GUEST BLOG: Lionheart’s Bride by Michelle WillinghamWednesday, April 6, 2011 10:00
Richard the Lionheart and Princess Berengaria
When I was asked to contribute a story based on a true-life wedding, my first instinct was to research Richard the Lionheart. This was partially because of my favorite Robin Hood legend, but when I started researching Richard’s wedding to Berengaria, I was shocked at what I read. Truth was definitely stranger than fiction!
Not only had Richard called off his wedding to Princess Alys of France (because she’d born a bastard child to his father, King Henry II—a good reason!), but Richard’s new marriage to Berengaria was delayed because his bride was shipwrecked off the coast of Cyprus. Richard now had to overthrow the tyrant ruler and storm the island to rescue his bride. It was drama, passion, and such fun.
But there was a shadow over the true relationship between Richard and Berengaria, given their separation and childlessness. I decided to create a fictional romance to parallel reality and offer a true happy ending. Since the story takes place in 1191, it was perfect for a second-generation story, featuring the son of one of my MacEgan Irish warriors. Liam MacEgan is a prince in disguise . . . and he falls hard for the Spanish beauty, Adriana, lady-in-waiting to Princess Berengaria. Lionheart’s Bride is a tale of chivalry, shipwreck, and romance that I hope you’ll enjoy!