The Princess Pauper

Following the release of Women Who Work, critics pick apart the content of Ivanka Trump’s writing, including her earlier book, The Trump Card. Here she laments that as a kid:

"... she got frustrated because she couldn’t set up a lemonade stand in Trump Tower. “We had no such advantages,” she writes, meaning, in this case, an ordinary home on an ordinary street. She and her brothers finally tried to sell lemonade at their summer place in Connecticut, but their neighborhood was so ritzy that there was no foot traffic. “As good fortune would have it, we had a bodyguard that summer,” she writes. They persuaded their bodyguard to buy lemonade, and then their driver, and then the maids, who “dug deep for their spare change.” The lesson, she says, is that the kids “made the best of a bad situation."

Lunchtime at the Orange Palace was, while technically not the highlight of the day, at least less of a lowlight than many other times.

Members of staff straggled past a table in descending order of rank, under stern supervision of a posse of guards, to claim some meager morsel to sustain them through the working day. By the time I reached it, there was little left but a few crusts and sorry pieces of fruit. I picked an apple that looked at least not too riddled with suspicious-looking holes, and shuffled along to the exit.

There seemed to be an unusual crowd and a bit of commotion at the door.

As I got closer, I craned my neck to catch a glimpse of Princess Wanka seated cross-legged outside the door.

She was dressed most peculiarly, even by Palace standards.

“Alms for the poor,” she croaked.

I blinked and rubbed my eyes. Yes, there was definitely something odd about her clothing. At first glance it seemed she was dressed in rags. On closer inspection, I could discern the usual silk and ermine trimmings, but realized it had been artfully cut to resemble tattered rags.

As I drew nearer I spied Belly, the new Majordomo standing near the door wearing a sour expression.

“What’s Princess Wanka doing?” I whispered to Belly.

“Says she’s missing out on a normal childhood,” Belly whispered back.

I almost dropped my hard-won apple in surprise. The Princess was hardly a child any longer, at least not in years.

“She asked King Grump if she could try begging, like normal people,” Belly growled.

The footman ahead of me whimpered as he grudgingly surrendered a crust of bread that he’d managed to scrape most of the mold off.

“Thank ’ee kindly, good sir,” Princess Wanka mumbled, with a gleeful glint in her eyes.

I gazed forlornly down at the scrawny apple in my hand, then at the guards on either side nonchalantly swinging their swords, and I sighed.

Food, I could probably survive without for a day. Hands, not so much.

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