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Living life like royalty does not mean relying upon wealthy parents or taxpayers to finance your every whim. Having a royal lifestyle should not mean having what you want; it ought to be more about wanting what you have. Still, appearances count when you want to live like royalty. While your odds of living like royalty by marrying a member of a royal family are not the best, there are a few small steps you can take to ensure you feel like royalty.
Research your family history. It's not likely that you'll discover a long-lost family member who was royalty, but you may be able to claim some form of kinship with royalty if you go back far enough. Use an online search tool such as ancestry.com to trace your roots.
Dress well in public. Nothing says "commoner" like walking around town in jeans and a hoodie. If you can't afford tailor-made clothes, find a thrift store. As a bonus, many thrift stores carry older clothes, giving you an old-money air that adds to your royal appearance.
Travel, preferably overseas. A chartered jet is preferable, and first-class is quite comfortable, but don't get hung up on the seating arrangements. Stockpile frequent-flier points or look for last-minute, cut-rate discounts. It's not as if anyone is going to be asking you to check your crown or move it out of the overhead compartment.
Go to exotic vacation places. An important part of being royalty involves not being like everyone else, so avoid Disney World or the Empire State Building. Travel to poor countries in places like eastern Europe, where you can rent a castle for $25 per night or less.
Be reserved but not stand-offish. Most members of a royal family would prefer that you like them, but popularity generally does not affect their job prospects. Plus, a reserved nature adds to an air of mysteriousness, which is one of the major attractions of royalty. People don't want to think that royal families bicker about the budget, take out the trash or act just like them.
Eat well. It's rare that you're stuck behind royalty in a fast-food drive-through. Eat less often at restaurants, saving your money for fewer meals at nicer places. Order off-the-menu if possible. Let the waiter know that the dinner you'd like usually isn't a problem for your kitchen staff to make.
Find an inexpensive but unusual hobby, such as growing champion brussels sprouts or raising unusual mammals, like hedgehogs or ferrets. Nothing says royalty quite like trying to relate well to most people's interests but falling just short.
Move overseas to a much less expensive country if you feel the need to spend money to support your royal pretensions. Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica are excellent destinations for expatriates, and cheap. The U.S. State Department estimates that 4 million Americans live abroad, with a quarter of them being retirees.
Accept the downsides of royal life. An extraordinary amount of attention gets paid to royal families with lives every bit as complicated as your own. Be as gracious as possible with any paparazzi and never comment on rumors, whether true or not. Develop a thick skin and stoic demeanor.
Embrace the good things in life. Don't complain. Royalty is, after all, a state of mind as much as a genetic fortune. Treat yourself as well as you'd like others to treat you.
- castle image by Krzysztof Gebarowski from Fotolia.com