I don’t normally watch episodes of Sesame Street, so forgive me for missing the news that Sonya Sotomayor was on recently and was discussing how girls needed to find a career- and how being a Princess was not a viable option. In case you did too, the video can be seen at the bottom of this post.
The way I see it? Princess is a viable career – a difficult if not practically impossible one for most, certainly, but one that is no less of a career than many others (Just of the top of my head? Reality TV star, socialite…) I was quite surprised to see the number of people hop aboard the “Beat up on the Princess” bandwagon and I even got an e-mail from a well-intentioned friend who asked me why I was a part of a website that was “idolizing” a Princess who didn’t do anything. I could go on and on about the differences but I thought I’d make a list which would review the main characteristics of a normal job and then review how Princesses have lined up – and what we can learn from them.
Getting the Job
Becoming a Princess in the past has entailed pretty standardly that your noble parents managed to marry you off to a Prince because of your otherworldly beauty, future political alliances they would enjoy or just to enhance the family name. Nowadays Princesses have to come with a pretty standard set of skills which aren’t exactly taught at your local high school in Anywhere, USA; They’re multi-lingual, educated, experienced and all-around smart cookies.
Princess Reference Points
- Princess Letizia has a Bachelor’s Degree, Licentiate in Information Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Audiovisual Journalism. She speaks Spanish, English and conversational German. She was an anchor at a major news desk before getting married
- Princess Maxima has a degree in Economics and worked as an Investment Banker prior to her marriage. She speaks English, Spanish and Dutch
- Essentially all modern-day Princesses have University level education at a minimum. If you’re interested to get into professional Princessing, you will definitely need to have an education behind you- plus you’ll need to be going to good schools which is where many Princesses find their Princes. Get good grades, a good degree and bonus! you then also have a built-in back up plan should Princessing fall through.
- Learn as many languages as you possibly can as Princess duties will require you visit different other countries and know at least a passable amount of the native language. Good languages to learn? European languages such as French or Spanish which are all readily taught in schools around the world.
Princess Reference Points
- Our own Kate met Prince William through friends at St. Andrew’s University, and the two became friends before becoming romantically involved. I’ve read numerous accounts of their meeting and most of them said she knew the Prince would be attending St. Andrew’s and that might have even influenced her choice of schools. Putting yourself in the right place helps!
- Princess Maxima met Prince Alexander at a social event in Seville where he was introduced to her as just Alexander. At a meeting later in the future, he revealed he was a Prince. Good thing she didn’t blow him off at the first meeting…
- Meeting Prince Charming could happen anywhere, but it definitely helps if you work your way into certain social groups known to be friends with your Royal. While many of these groups are elite, with the advent of Social Media there really is no excuse how you can’t levy a connection you have now to garner an invitation to a gathering with the crowds you might need to know, where you will have to be ready to dazzle!
- My mom always told me to be nice to everyone, and I’ve always taken this advice to heart. You never know if the man cutting in front of you in line is actually the Press Secretary to the Palace who will remember your tirade about rudeness when you meet again, the guy sitting next to you in Biology is actually a foreign Prince trying to get away from his Royal life and enjoy schooling or if the nice old lady who wants to chat at the coffee shop is a new Royal’s Great Aunt. Oh, and worst case scenario from being nice to everyone? You’re nice to everyone. Win win!
Princess Reference Points
- Princess Letizia was previously married and divorced while Princess Mette-Marit had a child and wasn’t previously married. These things which came out in the press and were surrounded by great debate about these Ladies’ past lives wasn’t a fun time for either of them whom I’m sure would have rather kept it quiet, but the things that were previous deal breakers (Hello Wallis Simpson) are now more commonplace and accepted
- Princess Mary had to convert to being a Lutheran, Princess Maxima remained a Catholic but agreed to raise her children as Protestants and Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden had to have their engagement approved by the Government of Sweden.
- While everyone wishes that they find their Prince at a young age and live a long happy life together, it’s not always what happens- sometimes you make a bad decision on a marriage earlier or maybe go through an unplanned pregnancy. It’s your life you’re living and be confident in the decisions you’ve made- good or bad. Embrace them, learn from them and don’t try to hide them from future Princes who may come calling.
- It also won’t hurt to learn proper etiquette and forms of address for when you meet your future in-laws- or Prince as if rumour is true Kate curtseyed to Prince William upon their first formal meeting. While this used to be a secret behavioural club, this information is now readily available all over and should be something you’re familiar with in the hopefully likely case you should run into a royal.
The Job Itself
Looking the Part
This might be where many people get the “Princess is not a job” thing from when they see pictures of Princesses looking glamorous and insanely well-groomed all of the time. I don’t know about you ladies, but looking picture perfect at every single moment you leave your house (paparazzi) and especially at black-tie events (more paparazzi) is exhausting. I think back to my wedding day and was so sick and tired of make-up and blow dryers after a few hours I would have gladly shown up in my bathing suit (Clarification: I got married on a beach)
Princess Reference Points
- Kate goes to the salon three times a week for a blowout and when you add in cuts, treatments and fancy up-dos that’s a lot of time spent in a chair in the 156 visits per year she makes to her hair dresser, Richard Ward in London [Source]. This is even before she married Prince William as the press hounded her when she was just dating him, often stalking her paparazzi style on a regular basis. And still, there aren’t any truly bad pictures…
- Princess Charlene of Monaco is rumoured to have had some pretty serious plastic surgery as she prepared to become Princess of Monaco. I’m all for doing whatever you need to do to feel better about yourself, but I doubt that if this is true this was all Charlene’s doing as she was stunning before.
- Learn what works for you early and then perfect it. I’ve spent years (literally years) trying to figure out how to tame my ringlet curls into straight submission. I’ve recently discovered that my curly hair is not only an asset, but very indicative of my personality. If only I could go back through all those years and have perfected frizzless curls, I’d be set! Or, look at Kate who has had the same hairstyle for years- because it works. Added bonus? Working with what you got will be less labor intensive and will always look better.
- Princesses are role models and that includes in the way they look- I’ve yet to see one that is morbidly obese or not supporting fitness in some way, shape or form. With obesity becoming truly an epidemic, teach yourself how to eat healthy with real food and treats in moderation and to exercise regularly and enjoy it.
Acting the Part
Princess Reference Points
- Queen Rania of Jordan supports causes which are close to her heart, such as Education for Children- both at home in Jordan and globally. Princess Letizia also works for Children’s Rights
- Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has attended every single opening of Parliament in London except in 1959 and 1963 when pregnant.
- Find charities you believe in and support them as of right now. Being charitable with your money is great if you are able- and if not, your time will be equally if not more appreciated.
- You are going to have to constantly be in the public eye so it would be a good idea to develop interests in subjects such as art, culture, literature and society so you can be well versed on the topics when they inevitably come up in conversation at these gatherings.
Now before any feminists hunt me down and say that I am singlehandedly taking women kind backwards by believing this, I want to point out a few things.
What is funny to me is that there are thousands of little girls out there who want to be Princesses but then there are also thousands of girls who would also say they want to be reality TV stars. Let’s review a couple of facts there: Kim Kardashian has a high school diploma and released a sex tape in order to garner publicity. The majority of women on the Bachelor shows have been professional cheerleaders, dancers or showgirls. There are women out there just looking to marry men for their money – and call gold-digging their careers.
My point is that wanting to be a Princess as a career will entitle you to an extremely privileged life- but you will have to work for it. I appreciate that not every girl can be a Princess- in fact, there is a higher chance of being hit by lightning- but let’s assume that a young girl did decide to follow the Princess career path. Following the underlying principles that I’ve outlaid above when she entered the “job market”, she’d have a University degree from a good school, speak at least a second language, have the social skills to talk to anyone, have friends, support charities and have an interest in art and culture. Is that really such a bad plan?
And, in case you’re curious, here’s an interesting video on how Kate has redefined the role of “Princess” herself with some facts you may – or may not – know about the Duchess.