"They can't order me to stop dreaming."
I have to admit it -- I'm a bit jealous of Kate Middleton right now. Today she is living out a dream so many little girls have; she is marrying a prince. Growing up just a year younger than Prince William, like many young women my age I've romanced the notion of one day becoming a princess. As a child, I had the vague notion that I'd meet him during a fabulous trip to London and he'd fall head-over-heels in love with the crazy, very un-British American girl that I am. As I got older, I imagined that my troubled teen self would be shipped off to some British boarding school where the royal Prince would find me simply irresistable. Luckily for Kate, neither of those situations happened and now she's the one about to celebrate her all-eyes-on-her wedding day.
Celebrity-lover that I am (yes, I know, it's not a trait I'm particularly fond of), I've been keeping tabs on all of the wedding details, and I am thrilled at the idea of watching it on television despite the super early hour here on the east coast. I consider myself somewhat of a princess expert (though only of the fictional variety, having written my Master's thesis about the roles of love and gender in the lives of Disney's princesses), and, like so many women, I've wondered more than once what it would be like to be a real life princess.
And, lately, watching all of the specials and made-for-TV movies about the upcoming royal nuptials has made me think, "Hey! I wanna be a princess!" Nevermind that I don't have the slightest idea about what being a princess really entails. In my mind, it's all glamour and glitz and fabulousness. Ballgowns and tiaras and glass slippers. Of course that's not reality, but daydreaming about a princess-like life has made me think about what being a princess really means -- and how I can make living like a princess (somewhat of) a reality in my own life. Silly as it might sound, living like a princess is a possibility. Your reality is what you make it! Here are my thoughts on how to live life just like a princess (or prince)...
9 Ways to Live Like a Princess
1. Handle irritations with grace. Princesses know how to deal with difficultly. A truly great princess will look at the bright side of things and try to make the most of bad situations. She will not let herself get ruffled by minor irritations and when such irritations do find her, she will handle them with grace.
2. Surround yourself with beautiful things. You don't have to be an actual princess to surround yourself with beautiful things. You should always find ways to bring a little joy into your life. Keep your favorite things, your favorite colors, etc. around you at all times -- just like a princess would!
3. Find mentors to look up to. All the princesses I know (okay, have read about or watched on TV) have a good mentor, someone that they can look to for guidance. I think, princess or not, we can all use that. Someone that provides us with a great foundation and lots of inspiration -- that's what everyone needs!
4. Be inspiring to others. A true princess is an inspiration to others. She knows she is gifted with a special position in life (as all of us are!) and she uses it for good. A good princess does what she can to inspire other people not only with her words, but with her actions as well.
5. Find ways to make the world better. One of the best ways to be a great royal figure is to make the world a better place. Even if you aren't an actual royal, you can always do your part to make the world better. Even the smallest act of kindness can make a big difference.
6. Treat others with fairness. Princesses should act with fairness. Whether you're balancing a tiara on your head or not, it can be very difficult to treat everyone fairly, but it's a truly dignified way to act. No matter who you interact with, treat them with kindness and fairness.
7. Give loved ones the royal treatment. While being a princess does mean receiving the royal treatment from time to time (and, yes, you should treat yourself sometimes!), it also means being giving and gracious. A princess with a good heart will never hesitate to give to others -- and neither should you.
8. Keep an open mind. Just like a regular person, any princess will benefit from an open mind. As a political figure and inspiration to her people, a princess should be open-minded and supportive of others' ideas. It's a hard thing for anyone to do, but keeping an open mind is an amazing way to act princess-like.
9. Stay true to your values. A princess should have a strong sense of self and she should stay true to what she believes in no matter what she encounters. I'm sure there are many temptations for a princess to stray from what is true to her, but a true princess will always honor herself and her beliefs.
You want to be a princess or a prince? You might not be able to get the title (who needs that!), but you can certainly live a life fit for a royal. After all, there's no need to wait for a prince -- or wish one had been born into a royal family -- to start living like a princess. If I've learned anything from watching all of these pre-wedding specials, it's that being royalty has much more to do with character than it has to do with fancy events and sparkly jewels. A true princess is someone who is an inspiration to others, who inspires herself, and who knows how to make the most of the life she's been given.