I'm currently writing a story where privileged kids attend boarding school in order to become better leaders, however, the heir to a respectable and reclusive*empire falls for the heiress to a well-known, powerful crime/yakuza/mafia organisation.

Is it possible for both to end up together without both( or at least one) of them running away from their duties?

Bonus: How would society react if they did?

Extra Info: The world has not one theme, but a mix of multiple themes. It's Frankenstein-esque. Every kingdom has a theme(i.e. steampunk), time-period(i.e. 1800s) and country/countries(i.e. France x England) that I base them off of.

Some countries live like medieval dwellers, whilst others aren't afraid to advance themselves in technology. Each kingdom thrives quite differently to the other, but i made it so that they all cancel each other out in some way.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Do the members of the organized crime group have "public" identities, whether or not their criminal associations are known? $\endgroup$
    – Upper_Case
    Aug 1, 2018 at 21:00
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ In that case, it is entirely up to you to make this plausible. But if you want to model it upon some historical society (ex. Meiji Japan or Victorian British Empire) the answer may be different. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Aug 1, 2018 at 21:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In that case it's perfectly possible. Families send their children abroad for a better education, but this education may come with unforeseen consequences. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Aug 1, 2018 at 22:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Are you creating a new world, and what does the world look like? Monarchy? Futuristic? Medieval? Renaissance? The difference between a powerful aristocratic family in renaissance times and a modern mafia family is something I'd find hard to define!! : ) $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2018 at 8:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While it's not 'reality', in the Elenium/Tamuli books from David Eddings, royalty and crime lord are quite friends in a medfan setting. $\endgroup$
    – dna
    Aug 2, 2018 at 13:24

5 Answers 5


This can and does happen in the world now.

  1. Boarding schools and other exclusive private schools are for the children of families with money to send them. You will wind up with old money, new money, and anyone else as long as their families have money to send them to this school. Scions of old and established wealthy families. Children of nouveaux riche internet billionaires. Children of foreign plutocrats. Children of rich crime lords and hedge fund tycoons. The son of a popular recording artist. The nephew of a working dude who won the lottery. All at the same swanky school.

  2. "Running away from their duties". Star crossed lovers have been doing this at least since Romeo and Juliet and probably way before. It is what young people do, or think about doing, or wish they could do.

  • 13
    $\begingroup$ Russian kleptocrats and crime lords send their children to prestigious British boarding schools, far away from other criminals' ability to kidnap them. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Aug 1, 2018 at 22:08
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @HoneyMASQProductions back to Russia and taking their rightful places in the kleptocracy. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Aug 1, 2018 at 23:19
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ "Running away from their duties" is the opposite of what the O.P. wrote. (And I still gave this an upvote.) $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2018 at 23:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @HoneyMASQProductions the mafia and kleptocracy are interwoven. No one who wants a peaceful life complains. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Aug 2, 2018 at 0:04
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Does one take a rightful place in a kleptocracy? Or does one steal someone else's? (-: $\endgroup$
    – JdeBP
    Aug 2, 2018 at 15:38

The simplest solution is the "Ruling" and "Criminal" families are one and the same. There are plenty of examples of corrupt rulers throughout history who would be recognized as crime lords in today's society. A perfect example in the modern world is the daughter of Hugo Chavez, former ruler of Venezuela. By all accounts she is worth on the order of $2 billion dollars, even thought the average person in Venezuela cannot reliably purchase food or toilet paper.

So the son of a ruling house meets Vladimir Putin's daughter in boarding school, romance is struck between them and the parents realize that a marital alliance would provide all kinds of interesting possibilities for both families. If the family of "Prince Romeo of Hess Saxe-Gotha" realizes this gives them a conduit to loot Russia with Tzar Vladimir's blessing, fewer questions will be raised in Parliament, while the princess is known to host rather extravagant shopping expeditions and other things less spoken of with her "old school friends" from Russia in the streets of the ancient capital city.

Romance and looting! What could be better for a young married couple?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Honest men start bowing and bobbing just because someone's grandad was a bigger murdering bastard than theirs was. joining the nobility has very little to do with nobility and a lot more to do with how many people their ancestors killed. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Aug 2, 2018 at 10:25


The elite of society, regardless of their niche within that elite, hobknob all the time. Not only do they go to the same schools, they also tend to frequent the same scenes. E.g. restaurants, social clubs, nightlife, etc.

Even if you broke with the premise of the school, there are so many opportunities and reasons for these two to meet. This sort of things happens all the time, and likely will be a persistent phenomenon so long as elites and underworlds exist.

To your second question:

How society would react depends entirely on the context.

For example, one of my characters is, basically, the heiress of a crime family. The catch is...she ends up living far enough away that her social status doesn't matter. Her absence is a big deal where she left, but her presence is completely unremarkable to the people in her new location. This works because these are, for lack of a better term, different "countries". If it were the same polity, her family would have the means and motive to intervene directly. Same goes for any local aristocracy. How much your forbidden love scenario matters depends on the social structures, personalities, available knowledge, and setting.

Maybe start with the society, and see if there are any hints there. Are there social mores that bar this? Then move to motives: who knows and cares about their tryst? Thirdly, look to power: what power do concerned parties have to leverage?



I just recently discussed elsewhere a case when a member of Russian royal family (who was coincidentally the head of the navy) happened to "melt away" a sum that in total would suffice for a capital ship – shortly before the Russian-Japanese war! Now you suddenly have more understanding for revolutionaries, yep.

(Actually, the facts don't quite check out, even if the bribes of that person were in quite this order of magnitude, these were rather kick-offs by suppliers than money theft from the shipbuilding pot.)

But the point stands, I guess. Royalty can be involved in nasty business. Them being royalty does not help. In the above case, the whole "close enough" family of Tsar ("great prince" being the technical term) was literally above the law in the Russian Empire.

  • $\begingroup$ I figured the previous rulers of the empire were corrupt in some form, but all students are enrolled at the age of 4, so the new generation aren't as familiar with the deeds done by their parents and ancestors. They only know the glorified info that's been told to them. $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2018 at 22:26

On top of the excellent answers already here, consider that royalty IS organized crime.

Well, the history of it is more precisely. That any one at all can just say I own you all, and you have no choice. I decide who will own you next, and it will be of MY blood line... Can you honestly say this is not a crime against humanity? Inherited power?

But we don't know much about your world as you're writing it. The reaction of the public would vary depending on how universally accepted and loved the royal family is, and how well known and feared the crime organization is.

No matter what you do, you know how short the attention spans of the world are. You can even have your public lash out in anger and have the royals merely observe as the wave of outrage swells, then lulls, then disappears when the next big news surfaces. They may even revel in the surprise of seeing just how inconsequential this union was. With the distractions and sheep like foolishness of the public, maybe they both could do exactly what they were lined up to do without anyone really noticing.

Personally, I would write it the opposite way. I would have the world lose their composure entirely and lash out against the royal structure and crime union. I would have them refuse to accept it, and overthrow this ridiculous tradition the old fashioned way. Pitchforks, torches, and a mob too big for any military to control. I would use this as the straw that breaks the camel's back. And these lovers could try to maintain their roles and duties but ultimately find that the only way to be accepted is to have them both disown their former lines and come back down to the level of the people and let a new form of government rise from the ashes.

  • $\begingroup$ No, I don't think inherited power is a crime against humanity. Many subjects love their royal families, especially the ones who provide for them and protect them from invaders. And even I did think so, this "crime against humanity" is much different than violent crime and trafficking in drugs or people. $\endgroup$ Aug 3, 2018 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ And the Kardashians are famous for no reason. Some people just do what they're told, love what they're told, follow traditions and fear the concept of change. Like most political structures, the necessity of such things diminished over time and became more tradition than logical. I'm not saying it doesn't have some wider benefit that outweighs the asinine construct. I am saying that it's ridiculous that governance is passed down by birth right and not actual qualifications, and not just because the training is refused to outsiders. It's been a long time since royalty has been necessary. $\endgroup$
    – Kai Qing
    Aug 3, 2018 at 4:24
  • $\begingroup$ "Have them both disown their former lines and come back down to the level of the people and let a new form of government rise from the ashes:" I have always liked the enchanted story N. Bonaparte (oppressed aboriginal, co-opted into the military, citizen, popular hero, dictator, emperor) and Joséphine de Beauharnais (noblewoman, enemy of the people, widow, saved from the guillotine by an unrelated uprising, socialite, empress). $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Aug 3, 2018 at 17:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .