A Beautiful Princess

When I was a small girl living in the wild dark hills, I loved princesses. But not the ones you may suppose. I knew none of the Disney films, nor even about the real Queen. You see, the world was forest and old ink stories to me. One of the first princesses I encountered was Mary, mother of Jesus. She appeared to be royalty to me because she was an honoured and cherished woman in a society of men - at least, according to the Bible comics my grandmother bought me. I confess that I learned less from those comics about god than I did about the pricelessness of a good woman and how men should behave towards her.

My favourite princess was Cinderella, an ordinary girl who became royalty - but who really was that all along because her heart was so good. From her story, I learned that a real princess did her best to be a lovely person for her own sake, so that her life, regardless of its circumstances, could be beautiful. (I also learned that the friendship of Buttons transformed her future just as much as did her romance with Prince Charming.)

This morning, Britain has a new princess. I am shamelessly happy about it. Royalty offers a living story; it provides an opportunity for us to join together in celebrating the human joys of romance, marriage, birth - and in honouring the struggles of life, and ultimately death.

Of course, every girl born into this world has the opportunity to be a true princess regardless of her birth. She doesn't need riches, beautiful clothes, a prince, or even a bed to sleep in. She only needs a good heart, and then anyone opening a door to her during a storm, or finding her walking the woods barefoot with a load of firewood, or seeing her remote and silent behind the brambles of her sorrows, will recognise at once her inner regality. This is what the fairy tales, which were mostly women's tales, tell us over and again. (I know it sounds like sentiment of the most syrupy kind, but I do believe it - and I wonder why we so often discard deep and lovely thoughts about womanhood as sentimental, syrupy, foolish?)

I wish a happy birthday to the new Princess Charlotte. I hope that all the good dreams she will dream in her life come true for her.

{Sharing with A Delightsome Life}


  1. I'm so happy and excited about the new princess too. : )

  2. oh geez, i feel like i live in a wee cabin in the woods and know nothing about worldly events. I had no idea that today Britain has a new princess.

    thank you for your thoughts.

  3. Sadly, what I see in the current fad of all girls being called princesses is that they think it's about being pretty and popular, and you can't be the latter without the former. A notion verily helped along by pop culture and reality tv. You must be seen to be somebody.

    What I always liked about princesses was when they were clever and got themselves out of trouble. That they stayed true no matter what harm was done to them.

    I won't go into modern day monarchy discussions, LOL.

  4. It's a great thing indeed, best wishes!

  5. There is something about being pure, and brave, and having strength of spirit. I remember reading about the princess riding on the back of the polar bear, and then later having to save her love from an evil enchantress. I was also touched by Mary, especially the part where Jesus had just been born, and people were talking about him, and her cherishing those words in her heart. Somehow I thought that was very beautiful. There is something about keeping beautiful secrets in our hearts.

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

  6. I never thought of cinderella as a princess at all even though she was the first princess that I sort of know about. but I agreed with you all the 'inner regality,' I wish I had thought about such things when I was young. but it's never too late to think about it now.

    thanks for this. have a lovely day.

  7. "Deep and lovely thoughts about womanhood"--yes, we need more stories like the old tales (like the ones you write). I loved this post, and am so happy about the new baby princess!
    There is a quality of sensitivity and hidden-ness within the heart of many of the old "princess" tales: Mary the Virgin Mother, Cinderella, Snow White and Rose Red, and The Princess and the Pea are identified by their modesty, gentle kindness, perseverance in suffering, and perception.

    Beautiful thoughts, Sarah. ♥

  8. "I wonder why we so often discard deep and lovely thoughts about womanhood as sentimental, syrupy, foolish?"

    I had such conflict with my poetry mentor over his immediate rejection over anything remotely sentimental in my work. I thought, what's so wrong with sentimentality anyway? Sure, there's the unreasonable, unbelievable, unrealistic Hallmark-sort-- an idealized version of life-- and I can see the issues therein. But the softness of emotion was what I sought to convey. There is such power and importance there, but as with most things associated with traditional womanhood, well, I can't go there or I'll just go on and on. Well said. :) And I was never into princesses as a child, but for all my non-interest, this novel I'm working on has a princess protag!

  9. What a lovely sentiment! (Although I would not like to be a royal Princess these days always in the eye of the media...)