Hey, @rose-colored-fancy. I read your question and found myself quite intrigued with your story and problem.
On a side note, your story sounds amazing, and I’m not saying that lightly. When I first started reading to see if I could help you at all, I got drawn into the world you described in a few sentences. 🙂 Sounds amazing, and I wish you well on it!
Now in answer of your question, this is the first thing that came to mind. I have problems with this as well, and a writing friend of mine gave me an idea when I was struggling with this. Instead of having one character who knows about a certain situation tell another about it (which tends to load down the reader if there’s too much detail or go on too long), you can change the POV. For instance, since you need the reader to know the situation at hand and only a few people know about it, change the POV to one of those characters’ perspectives, and then it makes the job of explanation a lot easier. (Other than the fact that you then have to know the character extremely well to be able to tell it from his/her POV.) I realize this may not be appealing to you, because your story is only from the princess’s POV, but when my friend told me this, it actually enhanced the story. A lot. I’m not saying having a story from only one person’t POV is bad – I’ve read tons of books that were fine without multiple POV’s – but if you change it to another person’s perspective, it tends to grab the reader’s attention. So if you have small scenes from either your main villain’s POV or another person who knows the situation, it could solve your problem and add a little more spice to your story. And you wouldn’t have to have big scenes or a lot of them, just enough to change things up and give you time to explain what’s going on.
I hope this helps, but if it doesn’t, I totally get it. Hope you get a helpful answer to your problem soon, so you can continue with your writing. 🙂
Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. -JRR Tolkien