Growing up, the big thing for girls was usually and unsurprisingly- princesses. Whether that obsession developed from movies, television, or storybooks, it was common if not expected. Often, we would even be addressed as such. “What’s wrong, Princess?” “And how are you today, Princess?”
Even today, as an adult, you can tell quite a bit about a person just by asking them who their favorite princess is or was. It’s honestly so much fun to reminisce and identify with your favorite princess. Myself for example- I’ve personally always had a love for Snow White and her pure heart, which she used to befriend the woodland creatures and those you would never expect. Plus it didn’t hurt that she was the fairest of them all.
But isn’t it a curious thing that even as we grow up into adults, we never even consider that the princesses we may identify with may have one day grown up too? Often princesses, especially the old storybook ones, begin their tale young and innocently. Then as you watch their story unfold, they fall into some kind of trouble, flounder around a bit, need help from friends, then somehow overcome an obstacle with the help of a prince to lead them to their “the end” and “happily ever after”. I don’t know about you, but I never wanted the movies to end. In fact, if I recall correctly, I’ve even watched some over and over again in one day. However, this bodes the question- “If it wasn’t to end, what would happen next? and after that and after that?”
Of course the original princess stories live on in our hearts and have even inspired our own inner princesses. However, what we don’t often think about is the fact that becoming a princess isn’t the end goal.
The role of a princess is eventually: to become a queen.
The princesses that we know and love are all the youngest of women. Learning their identities, finding their footing, getting to know the people around them and what their mission and passions are in life. The little mermaid, Princess Ariel for example, began her story as a bit of an outcast amongst her family because for some reason she found herself to be obsessed with humans and their way of life, which would later lead her to literally have to find her footing at a bit of a cost. A queen, on the other hand, has had experience, has discovered her mission, and lives out her passions allowing them to fuel her fire.
Too often, being a princess entails playing a waiting game. Rapunzel waited to be freed from the castle, Cinderella waited to go to the ball, Sleeping Beauty and even my beloved Snow White waited for a kiss to break the spell. Whether it was for the passing of time, for a prince, or for the fairy godmother, they waited. Now let’s imagine for a moment that each of these princesses grew to become queen. How would their sequel stories go then? It’s difficult to imagine them in the role of a “great queen” while still waiting around to have other people take action and make the move. Why? Because a queen does not wait. A queen would get up off that throne, and gracefully get busy. This woman’s got things to do. Sure, she may have a king. But there is a difference between being two halves of a whole, and being two whole individuals coming together to create something incredible – something like a kingdom perhaps? Even without a king, there is such a thing as queendom, and I surely would not underestimate it.
With all this being said and done, why is it that a queen can do all these things that a princess usually cannot? Experience, wisdom, age? Sure. But there is an obvious reason as well – power. She can, because she can. With all that being said, this power comes with responsibilities, which a queen is well aware of. Let’s not forget that even she is human, so she can break a sweat, even shed some tears. But when it comes down to it, she knows what she has to do. As our younger princess selves would say, “She rules”.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no qualms with princesses versus queens. I’m not saying one is better than the other. Rather, I am trying not to let the idea go by that a princess and a queen can be the same person, so long as that princess gets out of her tower and accepts the throne that was always meant for her. A princess and a queen can be the same person, so long as she doesn’t sit idly waiting forever for her fairy godmother or prince to save the day. A princess and queen can be the same person, and that person can be you.
It may be fun to be a princess, but you, my dear, are meant to be Queen.
The process isn’t easy. Even the best of us have stumbled and lost her glass slipper along the way. Do not let those obstacles, evil witches, and bad guys lock you in a tower. You have a queendom to run. So long as you use your queen powers for good and not evil, and stay away from cursing spindles and poisoning apples, let it reign.
Even at the stroke of midnight when the carriage is nothing but a pumpkin. Even when you feel the facade of the magic is gone and your gown is nothing but torn up rags, just remember: Keep your chin up. Don’t go letting that crown slip.