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Prince Louis Richard de la Pau

A Prayer for a Prince, or Valse Triste

A Prayer for a Prince, or Valse Triste
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‘A Prayer for a Prince, or Valse Triste’ is the story of an Italian prince living in exile in the United Kingdom during the mid nineteen-eighties and attending an elite boarding school for boys. It tells of his struggle to maintain his authority at the school and hide his penury from his wealthy fellow pupils. But, buffeted by an unexpected death in the family, he finds himself homeless and alone, and his battle to remain the brightest star in the school becomes his greatest challenge.

A flamboyant homosexual, linguist and musician, whose sardonic sense of humour is his only remaining defence against the outside world, the prince’s love for a fellow pupil leads first to personal disaster and then to a tragedy that rocks the world he has so carefully created to its very foundations. His search for a way out of the situation leads him to the depths of despair as the masks he has hidden behind slowly start to crumble.

The story is semi-autobiographical and reveals the conflicts and hypocrisy concealed behind the scenes in one of Europe’s leading royal families, as well as the scandalous activities going on in full view at a famous public school. But it is also a personal journey through an aristocratic world that no longer exists: of elegance and grandiosity, casual sex and romantic love, characterised by moments of wicked humour, camp wit and eroticism coupled with heart-rending sadness as the prince seeks to maintain his dignity and archaic way of life.

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