Collette Cameron Interviews Alexia, the Duchess of Harcourt from Heartbreak and Honor
Today, we have Her Grace, Alexandra, the Duchess of Harcourt, sharing her fascinating journey from a Highland gypsy to a British peeress.
CC: Welcome, You Grace. I confess. I’m a bit nervous. I’ve never had the privilege of taking tea with a duchess. Please, have a seat. Milk or sugar in your tea?
Just push the dachshunds aside, but do watch your biscuits. They’ll snatch them right off your plates, the little fiends.
ADH: Thank you. It’s lovely to be here, and don’t worry about the dogs. I quite like animals. I take my tea with milk and two lumps of sugar.
CC: Please tell us a little about yourself, and how you meet his grace, the Duke of Harcourt. I hear it’s quite an amusing tale.
ADH: Chuckling. He helped rescue me from a band of rogue Scots holding me prisoner. I confess. Our first meeting was awful. I gave him a black eye when he stole a kiss.
He’s lucky I didn’t stick him with my dagger. I was raised as a Scottish Highland Traveller, a gypsy, and I know how to wield a blade. My gypsy name is Tasara Faas, and I lived with the travellers, also called black tinkers, for eighteen years.
CC: How fascinating. But you weren’t a traveller, were you? Was it a shock to discover you were a long-lost heiress? Tell us a little about that.
ADH: Yes. Right after my husband helped rescue me, I learned I wasn’t a traveller at all, but Alexandra Atterberry, an heiress in line for a barony.
The transition from living in a tent and bathing in streams to having a fortune at my disposal was a bit overwhelming.
I don’t much care for Society, you see. Such pretentiousness. I didn’t even know what fork to use at my first formal dinner, but I fell in love with Lucan.
He asked me almost daily to marry him. He’s most stubborn and wouldn’t accept no for an answer.
CC: I gathered that. What is the characteristic that first drew you to him?
ADH: He’s incredibly kind, especially to those others shun.
At first I thought he was a stuffy bore, but when I saw a glimpse of the real man, I was smitten! He has a delightful send of humor too.
Of course, I didn’t tell him.
He was far too cocky and assured I’d fall into his arms just because he held a duchy.
CC: Was there every a time when you thought you wouldn’t be together? That your worlds were too far apart?
ADH: Absolutely. I thought we were wholly incompatible. He was accustomed to power and privilege and all the falderal that accompanies someone of his station.
I wanted no part of it. I loved the simplicity of living in the Highlands. Still do.
I was actually preparing to leave England for good when circumstance caused me to realize, I didn’t want a life without him.
CC: What are your plans now?
ADH: As you know, Lucan’s mother is unwell, so we spend the majority of our time at Chattsworth House.
I would dearly love to return to Scotland for an extended visit, but that will have to wait.
I promised Mother Harcourt to wait until after the babe is born.
CC: Congratulations. His grace must be thrilled.
ADH: He is, and just like a man, is already planning activities for his son.
I, on the other hand, am planning to teach our daughter how to use a dagger.
CC: Thank you for visiting today, and I hope the next time, you can persuade the duke to accompany you.
ADH: You are very welcome. If you ever find yourself out our way, please do, call.
Bestselling, award-winning Historical Romance Author, Collette Cameron, pens Scottish and Regency Romances featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intrepid damsels who reform them. Mother to three and self-proclaimed Cadbury chocoholic, she’s crazy about dachshunds, cobalt blue, and makes her home in Oregon with her husband and five mini-dachshunds.