Corona Princess Diaries Day 4
Bon jour, everybody! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy during this difficult time.
Entries from Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia’s diary* have fallen into my hands, and as the princess’s royal biographer, it’s my duty to share them with you.
*Please keep in mind that as with any diary, the princess is only recording her thoughts at the given moment, and has had no copy editing. Also, both the princess and I are aware that this is a serious and rapidly developing crisis.
I would like to thank health care workers, first responders, and everyone else out there working to keep us healthy, safe, and fed right now. If you’d like to help people who are in need during this crisis, I suggest supporting your local food bank. Find one here.
I hope you enjoy this fourth FREE installment of The Princess Diaries – Quarantine Edition.
Corona Princess Diaries Day 4
– Royal Bedroom –
So Michael and I are determined to maintain some sense of normalcy, despite the fact that he’s in self-isolation in a palace guest room.
One way we are doing that is by meeting on our respective balconies for a quiet cocktail hour every evening, just the two of us.
Obviously this isn’t the ONLY time we’re meeting. We meet at breakfast time, too, and multiple other times during the day.
But of all the times we meet, cocktail time is my favorite, and NOT because there’s alcohol (although that helps), but because the twins aren’t there demanding their fair share of “daddy time.”
Off course I love Elizabeth and Frank to death, but it’s slightly draining trying to pay attention to what Michael is saying, what the twins are saying, and also hold onto their sweet little wriggling bodies to make sure they don’t fall over the balustrade and into the moat.
But by cocktail time, the twins are usually conked out, so I get pure unadulterated Michael time all to myself. We sit with our feet up, sipping our kir royales, watching the sky turning lavender and pink as the sun sinks into the ocean, listening to the tolling of the church bells down in the village, and the lapping of the water below.
Then we say secret things, like how much we love one another, and how nothing, not even this horrible virus or my awful inFLUENZer grandmother, is going to tear us apart. And he tells me what a great job I’m doing ruling the country, which is very nice to hear, since so many people seem to hate me right now for closing down the borders and shutting all the hotels and especially all the bars and restaurants and casinos, so that we hardly have any tourists left.
The few that are still here—like Grandmere’s new friends, Chad and Derek, whom I’ve listed as persona non grata at the palace gates, just in case—are angrily scrambling to rearrange their flights or train tickets so that they can leave—especially the ones who were planning to leave by cruise ship, since I’m not allowing any more of them to dock.
Michael says that everything I’m doing makes perfect sense. It’s not my fault that Grandmere—and so many of the restaurant and bar and casino and hotel owners—disagree with me.
“It’s our busiest time of the year!” my cousin Ivan—who happens to own one of the largest bar complexes in Genovia, Crazy Ivan’s—came over to the palace to yell at me earlier today. “This is when we make most of our money!”
Me: “I understand that. But in the interest of human health and social responsibility, we have to shut down so people will go home and stay home and stop spreading the virus.”
Cousin Ivan: “But my employees are going to suffer! They make most of their income from tips!”
I really tried to remain cordial with him and not point out the number of times he’s tried to commercialize the town with fast-food franchises, steal my throne, etc.
Me: “Well, it was you who chose not to pay your employees a living wage or offer them benefits or encourage them to save for a crisis like this one. There are many things you could do to help them right now, such as sell off your liquor and give them the proceeds. I know that you yourself are not hurting for money, Ivan. Didn’t you just buy a hundred foot yacht? I saw it the other day in the marina – the Crazy Ivan II?”
Cousin Ivan (sputtering): “I thought this country was a constitutional monarchy, not a dictatorship!”
I let him go on for a while, since it was clear he was just feeling insecure about his own adequacies both as a man and an employer, until I felt he’d gone on long enough. Then I interrupted.
Me: “You know, Ivan, I was always taught that it was important to save money for a rainy day. Well, that day is now. Only it isn’t just raining. It’s a full on monsoon. Fortunately for your employees, we here in Genovia are banning all commercial and residential evictions for the extent of the crisis, and when they apply for unemployment, your employees will be offered all the financial aid they need by the Genovian government, because we — and the palace — care, unlike you. Have a good day.”
Ivan stormed away, calling me something under his breath which my bodyguard Lars told me later was a Russian word for a part of the female anatomy. I won’t record it here, however, because I’m a princess. I actually don’t mind Cousin Ivan calling me that. I’m proud to be a woman, especially a woman in power, especially one who threatens men like Ivan who measure their own success by the size of their . . . yacht.
It was sweet of Lars to offer to tase Ivan for me, though. I told him not to, however, as that would break the rules of social distancing.
Also, I’m sure Ivan is such a baby, he would call emergency services, which are overburdened enough as it is right now, with all of Grandmere’s friends calling them, insisting they have the virus, when all they have is allergies. The Genovian pear trees are in full bloom right now.
I didn’t tell Michael any of this, however. He has enough to worry about, since Dr. Khan, the royal physician, is insisting that he be tested for the virus.
But Michael is insisting (from the balcony) just as strongly that she save the test for the truly needy.
“I’m not a health care worker or someone with underlying conditions who might be at risk,” Michael keeps saying, looking—I have to admit—extremely healthy in jeans in a black t-shirt that fit him in a way that . . . well, let’s just say I really do need to go to the palace gym more often to at least try to get off some of this baby weight.
But where would I find the time, between the twins and this crisis and making sure Grandmere washes her hands once in a while?
And Michael says he likes me with a bit of croissant at the waist.
“But you’re the prince consort,” the doctor keeps pleading with him. “Who knows how many people you’ve met since you came in contact with the virus?”
But Michael lobbed this zinger back at her over the balcony railing:
“None, since I immediately came back to the palace and locked myself in here.”
“It’s true,” I said to the doctor. “He hasn’t set foot out of there in four days. And he’s having the staff leave his meals at the door on paper plates that he can bag and throw away after use. Not even recycle.”
And no composting, even, I refrained from adding, because the whole palace knows I’ve given composting a rest for the time being (and they all seem strangely relieved by it, even my mother and Olivia, who’ve been the staunchest supporters. I’m trying not to take this personally).
“Fine,” Dr. Khan said, admitting defeat. “But if you feel the slightest hint of symptoms—“
“You’ll be the first person I call,” Michael said, with a secret wink at me. Because of course we both knew I’d be the first person he’d call.
Who would have guessed, when we first met so many years ago at Albert Einstein High School (or was it in his family’s apartment, when I was over there to chop the heads off his sister Lilly’s Barbies, or something), that Michael and I would end up here, in Genovia, fighting together against my insane royal family and a global pandemic?
Love is crazy.
Oh, no, here comes the major domo, doubtless with more bad news. I wonder what it could be this time.
Come back MONDAY for another entry in THE CORONA PRINCESS DIARIES!
(Mia’s biography needs the weekend to decipher the princess’s handwriting. STAY SAFE, everyone!)