Dear Joseph,

You probably think I'm writing this letter to congratulate you on marrying my mother, however I have other things on my mind.

From an early age I noticed how different I looked to my father. His features were more defined than mine, he had light hair, blue eyes and broad shoulders, where as I possess different qualities - dark hair and brown eyes with a far less impressive physique.

When I was eighteen my father the king invited me to play polo with he and Philippe, which was an unusual request because he knows I hate sports. But I played anyway and within ten minutes I fell off the horse, which made Philippe laugh at me. Father stared in disgust and gave me a hollow stare which haunts me to this day. The look said everything and as I viewed our family portrait that night I realised the blood that was flowing through my veins might not be the same as theirs.

Of course, I wasn't one hundred percent certain, but it did have an effect on me. Every time I saw my father I would look away as if I didn't deserve to be in his presence, as if I didn't belong there. It became obvious he knew I wasn't of Renaldi blood. How? I don't know, but I could tell by the way he treated me compared to my brother that there was no room in his heart for someone like me.

Unclear of how to handle the realisation that I was not a true Renaldi, I sought guidance from the local church and they made me feel welcome. They were warm and inviting and everything just felt so right. When I decided to join with them, I noticed father seemed a lot happier. His favourite - his only - son was free to take the throne when the time should come and he was ecstatic. Looking back, I think mother was relieved as well.

It was painful watching him recieve father's full attention, but Anita at the church helped me through it and leant a shoulder to cry on.

For years I wondered who my biological father was. I couldn't ask mother, because what if I were wrong about the whole thing? She would have been offended and discarded me as her son. So I sat back and kept a close eye on my mother for clues as to whom might have lent my mother their body. But so many people were around her at every minute of the day it was hard to tell. There was her hairdresser, masseuse, shoe cleaner, door guards, personal trainer...the list goes on. It could have been anyone for all I knew! But one day my waiting paid off and things became a little clearer.

The first thing I noticed was that even when you weren't on duty, you could still be found within meters of my mother. At first I thought it was coincidence, but one night I was on my way back from the kitchen and heard whispers coming from the ballroom. I hid and peeked at the two of you from around the corner. I watched as you embraced my mother and slowly waltzed her around the room not breaking eye contact. Even though it was just a dance, it said a lot more than that. It was obvious by the way you looked at each other that it wasn't just a chance encounter - you'd done this before.

From then on I started noticing a lot of things - like how much affection was in my mother's voice when she spoke to you, or how whenever you were near her you always had to touch her in some way. And then there was the time I needed a kidney and the only person who was a positive match out of everyone in the palace was you.

I questioned whether or not you could be my father, I compared photographs, likes and dislikes, similarities in posture. I studied hard and concluded that it was indeed possible you shared the same blood, yet I could not prove it...until now.

Seated in the second to front row at my niece's wedding, my fears were realised as I watched my mother stroll blissfully down the aisle on your arm and abruptly married you in front of everyone. I was ashamed and angry about having been lied to all this time. I didn't understand how you could bear watching me grow up being disciplined by someone else. Didn't you ever feel like hitting me when I was a kid pulling out the plugs in the security cameras? Didn't you ever feel like giving me a hug when I did well in school? Did you ever feel like I was your own? Or didn't you know? No...of course you knew.

Anyway, I just wanted you know that I feel better after having vented my frustration and I guess on some level, I forgive you. And if next time we meet you feel like giving me a pat on the back or perhaps telling me you're proud of me, I will not discourage it.

Your son,


P.S. Guess I should congratulate you on marrying my mother, so congratulations! I'll see you soon, Dad.

Just an idea I had at work. We never hear much from Pierre, so this is his story.