Kate = The New Disney Princess

The other Princess Catherine

“I think Princess Catherine will have a dress like Cinderella,” Caroline said dreamily, as we watched the billionth story about the Royal Wedding on the “Today” show.

“I’m gonna be two!” shouted baby Catherine, who has a tendency to announce her age every time she hears her name.  And she is two.  She just hasn’t figured that out yet.

Royal Wedding fever is alive and well at my house.  Not just because we have the “Today” show on in the morning.  It’s Royal Wedding WEEK on the Disney Channel.  And why not? Genius! From the people who created the ideal princess and sold that vision in movies, theme parks, party favors and t-shirts to millions of little girls everywhere.  It’s a great formula: Beautiful, strong-willed, polite young women, who have huge hearts, strive to do the right thing and fall in love instantly.  But their family life, well, is always a bit dysfunctional. Let’s take a look, shall we? (so Royal-esque)

Cinderella: Clueless Dad and nasty Stepmother.

Belle: Clueless Dad and no Mother.

Ariel: Dictator Dad (rules ocean) and no Mother.

Snow White: non-existent Dad and crazy stepmother.

Sleeping Beauty: Parents decide to let 3 bumbling fairies raise her for 16 years. And she still touches the spindle.

Jasmine: Clueless Dad and no Mother.  Has Tiger for a pet.

Hmmm.

Poor Kate – she has some big shoes to fill for a generation of little girls who think they know who princesses are.  Kate is beautiful, described as saintly, smart, strong-willed, and polite with a huge heart. Fits the mold so far.  As far as I know though, she has not befriended forest animals and does not break out into song during events.

She also didn’t fall in love instantly.  And had to wait eight years before getting her prince (who has thinning hair).  Not perfect.  There’s your reality.

Haters will say Disney’s version of princesses fill girls’ heads with unrealistic expectations.  That isn’t how love is!  Being a princess isn’t perfect!  Combine that with the Royal Wedding haters who yell, it’s frivolous! People are dying, wars are being fought, children are starving – it’s a waste of time!

But no matter how cynical we can be about the world – this is the celebration of a marriage. Two people officially starting their life together.  With horse-drawn carriages and a Lifetime Original Movie made about them.  But what an opportunity to show your children a real royal wedding, and explain that not all princesses are cartoons.  I remember watching Diana and Charles years ago (looooved puffed sleeves). I’ve always been a sucker for history, and Lord knows I cry at Hallmark commercials.

So we’ll watch.  Though I will have to remind my kids that Kate will probably not be wearing a screaming yellow gown, like Belle.  And no, mice did not make her dress.

But… wouldn’t it be nice if they DID live happily ever after?