A ROYAL PAIN by Ellen Conford
Kirkus Star


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There are probably few girls who haven't spent at least five minutes in their lives wishing to be a princess. Conford has taken this premise and created a very funny piece of slapstick, so light it floats off the pages. It all started nearly 16 years ago, when too much elderberry wine caused the accidental mix-up of two newborns, the Princess Florinda XIV of Saxony Coburn and plain old Abby Adams of Kansas. Now the mistake is discovered and the much-scandalized little principality (somewhere in Europe) has come to reclaim Her Highness. Somewhat tickled by the whole notion of royalty, Abby cheerfully returns to her devoted subjects, the parents she never knew, and a very put-out defrocked princess who passes her time talking to a stuffed Snoopy doll. Saxony Coburn, with its annual gloxinia festival, plastic raincoat factory and limited TV fare (""Good Morning, Saxony Coburn"" is the hot show), is amusing enough for a time, but when Abby learns she is soon to wed Prince Casimir of Arcania (tall, handsome and rich, but a pig nonetheless), abdication seems the only way out. Many schemes are tried, leading up to a fast-paced made-for-TV escape scene and a nifty surprise ending. Conford's latest offering never pretends to be anything but delightfully silly from beginning to end. The buffoons who inhabit Saxony Coburn are a breed unto themselves, and Prince Albert (Abby's sire), with his penchant for American slang, is a particular achievement in comedic characterization.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
Publisher: Scholastic