my best friend had gone over to the mad side. After she dumped Kev, she started on this loony mission to get me to dump Freds, which was as maddening as a drawer of tangled tights.
My fainting attacks began when she dumped Kev. ‘You what?’ I asked as she brought me around, using the age-old tickling method. Kev was Fred’s best friend, and the symmetry of my best friend hanging out with his best friend was a vital element in the joy of loving Freds. She couldn’t dump Kev! She couldn’t. ‘You can’t dump Kev,’ I told her.
‘Well, I did,’ said Star. ‘I told you I wanted to start the year with a clean slate, darling,’ she reminded me, referring to the New Year resolutions we’d made together in her bedroom wing while her parents and their celebrity friends rock-and-rolled the night away.
My resolutions were the normal unrealistic goals of a teenage girl; stop picking at my spots and develop more savoir-faire and va-va-va-voom. To that end, I was going to start littering my sentences with loads of foreign words and bon mots. I was also harbouring deep hopes of doing well in my GCSE exams and wowing them with my fencing prowess in Italy, where I would be participating in my first international tournament. I’d had a letter about the Italian trip over the break, but with Christmas, my birthday and my parents’ constant canoodling, I hadn’t had a chance to get properly excited about it. Especially as Freds wasn’t on the national team, which meant even more time I wouldn’t get to spend with him.
‘I thought you meant stuff like, erm, taking those blue extensions out of your hair and perfecting your French accent,’ I told her. ‘Not dumping perfectly good boyfriends!’
Star scoffed. ‘Calypso, don’t you ever wonder if there’s more to life than boys?’
‘No!’ I blurted. ‘I mean, of course I wonder that all the time.’
‘We’re still young, darling. Don’t you think we should be focusing on our dreams rather than spotty boys?’
I decided not to say anything lame about how Freds was my dream – well, my dream boyfriend anyway. But he is. And he is not in the least bit spotty!
And then in the car driving up to Kiltland, the padre said much the same thing. ‘I know you want to impress Freds and his folks, but don’t you think taking a trunk of outfits for a weekend stay is a bit over the top?’
‘You really have no idea, Bob,’ I told him, and then I brooded about whether he was right. I mean, I didn’t want Freds or the king and queen to think I was desperate to impress. Even if I was.
“Funny exposé of It-girlschool life.” ELLE GIRL UK
“A deliciously naughty insider’s guide to sensational secret life of Britain & Europe’s royal teens from the midnight feasts, incredibly close friendships & romances to the tabloid escapades and code language – thank goodness there is a dictionary of posh teen slang included.” BOOK CHIT CHAT
“A right royal read” THE MAYFAIR TIMES
“It is sure to have fans of the previous novels rolling on the floor laughing their royal crowns off.” SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, USA