Royalty or Not

Some of you may know the story about the Princess who had a pea put under her mattress in order to see if she could feel it. (She could.)  Anyway this princess was very lucky because she didn’t marry a silly prince who had people squeeze toothpaste out for him and that kind of thing. She married a very sensible Prince called Jack, and they went to live with his parents, a King and Queen who had a castle with twirly turrets, diamond window panes, and beautiful gardens which needed at least 101 gardeners. This went on for several years.  There were garden parties in the summer, with twenty different sorts of fresh fruit ices, and skating parties on the lake in the winter, with hot sausages and punch. Everyone was very happy, and the King said he had enough money so he wasn't going to tax his subjects anymore, so they were happy too.

Then they were invaded by the country next door. The King and Queen weren't King or Queen anymore and died of disgrace. The Prince's godfather heard about it all, and sent a note by pigeon saying he had a spare manor house, and would he like to go and live there with his Princess ON CONDITION that he never asked for anything else. The Prince was delighted and sent the pigeon back with a note on beautiful paper to say that they would love to go and live in the manor house, and that never asking for anything else would not be a problem.  He was worried the pigeon would fly off somewhere, but it was a homing pigeon and flew home. So our Prince and Princess went off to live in the manor. 

Prince Jack was sensible, so he said kindly, "Now you know we are not a prince and princess any more. I will have to deal with the animals and farming, and you will have to make the clothes, do the cooking, make the cheese and the jam and all that. Or if you like, you can look after the animals and I will do the cooking. I really like cooking, I used to help in our kitchens as a boy.” 

“I don’t know how to look after animals or how to do the cooking,” said the Princess.  

“Oh well,” said Jack “you’ll learn. We’d better do everything together till you do.”  

Our ex-Princess found it very irritating that Jack knew how to do so much, and she didn’t, but she soon learnt to milk the cows, and where to put the milking stool so the cows couldn’t kick her. She learnt to shut the chickens up at night, and to make scrambled eggs which were delicious and didn’t stick to the pan. 

One day the pigeon flew back again with another note. “Wonderful news,” said Jack. “We can go off and be King & Queen now if we like. The invaders have had to go back to their own country to deal with THEIR invaders! Or would you like to stay here? It is nice.” 

“Well,” said our Princess, “I would like to go back, if that’s alright with you.” So they went back, and the new King and Queen were royalty with a difference. They were always considerate to people who did things for them, and never asked them to do what they could do themselves. No-one in the country had to work too hard, as the King & Queen said it was not good for the temper, and everyone needed time to rest, relax and have fun. 
The new King was rather like his father, but at the same time everyone had to do enough work, so things were much more shipshape and no-one was ever able to invade again.

The audio version of this can be found here:

Published by Charlotte Sebag-Montefiore

After many years working as a clinical psychologist in the NHS, I became an author. My years as a mother and grandmother gave me plenty of practice telling children stories. I have become very interested in dinosaurs and animals, and I really enjoy rhymes and riddles!

4 thoughts on “Royalty or Not

    1. Thank you very much. I am not used to having comments, so I didn’t look before, or I would have thanked you earlier. .. Hope you like my next story (I am working on it at the moment – it is a dinosaur story). All the best, Charlotte


  1. Thank you. Audio is new to me, and I often have to have several goes at it. Sometimes the computer jumps, and I am in the wrong place – but if I use paper pages, they may rustle…. Ah well, perhaps I will improve with practice… All the best for 22 and beyond.


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