Guest Post: A Commoner’s Guide to Being Royal AF

While Meghan Markle gets professional Duchess lessons from one of the Queen’s senior aides, what’s the average person, aspiring to be royal, to do? How do you pick up etiquette lessons on a budget? Read on:


So let’s tackle the elephant in the room first: What to do when you’re not born rich? Take solace in the fact that you are not alone. This is an unfortunate circumstance that millions of people find themselves subjected to (ha – see what I did there?). How does one combat this unjust travesty? I’m so glad you asked. Denial is a super useful tool that I use. I find the best way to not let myself know that I live on the relative equivalent of a peasant salary, is to buy myself little treats; expensive cheese, that new jug at Target, a Venti at Starbucks, it’s all about embracing the lifestyle.


You are going to need two things, an active imagination and access to cheap fashionable goods. That’s right folks, the only way to achieve the lifestyle aesthetic you want, when you are not born with silver flatware (which by the way is so out), is to be super extra with your personality and buy lots of knock-off or gently used designer goods. These lifestyle accoutrements are helpfully stocked at your local thrift store or affordably priced designer-adjacent retail store. Royal up your wardrobe with vintage classy chic.


If you want access to the hottest ticket in town without any social cachet, connections or enough money to bribe your way in, there is only one option. Wear black, act confident, stride in. “But there’s security!” I hear you cry, frustrated that yet another hijinks filled scheme won’t work. You have to be adaptable. Get a job as a server and change into your swanky garb in a closet. However, if you do get caught and escorted out, may I suggest Target? where you can find a variety of themed party décor at affordable prices and you can imagine for an afternoon that you are fancy.


One of the perks of being royal is knowing a Clooney or hanging with a Beckham. How do you do this on a budget? Make some worthy friends. Discover the next Clooney, a prankster with a generous heart, or hang with your own super talented Beckham. Anyone willing to travel to hang with you is deserving of your inner circle, even if the budget version is traveling across town and not across the pond. Though, maybe your town has a pond which confuses the metaphor. I don’t know.


Did you know, no one in the royal household can go to bed before the queen? Even more shocking, royals can’t take selfies and don’t have their own social media accounts. So anytime they have brunch, all they can do is, well, eat. If you have avocado toast and don’t Instagram it, did you even have avocado toast? How to incorporate this in to your life: develop your own rules, stay in the moment when out with friends, adhere to your own code of etiquette. Make sure you treat the people in your life the way you would like to be treated and receive the same in return.

Shalini Dua was born just outside of London and boomeranged back after growing up on the East Coast of the US. An international upbringing gave her a taste for wanderlust and the theme is heavily featured in her debut work, The Secret Lives of Royals. The novel explores a secret society with membership based on royal blood and follows Olivia Thorpland as she embarks on a life enabled by unprecedented access and power.

The Secret Lives of Royals hits shelves and digital readers on June 12, 2018 and is available for pre-order now.

SYNOPSIS: Olivia can’t take it anymore. She’s had enough of the big city and it’s lack of fulfilling her dreams. Then, just when she’s about to give up and move home, out of the blue, she is offered her dream job. Olivia is suspicious but that could just be the New York in her. She decides not to pull at threads. Despite her best efforts to remain blissfully oblivious, the secret to her life upgrade is soon uncovered when she finds herself invited to be part of a secret society. Olivia learns that there is a thin curtain separating our world from theirs. Just beneath the surface, an entirely different one exists. One that is controlled by those of Royal lineage. The chosen ones, the Royals, hold the fate of the world in their hands. Will Olivia be able to bear the weight of the crown?

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