Forever Princess (The Princess Diaries #10) : Chapter 1

Thursday, April 27, French

Okay, it’s been four years since I started going to this place. And it still feels like all I ever do is lie.

And I don’t just mean to Lana or my parents, either. Now I’m lying to everyone.

You would really think, after all this time, I’d be getting better about that.

But I found out the hard way—a little less than two years ago now, actually—what happens when you tell the truth.

And even though I still think I did the right thing—I mean, it did bring democracy to a country that has never known it before, and all—I’m not making that mistake again. I hurt so many people—especially people who I really care about—because I told the truth, I really think it’s better now just…well, to lie.

Not big lies. Just little white lies, which don’t hurt anybody. It’s not like I’m lying for personal gain.

But what am I going to do, admit I got into every college I applied to?

Oh, yeah, that would go over really well. How would all the people who didn’t get into their first-choice colleges—especially those of them who deserved to…and that would be approximately eighty percent of the current AEHS graduating senior class—feel then?

Besides, you know what they’d say.

Sure, nice people—like Tina—would say that I’m lucky.

Like luck had anything to do with it! Unless you count the “luck” where my mom ran into my dad at that off-campus party where they met, instantly hated each other, which of course led inevitably to sexual tension and then to l’amour, and one broken condom later, to me.

And—despite Principal Gupta’s insistence—I’m not convinced hard work had very much to do with me getting in everywhere, either.

Okay…I did do really well in the writing and critical reading sections of my SATs. And my college app essays were good, too. (I’m not going to lie about that, at least not in my own journal. I worked my butt off on those.)

I’ll admit, when your extracurriculars are, Single-handedly brought democracy to a country that otherwise had never known it before, and Wrote a four-hundred-page novel for my senior project, it does look slightly impressive.

But I can be truthful to myself: All those colleges I applied to? They only let me in because I’m a princess.

And it’s not that I’m not grateful. I know every single one of those schools will give me a wonderful, unique educational opportunity.

It’s just…it would have been nice for just one of those places to have accepted me for…well, for me, and not the tiara. If only I could have applied under my pen name—Daphne Delacroix—to know for sure.

Whatever. I’ve got bigger things to worry about right now.

Well, not bigger than where I’m going to spend the next four—or more, if I goof off and don’t declare a major right away like Mom

did—years of my life.

But there’s the whole thing with Dad. What if he doesn’t win the election? The election that wouldn’t even be happening if it weren’t for me telling the truth.

And Grandmère is so upset about the fact that René, of all people, is running against Dad—plus all the rumors that have been going around ever since I made Princess Amelie’s declaration public, like that our family was purposefully hiding Amelie’s declaration all along, so that the Renaldos could stay in power—that Dad has had to banish her to Manhattan and have her plan this stupid birthday party for me just to distract her so she’ll quit driving him insane with her constant barrage of, “But does this mean we’ll have to move out of the palace?”

She—like the readers of teenSTYLE—can’t seem to understand that the Genovian palace—and royal family—are protected under Amelie’s declaration (and besides which are a major source of tourist income, just like the British royal family). I keep explaining to her, “Grandmère, no matter what happens in the election, Dad is always going to be HRH Prince of Genovia, you’re always going to be HRH Dowager Princess, and I’m always going to be HRH Princess of Genovia. I’m still going to have to open new wings of the hospital, I’m still going to have to wear this stupid tiara and attend state funerals and diplomatic dinners…I’m just not going to make legislation. That will be the prime minister’s job. Dad’s job, hopefully. Got it?”

Only she never does.

I guess it’s the least I can do for Dad after what I did. Dealing with her, I mean. I figured, when I spilled the beans about this whole Genovia-is-really-a-democracy thing, he’d run for prime minister unopposed. I mean, with our apathetic population, who else would be interested in running?

I never dreamed the Contessa Trevanni would put up the money for her son-in-law to campaign against him.

I should have known. It’s not like René has ever had an actual job. And now that he and Bella have a baby, he’s got to do something, I suppose, besides change the Luvs disposables.

But Applebee’s? I suppose he’s getting a kickback from them, or whatever.

What’s going to happen if Genovia is overrun by chain restaurants and—my chest seriously gets tight when I think about this—turned into another Euro Disney?

What can I do to make this not happen?

Dad says to stay out of it—that I’ve done enough…

Yeah. Like that doesn’t make me feel too guilty.

It’s all just so exhausting.

Not to mention all this other stuff. Like it even matters, in comparison to what’s going on with Dad and Genovia, but…well, it kind of does. I mean, Dad and Genovia are facing all these changes, and so am I.

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