When Prince George was born last summer, you’ll probably remember the hours spent watching those infamous doors at the Lindo Wing or the celebrations around the world at the birth of a new heir. Other people, such as a dear friend of mine, remember his birthday for completely different reasons – the birth of her own daughter.
Recently, I gifted her with one of the WWKD onesies declaring that her daughter was surely to be “Prince George’s Future Wife”. While discussing the rumours of Kate having a poster of William on her walls in school and the baby’s need for at least Commonwealth lineage, I got carried away in planning this little girl’s schooling, extracurricular activities and social training in order to have her be best prepared the possibility of a regal future.
What types of activities and learning could this little girl enrol in to prepare for a possible regal future? Should playgroups be already arranged for playing – and social climbing? How does one best prepare to be a Princess is a great question, and one that I looked to Kate’s experiences for inspiration. And yes, you grown-up Princess aspirers, there is still lots of content for you. We even added tidbits under “Grown-up Guide” especially for you!
Appreciating that the best scientific studies also reference multiple data points, I thought Kate would approve of us examining a wider variety of Royals in our review (in this case, a WWKD Princess Preparation Table comparing the backgrounds of Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Princess Letizia of Spain, Autumn Kelly, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxemburg*, Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark) and so without further ado…
From Day One
The very first thing we noticed across the Princesses was the use of, for the vast majority, very aristocratic and historic names. There are no Neveahs, Apples or Moon Units on this list. While I am all for children having unique and insightful names (my name is as generic as they come) when raising a child to join the nobility, one must think beyond current circumstances and look further down the road. You can never go wrong with the name of a current – or past – Queen, as Carole Middleton proved with Kate’s Elizabeth middle name. The hottest baby names for little girls are now showcasing older, more traditional names as being most popular, so perhaps today’s trends are already helping a future generation of Princesses.
Fun Fact: 5 out of the 8 Princesses we reviewed were interestingly born in the first 2 months of the year. Perhaps the qualities of the Aquarius zodiac sign are indicative of the traits Prince Charming is looking for? Those born under the Aquarius zodiac sign are often listed as being witty, clever, humanitarian, inventive and original individuals – definitely something showcased in our favorite Princess, Kate.
Not knowing Prince George’s sex prior to the birth, it’s incredibly likely that William and Kate spent hours poring over historic Queens to honour in the naming of their possible daughter. In case you’re looking for inspiration, we came up with a list to help you make this important decision based on traditional European Royalty names.
All Grown Up? Those reading without daughters but with aspirations of their own to become a Princess might fret at the inability to change their names to something more traditional… But don’t! If you’ve had your name for your entire life, wear it with confidence, which is all any Prince Charming could ask for. Plus, as Autumn Kelly proved, a non-traditional name can still woo a Prince! If you’re still not sure, most people tend to have more traditional or formal middle names, so another option is to use your middle name.
Growing Up Regally
As a Princess-to-Be grows up, focussing on her schooling will be a priority, as all of the Princesses we reviewed had gone on to pursue post-secondary education. The subject matter they chose to study was as varied as the women themselves, but they all aspired to higher learning and thusly were dedicated to their studies. While choosing a field of study is often difficult for a young adult and, as our Princess research proved, very personal, selecting to take courses in a Princess-related areas (even as optional courses) could be an engaging alternative. Given that most Royal Houses are in Europe with a long and rich history, taking courses with historical coverage could be highly beneficial, as would courses with geographical elements (for world tours, no less) or language skills.
All Grown Up? With the explosion of digital media over the last few years, there are now literally thousands of online courses being offered through applications such as iTunes U. I’ve taken courses on Medieval History, the Fundamentals of Economics and even Royal Houses themselves through fantastic Universities around the world to brush up on my knowledge of areas – and best part? They’re free.
Speaking of language, most Princesses polled spoke at least two languages. Having these skills will be an excellent resource when meeting foreign officials, tours on behalf of the Royal Family and even charitable endeavours. Again, seeing as most Royal Houses continue to be in Europe, the two most common languages were English and French – but given the emergence of Latin America and Asia, learning even Spanish or Chinese would be a valuable asset. Nowadays, most schools offer language courses and studies show immersing children in various languages at an early age will tremendously help them acquire the flavour of that tongue.
All Grown Up? If going back to school to learn a new language is not an option, there are wonderful apps and audiobooks (like Rosetta Stone) which can help improve basic conversational fluency in a language. Free Podcasts are also available, like the Coffee Break series, and allow excellent tutelage in conversational basics.
With academics getting top billing in this section, it’s also important to ensure that a Princess-to-Be is rounding out her education with extracurricular activities as well. All of the Princesses studied have interests in remaining active and around certain sporting activities in particular. Keeping active seems to be a passion amongst all these women, some might say due to the pressure of maintaining appearances or of the requirement to produce an heir, but most likely due to an ongoing commitment to health & wellness which many of them support in their charitable endeavours.
Women joining the British Royal Family in particular will have to have a basic level of knowledge about equine sports – many of the men (Including Princes William and Harry) play polo and even the women are avid equestriennes (Zara Tindall). Look to the suburbs of your city or town to find horse stables offering riding courses or if that’s not available in your area there are summer camps and vacation destinations which offer them.
Aside from the amazing riding boots and saddles you’ll undoubtedly need to purchase your budding horsewoman, Princesses all seem to have been photographed on skiing holidays around the European Alps, well known to be some of the best skiing in the world. There is a beauty in snow covered mountain tops and fresh air in your lungs while gliding down a hill which is unparalleled – and the undeniable fact that tuques, goggles and scarves help make famous faces more anonymous. Living near ski hills might not be feasible for you, but travelling to the ski hills in the Alps will not only offer lessons and practice, but the increased likelihood of running into members of the Royal jet set.
All Grown Up? Save your pennies and head to the hills! Royals all seem to share this outdoor passion and a quick glance at holiday schedules could provide some additional luck in running into a Prince of your own. If you’re not sure how to ski, you must learn! Skiing lessons might not be the most appealing prospect, but given the danger of going down the hill and breaking a limb they are necessary. Most ski resorts offer lessons aimed at adults which take place in the mornings so the afternoons can be spent riding chairlifts, skiing and then mingling by the fire.
When not travelling to world-class ski resorts, it’s also important to visit as much of the world as you can. Travel is well-known to be a humbling experience and the chance to immerse oneself in another culture is unparalleled in building a refined and cultured Princess. If you live in North America, trips to Europe are an absolute necessity – and if you live in Europe, trips to various countries within the EU and at least one jaunt across the pond will be needed.
If world travels with your little Princess aren’t in your budget, don’t fret. There are all kinds of ways to expand her horizons as she gets older. There are school or church trips which are often subsidized or of lesser cost than arranging the travel yourself and various exchanges which can be arranged through Universities or higher education programs. I truly believe there to be no substitute for travelling in expanding one’s horizons.
Fun Fact: As Maxima and Mary demonstrated, it is no longer a pre-requisite for a woman to be born in the country she will one day join the Royal Family of. Maxima, now Queen of the Netherlands, was born in distant Argentina and Mary, now Queen of Denmark, was born in Australia.
All Grown Up? You’re going to be saving your pennies yet again, as I cannot state enough that travelling is critical. It is extremely unlikely for anything to come to you while sitting around and waiting for it, most things in life – at least things worth having – are because you went out and explored the world and found them. If you’re struggling to pay your bills and really want to travel, there are work exchange programs which I have colleagues who have taken. One colleague travelled to Italy’s Tuscany region to work at a vineyard for a week at no cost, and while he did work during the day at various tasks in the vineyard, he was free in the afternoon and evenings to immerse himself in local culture, food and history.
When you (or your little Princess-to-be) are all grown up and entering the workforce, it is important to find something you are passionate about. It’s at this stage that one must come to realize that they may never meet a Prince Charming with a Royal title, but might meet Mister Perfect who will treat her like the Princess she was raised to be. Working at a job to pay the bills might be a necessity without a large royal allowance, but this does not mean settling for something that doesn’t make you excited to get up in the morning or that you are passionate about. You can work at odd jobs on the way to your dream career that you dislike, but never let those jobs become your career. Look at Princess Letizia for inspiration on this one; she became a well-reputed journalist and news anchor in Spain covering Presidential Elections and wars in Iraq before meeting her Prince Charming. The journalism business is a tough one, especially for women just starting out. Likewise for Queen Maxima, who worked as an Investment Banker before meeting her Prince – an industry renowned for its lack of female representation that she managed to thrive in.
And ladies, as we’ve said before, being a Princess is a tough job. It’s not for everyone, as our Kate herself demonstrated in taking some time away from Prince William, reportedly to step back and think about the life she would be committing herself to. The perception of a life spent in tiaras, ball gowns and unbridled luxury will soon meet the mundane requirements of engagements, paparazzi pursuits and media scrutiny. What we so admire about these women is not so much the tiaras on their heads (although we’d be lying if we said we weren’t jealous) but the substance which each of them brings to their positions. They’re well-educated, active and charitable women which , and I confirmed this with my friend who will be putting her daughter in horse lessons this fall, is all any mother could ask for in her daughter. And she also confirmed to me that no matter what her daughter does in her life – and whom she chooses to love – she will be a Princess in her eyes, no matter what.
Bonus Princess Resources:
- Download the WWKD Princess Preparation Table in PDF form