As courteous as ever he stood and greeted her,
“Good afternoon highness.”
She gave a slight curtsey he was heir to the throne she wasn’t.
“Highness” she responded “Good afternoon”.
Her stomach was alive with butterflies and glad to be off her feet she could hardly support herself, their royal training permitted the pleasantries to go without a hitch
“I believe you want to set up a bilateral conservation programme.”
“I would like to set up a sustainable farming programme in Madagascar. Some of their native plants are believed to help fight cancer. My idea is to set up the labs locally on the island so the population can have long term benefits without destroying the ecosystem by not having the natural vegetation ravaged. They could have a new industry and anything that helps the fight against cancer needs no justification. And perhaps natural healing remedies as well. The participation of both countries would give greater weight to the project.
“Do you have any specific plant in mind?”
“I have a photo of one of my favourites and the princess with trembling hands pulled from her conference folder the postcard he had bought her at the exhibition shop on their first date. “
As he looked at the card his face darkened. Her stomach felt like she was sea sick.
“Well I don’t know what to say”. He responded as his breathing became slow and controlled,
“I suspected it might be you when the suggestion was made to meet here then I couldn’t believe my luck. Could it be possible? It seems too easy; too perfect the mystery woman is a princess. The press would have a field day we can’t let anyone know you know ever.”
The princess heart sank. The royal education and training were doing their job. However, she remembered the words of the fairy godmother.
“Stephen we know each other, we also understand each other’s background our deception was childish but we know the real people like each other.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He hissed wringing his hands,
“Do you know how much I have suffered? The lectures from my parents, the political upheaval, the difficult relationship with the duchy.”
“How could I? I thought you suspected me after the ballet. All royal mail is checked we’ve never communicated officially before so why then? I’ve suffered too; do you know what it was like thinking you would marry another woman? Not only that we would have met at the wedding.”
“That’s over we can’t just start seeing each other. It won’t take long for the paparazzi to work it out.”
“What are you trying to say?”
“I’m still in love with you; politically our Royal status is perfect. But so much has happened and it’s too soon after the scandal. They have been like blood hounds they have never given up.”
“Not really it’s over a year and the princess from the duchy is now to marry her childhood sweetheart. If they suspect we make an official press release to state we were meeting to plan the blue prints of this project to avoid pressure and failure before it got off the ground. And blame them for pushing the situation over board. It’s about time they have their tables turned. That should alleviate things with the duchy and keep my father happy”
The princess coughed and blushed,
“He wasn’t too impressed by our behaviour. “
The prince looked at her pausing looking more serious than ever then his face broke into one of his heart melting smiles,
“Instead of a glass slipper I have a photo of a star flower!” as he continued wickedly
“We could have some real fun with the paparazzi and if they do get wind then all publicity is good publicity for our plant project” and then the prince began to blush
“I hope we get to live happily ever after like the fairy stories”
The princess’ eyes twinkled
“Well actually there’s something more I’d like to tell you”
While the couple chatted totally captivated in each other, it appeared as if they were in a sparkling cocoon radiating with happiness, the paparazzi antennae sensed something even hotter and more enigmatic. The mystery woman had become yesterday’s news; they took to their keyboards and sent into cyber space their latest headline “Once upon a time there was a princess and a prince”