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For National Princess Week, I thought I’d share some of my favorite media featuring royalty, specifically princesses (though there are a few exceptions).

  • Movies – Disney category (Face it: Disney has made a pretty impressive niche for themselves in the princess media market. They’re a third of the reason why this whole week exists, after all. Hence their own category.)
    • The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
      I enjoy this film because we see a royal at work. Mia actually does things with her time other than be a pretty face. She still messes up; it is a comedy, and Mia is still a klutz, but what Clarisse said in the first movie about royalty being a real job is well-illustrated here. (Honorable mention goes here to the first  Princess Diaries, because it’s a great story, but I prefer the look into royal day-to-day life, however fictionalized.)
    • Beauty and the Beast
      This is a great telling of one of the best fairy tales out there; Belle is smart and isn’t ashamed of it (points from a nerd like me), and the dynamic between Belle and the Beast takes time to develop. (And those who cry, “Stockholm Syndrome!” please note that the Beast is the first one to change. He chased after Belle probably to shout at her some more and drag her back to the castle; he saved her from the wolves instead, which prompted Belle to take care of him, and their relationship plays out from there.) I know Belle spends only the last few minutes or so as a princess, but since Belle has a place in the official Disney Princess lineup, I say it counts, and it’s my blog. 😀
    • Enchanted
      This only marginally counts as a “princess” movie as well, but Giselle was considered as an addition to the Disney Princess lineup (licensing issues allegedly stood in the way). Oh well. There’s a queen, and a prince, and a great story that embraces all the typical “princess movie” tropes but is at the same time a clever and loving parody, and since I’m a fan of both genres, I love Enchanted.
  • Movies – Non-Disney category
    • The Young Victoria
      Queen Victoria is always seen as a sour-looking old woman, with her widow’s clothing and tiny crown. This movie showed us Victoria as a young woman determined to make her own way in the world after a sheltered upbringing, and finally meeting the love of her life. (Victoria lived 40 years after Albert’s death, and she mourned him for the rest of her life. If I ever get married, I hope that I could have a marriage half as devoted. (Even if Albert never did throw himself in front of an assassin’s bullet for Victoria. Artistic license – what are you gonna do?)
    • The King’s Speech
      I’ve already touched on how much I love this movie, but it really is that good. (Good enough to make me have to revise my list title to “royalty media” because even though there is a Queen and two adorable princesses, this movie’s about the King.) As with Princess Diaries 2, we see royals Doing Things, like appearances (and speeches!) at factories and exhibitions, and becoming a rallying force for the country as they prepare for war.
    • Anastasia
      Nope, not done by Disney, even though it clearly follows the Disney Princess pattern. Even though it’s not historically accurate at all, and it’s a pretty conventional story, I enjoy the movie and the fact that it doesn’t take place in the conventional place (Somewhere, Europe) or time (Vaguely Medieval Times).
  • Books
    • Someday My Prince Will Come: True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess by Jerramy Fine

    Rather than repeat myself about how much I love this book, please read my review here.

    • The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn by Eric Ives
      Anne Boleyn is one of my favorite queens, and this biography of her is quite possibly the most in-depth look into her life that I’ve found. Everything that Anne did (and didn’t do) is open to academic interpretation, and biographers are still trying to debate whether the evidence shows that Anne was guilty or innocent. Ives’ version of the events is the one that I subscribe to. (Honorable mention goes to Ives’ biography of Lady Jane Grey, but only because I’ve only read it once so far.)
    • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
      I touched on this book in the previous entry, but it deserves a place in this list. On the surface it’s a riches-to-rags-and-back-to-riches Victorian children’s story, but under that it’s a great story about a girl who strives to do what she can for the people in her life, even when she has nothing physical to give anymore. Like I said before, Sara is a great literary role model for how to act like a princess, even if you don’t have a title.

I hope you will give these a look, especially if you haven’t before. Happy watching and/or reading!

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