Last night I sat and watched TV. It is something I rarely do but the movie title caught my attention. ‘Making of a Princess’. It was the story (dramatized, of course) of the romance between the Danish Prince Frederik and the commoner from Tasmania, (Australia) Mary Donaldson.
I’m an Aussie and fact or fiction or a combination of both, as I watched the drama unfold I began to realize just what this woman gave up to marry the man she loved. Her country, her family, her friends, her language, her privacy, in the event of divorce the right to take her children back to live in Australia.
There are so many things I love about Australia; the climate, the lifestyle, the beaches. It is my home.
I only speak English and I believe I would struggle to learn another language. I was married to a non Australian and the memories of trying to negotiate the cultural difference make me shudder even today, 20 years on.
And to marry into a royal family with its age old protocols, rules and expectations must have been daunting to the extreme. Never mind about the constant eye of the media and the need to be ‘groomed’ in the appropriate manner to behave. To have the weight of all the Danish citizens expectations upon your shoulders; their constant judgment, and the need to always present the royals in a favorable light.
Her love for Frederik must have been huge, her faith in him and in herself to maintain her love for a lifetime. When she walked down that aisle there was no going back.
For most of us we believe we love our partners, but how big is that love.
I look at my romances and I ponder how big is the love my heroines have for the heroes. None of them has made an enormous sacrifice to be with the heroes. Yes they have gone and changed, but none of them have actually turned their back on their life as they know it and walked away hand in hand with the man they love.
As I write this I search my own heart. Could I do that, would I do that? And to my shame I cannot say with certainty that I could. Perhaps then I have never been truly in love.
Is Mary Donaldson’s sacrifice (yes I know she was going to be a Princess) something I could emulate. Is it so huge it is out of reach of most of us? Do any of us love so deeply, so unwaveringly?
Would the sacrifice unbalance the relationship? Does Frederik feel he owes Mary? Does Mary feel she has given more than he? Ten years on they appear (for what it is worth) and are shown in the media to be still in love and a contented couple and happy family with their four children.
Did Mary have any regrets? Does she have them today? Does she ever ponder on the life she missed out on here in Australia because of her love for a prince or does her love for him still sustain her even today. Does their love enrich her, reward her and compensate her for what she left behind.
And as to my heroines – could I write one willing to make such sacrifices. Or my hero. Is the love I create in my pages equal to Federik and Mary’s? I’m not sure and I would like to be.