This is not a novel. It is a heist, planned with the ruthless precision of a bank job. Celia Brayfield’s first blockbuster, Pearls, was a modestly conventional effort about people with loads of money and loads of class, who do quite a lot of (but never enough) screwing. Her second, The Prince, is also disappointingly unpornographic, but it has a magic ingredient calculated to appeal to the blockbuster market’s silliest and most vulgar fantasies.
‘A British Prince,’ proclaims the cover of the proof copy, ‘A Royal Wedding. But Who Will Be The Bride?’ His Royal Highness, the Prince Richard, Duke of Sussex, ‘prodigal son of the House of Windsor’, is about to announce his engagement