The prince next door

Just one day ago, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in what was arguably my favorite television wedding event since Luke and Laura got married on General Hospital back in the early 1980s (even though my mom wouldn’t let me skip school to watch it, a fact I’ve held a grudge about for over 35 years…) Any blogger worth his or her salt is going to bring up yesterday’s event this week, being sure to throw in key words like “royal” and “wedding” and “fascinator” and “Windsor Castle” and “Why is there even still a British monarchy,” because everyone knows these are the key words that are being Googled like crazy right now, and using such words should theoretically help your blog get more views.

So, yay me, mission accomplished in the first paragraph! Mind you, my blog is getting plenty of views these days, now that I’m at 63 whole official followers. Heck, I received about 15 fake followers last week alone! You know you’ve made it as a blogger when bots and fake accounts start to follow you. You can tell who they are because they all come from “outlook.com” email addresses using names that aren’t quite real words, and they come in waves. I don’t know what they hope to gain by being my follower, but I’d hate to let them down.

Which brings me to today’s post, my first one in about a month. I’m such a crappy blogger. I follow some great blogs that I really love and find entertaining, and most of them do a good job of posting far more regularly than I do — many of them even do it daily. Frankly, I just don’t have anything interesting to say that often. Today is really no exception, but given recent events, I feel the desire to share something about my own brush with royalty.

First, let me preface this with, I’ve never been a big “princess” person. As a kid, I was far more inclined to pretend to be Laura Ingalls or Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island or one of Charlie’s Angels than I was to be a make believe princess. I do remember becoming somewhat obsessed with Lady Di after she got engaged to Prince Charles and was featured in Seventeen magazine. But honestly, I never really followed anything about royalty, whether it be British or otherwise.

So, it’s kind of interesting that the summer between my junior and senior year in college, I made friends with a real, live prince. I swear, I am not making this up. I lived in an apartment with three friends that summer, and Joel, the manager of the nearby movie theater where we all worked, introduced us to his friend, a Penn State graduate student he called “Bing.” (I think Bing actually lived in our apartment building, but I could be wrong about that. My roommate, Julie, would remember for sure; she remembers everything.) As I recall, Bing was a slightly nerdy, but very nice, guy, who spoke with a bit of a foreign accent. We became friendly with him; I remember he actually stopped by the “surprise” 21st birthday party my roommates threw me that summer.*

*Note: “Surprise” is in quotes because of another friend—I forget his name; I am sure Julie would remember— who, now that I look back, reminds me totally of Joey from Friends in just about every way, especially intellect… This Joey guy left a message on our apartment answering machine one day saying, “Hey Julie, I’m just calling to say I’ll be at Karen’s surprise party on Friday,” somehow forgetting that Julie and I were roommates, and that cell phones hadn’t been invented yet, so any messages left on any answering machines were likely to be heard by everyone in the apartment. (See what I mean about the intellect?)

But I digress… So, I don’t remember the order of events, but at some point that summer, movie theater manager Joel told us that Bing was actually a prince from Bulgaria, and that his real name was Kardam. This being before the internet was invented, we did not really know whether to believe him or not. I think Joel showed us some kind of an encylopedia entry or something else as evidence, but still, I don’t think I ever really took his claims seriously. In any event, I don’t think Bing himself ever admitted to us that he was a prince.

Fast forward to the days after the internet was finally invented…. Julie, of course, not only remembered this guy existed, but she remembered his real name and somehow was able to find out online that he was indeed a prince: Kardam, Prince of Tarnovo.  Tragically, she also found out that Prince Kardam was in a very serious car accident in 2008, and a couple of years ago we discovered that he eventually died from complications from injuries sustained in that crash. This is not to make light of anyone’s tragic death, not at all. Like I said, he was a nice guy, and this news made us very sad. But needless to say, I no longer have any contact with any sort of living royal person, at least not that I know of. I simply offer this story as proof that you never really know who among us is actually a prince or princess or some other kind of nobility. So, girls, remember: If you want to be a princess someday, you should probably kiss all of the frogs and the unassuming graduate students with foreign accents that you come across, just in case… That’s clearly the lesson here.

Oh, well. Despite the lack of royalty in my life, I thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding Meghan and Harry’s big day, and I thank the good lord for inventing the DVR so I didn’t have to get up at 5 am to experience it. (If only the good lord could have invented the DVR 30+ years earlier, it would have made missing Luke & Laura’s wedding so much easier on everyone involved.) I do love a good wedding, even if celebrity or royalty or fictional soap opera character is not involved, especially when the couple seems to genuinely love each other and to be joyful in the moment. Sadly, after 3 hours of sitting on the sofa in my pj’s sipping coffee and taking it all in, I fell into a bit of a depression when it was all over and I got up and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realized I looked a heck of a lot more like Camilla Parker Bowles than the lovely bride. Oh well—my real life prince of a husband is cuter than Camilla’s is by a long shot!

2 thoughts on “The prince next door

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