Monday, 28 December 2015

Festive special from the archive: The Trials of Princess Kate, by Lavinia Catwater

By popular request: Lavinia reprises her greatest hits!*

What better finale to the year than to revisit the archive of one of the Ambridge Observer's most popular columnists, romantic novelist Lavinia Catwater! (Can't see why myself. Ed.)

New readers (of whom we're delighted to say there are many) may have missed all the pearls that dropped from Lavinia's quill in 2015. So here for your delectation is a chance to relive the first time she graced these pages with her compelling saga, first published on July 12: The Trials of Princess Kate.

And don't miss! Tomorrow: Lavinia treats us to Chapter One of The Trials of Ian Craig.

The Trials of Princess Kate

Chapter One, in which Princess Kate is cruelly misunderstood

Kate, Princess of Home Farm, stared moodily into her earthenware mug of Barleycup and sighed. How could she put things right with Phoebe? After all, it wasn’t Kate’s fault that she had interrupted the most important night of her beloved daughter’s life, by screaming like a banshee and throwing her boyfriend out of the house! Why couldn’t people understand how difficult it is to be a creative, sensitive Princess who also tries to be a caring mum and best friend to a stroppy teenager? ‘So unfair!’ she said to the mirror, with its handcrafted frame of Fairtrade milkbottle tops, petulantly tossing her luxuriant auburn curls. (Yes, get on with it. Ed).


An hour later Princess Kate was sitting on a bespoke Lilian Bellamy barstool in her favourite corner of the shabby chic but cosy Flood Bar, toying with her fourth glass of Chateau Chonqui vegan Burgundy.  ‘Kenton, it’s SOOO unfair!’ she wailed to the genial host, who was busy pinning a photograph of David Archer to the dartboard. ‘My whole family treats me like a pariah. And I had this amazing business plan, and all I needed was a tiny start-up loan, but my dad tells me off like I’m some kind of child! It’s so hurtful and demeaning!’ She held a bleached hemp handkerchief, embroidered by Bangladeshi craftswomen, to her startling blue eyes. ‘Tell me about it!’ sympathised Kenton, who, she knew, secretly adored her. ‘That’ll be 20 quid – cash, no more credit. And we’re closed.’


After a short but refreshing nap on a bench on the village green, Princess Kate walked back to Home Farm, striding out athletically in her organic Mexican rope espadrilles. But as she approached the swimming pool, a shocking sight met her eyes: Jennifer and Phoebe were sitting on the Oliver Sterling designer loungers, sharing a plate of brownies, deep in conversation.
She crept closer to listen. ‘It’s so unfair, she’s so hypocritical!’ Phoebe was saying. Princess Kate felt her daughter’s words like a dagger through her heart. ‘Well darling, it’s good to hear you and Alex are being so responsible,’ Jennifer said, stroking her granddaughter’s curly blonde head. ‘You can talk to me about anything, you know Phoebe.’ Princess Kate sank to a new level of anguish. How could her mother betray her so cruelly? Taking over her own role as provider of motherly guidance to Phoebe? Oh, why did life always have to be so UNFAIR?

To be continued…. 

*By popular request: we had one request, probably from Lavinia's mother, but it's easier than writing new stuff when you can't drag the reporters out of the pub. Ed  


  1. As a comparatively new reader, I am delighted to have made Lavinia's acquaintance; she is clearly a truly talented and perceptive observer of the maelstrom of human emotions that is Ambridge. I look forward to reading much more from her, and the AO's wonderful team of hard-working undercover reporters; and to them all I extend my cordial good wishes for a very productive and insightful 2016!

  2. since when was Feebs blonde? paging Ned Stark to investigate ...