The Princess is a Queen-in-Training. She could be an heiress to a throne or a fortune; the spoiled product of parents who give her everything she wants; or the superb result of parents who groom her to go on to achieve great things in the world. She could even be a damsel in distress whose helplessness makes her have to rely on others to take care of her. But no matter which incarnation a Princess takes, she is expected to be well-mannered, well-dressed, and well-spoken.
Princess Grace of Monaco and Princess Diana of England were contemporary princesses who enjoyed public adulation. They took their venerated positions seriously even when they felt overwhelmed, and worked hard for the public good. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, who married Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is also proving herself worthy of her role, gaining the respect of the press and public for her good manners, easygoing nature and a down-to-earth style that manages to convey a sense of occasion.
While fairytale and real-life Princesses usually don’t work, today’s Heiresses can be a different story. Ivanka Trump works for her father. Amanda Hearst works as a magazine editor in her family’s building and volunteers for animal rescue causes.
But some of the young women in this category use their privileged positions to get ahead in ways that are a little less admirable. For example, Paris Hilton, the hotel heiress. “A true heiress is never mean to anyone,” she wrote in her novel Confessions of an Heiress, which is laced with hauteur and sarcasm, “except a girl who steals your boyfriend.”
Taylor Swift, Zara Philips, Princess Beatrice, Athina Onassis
Princesses can be inspirational figures for girls who lack confidence and dignity. And they can use their positions to do good, and to be spokeswomen for excellent causes.
They can be demanding and unrealistic in their expectations because they don’t have to do much to earn the respect of others. They can also be quite helpless because they are used to having people around who do everything for them.
Good causes, casual elegance in clothing and entertaining, public respect
- Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
- The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown
- Confessions of an Heiress by Paris Hilton
- The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
- It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir by Gloria Vanderbilt
“I mean, every child at one stage dreams of being a prince or princess.” -Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark