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Authors: Meg Cabot

Perfect Princess

BOOK: Perfect Princess
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A Princess Diaries Book

Illustrated by Chesley McLaren

For princesses everywhere, past, present, and pretend

Thank you to those who contributed to this book, princesses all: Beth Ader, Jennifer Brown, Barbara Cabot, Alison Donalty, Barb Fitzsimmons, Lexa Hillyer, Elise Howard, Sasha Illingworth, Michele Jaffe, Laura Langlie, Abigail McAden, Chesley McLaren, and especially royal consort Benjamin Egnatz, a true prince.

—M.C.

Many thanks to Alison Donalty, Barbara Fitzsimmons, Sasha Illingworth, Abby McAden, Nisha Panchal, and Meg Cabot for all being such perfect princesses!

—C.M.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction:

All I Need to Know I Learned from Princesses, by Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo
Princess Mia discusses the importance of princesses—past, present, and pretend

I.
Perfect Princesses:

Dowager Princess Clarisse Renaldo offers a selection of perfect-princess role models
From Chinese Empress Wu Zetian to Britain's “Queen Mum”: Grandmère admires princesses who have shown grace under pressure

II.
Style Princesses:

Hair and makeup guru Paolo and fashionisto Sebastiano discuss principessas whose royal wardrobes have profoundly impacted the world. Also: Cousin Hank Thermopolis makes a special guest appearance
From Marie Antoinette's rosy cheeks to Princess Jasmine's halter top, royal style relies on more than just a crown. Paolo and Sebastiano explain how

III.
Mrs. Princess:

Tina Hakim Baba names princesses who only became princesses because they were lucky enough to marry princes
Tina examines the phenomenon of commoners who scored royal titles—and princes—from Princess Diana to Mia's own Grandmère

IV.
Power Princesses:

Renowned social activist Lilly Moscovitz comments on princesses who wielded mighty scepters
From Cleopatra and her fatal asp to Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, these royals refused to merely sit pretty on their thrones

V.
Action Princesses:

Royal Consort Michael Moscovitz reflects upon his ideal princess… and surprisingly, it is not Princess Leia
Michael tells all (or at least his thoughts on heroines in tiaras, that is)

VI.
Politically Correct Princesses:

Princess Mia sheds light on the valuable lessons contained in popular fairy tales
From Princess Mononoke to Snow White, every princess carries a message, be it about environmentalism or not eating an apple offered by a stranger, no matter how juicy it looks

VII.
Wannabe Princesses:

Princess Mia decrees just who is, and who is not, a real princess
In regards to the likes of Barbie, Smurfette, and Gwyneth Paltrow, Princess Mia draws a line in the sand

VIII.
Should-Be Princesses:

Princess Mia lists those who are not princesses but ought to be
Princess Mia takes a stand on behalf of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gwen Stefani, and others

Conclusion :

Getting in touch with your inner princess
Princess Mia ties it all together

INTRODUCTION

by Her Royal Highness Princess Mia Thermopolis

Imagine it: One day you're just this normal ninth grader with too-big feet and too-small breasts, whose biggest concern is passing Algebra and/or whether or not your best friend's hottie brother knows you're alive. The next thing you know, you're a princess. Suddenly, everybody around you is talking tiaras and tariffs. But you're still all, “What's on the WB tonight?”

Like adolescence isn't bad enough, with the zits and the bad hair days and the nobody-understands-me thing. Try taking all that and throwing a big ermine cape over it (except not, because wearing fur is wrong unless you are, like, an

Eskimo and really need mink to stay alive in the subarctic temperatures or whatever).

Fortunately my grandmother—formally known as the Dowager Princess Clarisse Renaldo, or, as I simply call her, Grandmère—stepped in with the whole “princess lessons” idea. True, my chance of ever taking part in after-school extracurriculars is totally shot, on account of how I have to go to Grandmère's every afternoon to learn how to pour tea and say, “I don't prefer any more finger sandwiches, thank you,” in seven different languages.

But while I'm still not exactly sure about the whole posture thing and how much of a tip to leave the hotel manicurist in Beijing, one thing I have got down is the fact that I am not the world's first—or even its last—princess.

And just knowing that I'm not alone—that there are people who have endured exactly what I'm going through— is, like, such a major comfort, I can't even tell you. Read on to find out about other princesses—past, present, and pretend—who have made major impacts on society, and what we, as princesses in training, can learn from their triumphs and mistakes.

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