Mainly, modern monarchies play the role of extremely expensive decoration as a symbol of a country inheritance and its representation in the world. Those few monarchs who are really in charge are in Swaziland or Saudi Arabia (the Pope is an absolute monarch as well). Part of them still can influence politics of a country like in Thailand. European monarchs, let alone the royal family of the Great Britain, should only get adjusted to the time change. Kate Middleton keeps the rating of the most discussed women in the world: there were very few women whose hypothetical pregnancy would have triggered so much interest of the mass media, but when it became known that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with a second child, - British tabloids boomed. Girls starting from their childhood dream about being a princess, and most of the time with the age these dreams do not disappear and many women continue to idealize real royalties. Here we share how the real princesses live and if their lives drastically differ from ours.
1. Crown princess Masako (Japan)
Japanese Emperor Dynasty is considered to be the oldest in the world. It is originated from the God of Sun Amaterasu. It is considered that since then there was no break in the line of emperors and it has more than two and a half thousand years, even though in 1945 the emperor has officially resigned from his divine origin. Emperor family has few authorities and duties (comparing with the British), but Masako was strongly influenced by the tough Japanese traditions. Daughter of the diplomat and the President of the UN International Court could have pursued a brilliant career despite of the rigidity of society where she was brought up. Masako studied at the University of Tokyo, the most prestigious in the country, Harvard and Oxford, and she dreamt all her life about a diplomatic career; she has been familiar ex officio with the world leaders from Clinton to Yeltsin. Her marriage with the Crown prince Naruhito resulted in the need not only to put an end to her career, but also to refuse from her previous life. Masako was called ‘Japanese lady Di’ and the country was predicted changes that she could bring. But progressive views of Masako turned to be unnecessary when it became known that she cannot give birth to the son-legatee in the family.
Masako disappeared from public for many years, attempting to tackle her depression, even it was forbidden to call it depression. Last years things got better and the Crown princess Masako started accompanying her husband in some of his trips. In 2007 journalist Ben Hills published a book ‘Princess Masako: hostage of Chrysanthemum throne’ that was criticized by the Department of Emperor court for ‘numerous factual inaccuracies’, while the largest Japanese publisher Kodansha even refused to publish it. Though, the book summarized a dramatic story of a woman whose personality could not find its place among the age-old traditions.
2. Princess Amira Al-Tavil (Saudi Aravia)
Amira Al-Tavil married the Crown prince de jure and that made her de facto a princess. However, when she quietly divorced with the nephew of the current king of Saudi Arabia, she was still called the princess despite of the fact that there were more powerful women in the royal family such as princess Adyla. However, they both became famous as they openly stand for the reforms in the country where homosexuality is punished by the death sentence and women do not have right even to drive a care or get employed without consent of a man. Amyra Al Tavil met the Crown prince during her study journalists’ assignment and even after getting married, she did not leave her ambitions in the past. She was permanently involved in the charity programs fighting poverty and unemployment issues; she brought attention of the West to the segregation of women in the Middle East. Her credo is ‘Evolution, not revolution’. But the royal family often made remarks to the husband of Amyra that if she continues in the same manner, she will be brutally punished. For example, she was riding a car. Amyra is a first princess who refused to wear traditional Arab Abaya dress in the public places; it was the showy gesture emphasizing the credo of her life.
3. Princess Sikhanyizo Dlamini (Swaziland)
Swaziland is a small African state with the population of slightly more than a million people. Head of state is His Majesty King Mswati ???; he is an absolute monarch and has 13 wives and 24 children (other sources mention 28 children). In Swaziland polygamy is not forbidden by law, thus, allowed. Though His Majesty King Mswati has got more than two dozens of children, the most public among them is his oldest daughter Sikhanyizo. In a quite poor country with still urgent issue of protection of population from Aids and tuberculosis, Sikhanyizo Dlamini became a centre of attention due to her expensive trips around the world at the costs of the taxpayers. Princess paid the penalty for one of her parties for not coming to the official introducing of a new wife by her father – for that she was beaten by a stick. However, in her teen’s rebellions the king’s daughter found her thing: princess openly stands against polygamy, considering it humiliating for women, despite of the attempts of the royal court to hush up her statements. Besides, Sikhnyizo Dlamini wants to become an actress and a rap star; her nick name is Pashu.
4. Crown Princess Victoria (Sweden)
‘Crown’ in the title of Princess of Sweden means that one day she will inherit her father’s throne and become the first queen of Sweden in the last 300 years. In the 80’s the law on primogeniture was adopted meaning that inheritance right belongs to the first born child. In the history of Sweden there have been three queens and Victoria will become the fourth one. This branch of the royal family is quite young and starts from Jean-Batiste Jules Bernadotte, French Marshal. Despite of the fact that Victoria inherited from her father dyslexia and suffered from anorexia and prosopagnosia, she managed to tackle the illnesses and take on her royal accountabilities. Crown princess is involved in charity and started the foundation supporting children who suffer from chronic diseases. Victoria is the most popular member of Swedish royal family, surely in part because she married an ordinary man. Marriages between people of not royal blood and the heirs of the various degrees of remoteness from the throne today are not rare – still marriage as an instrument of politics lost its importance since the transfer of the power to the democratic institutions. Though, the resistance laid down by traditions still occurs. Husband of Victoria is her personal fitness trainer; after advanced training he succeeded in the Swedish royal etiquette and was accepted by the family.
5. Crown princess Mary (Denmark)
In another Scandinavian royal family the story happened all the way around: not the heiress married the ordinary man, but the crown prince married a girl with no royal records. Danish royal family is one of the oldest in the world and the oldest in Europe. Mary Donaldson could hardly suggest that she becomes a princess when she decided to have a drink in a Sydney bar with friends. Prince who came to this city for a visit related to the Olympic Games 2000 has entered the same bar. The couple had distant relationships for a long time, but in the end they got married. In the past Mary worked in marketing; among her duties were PR-work and work with clients which was a bit boring and without much of public attention. Now she helps refugees to learn Danish and is involved in the patronage of the fashion. Crown princess is engaged everywhere: from the organizations tackling obesity to the scientific and research programs; she has got four children and the glory of Danish Kate Middleton, and her main concern is a coming biopic on adventures of her husband in his youth.
6. Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (Great Britain)
Official title of Kate Middleton is a duchess: according to the tradition, wife of Prince William is not to be called princess. One day she will receive the same title as princess Diane, the Princess of Wales, but only when her husband will become the first in the line of throne inheritance (it is said that the Queen is about to pass on the throne to Charles). One way or another Kate became the personification of the ‘modern princess’ image long time ago: successful image and ultimate adequacy supported by the readiness of public to admire new icon turned into the recipe of immediate success. Kate and William were not in a hurry to get married; if to believe mass media, Kate could not decide for a long time to take on the complicated public role and was close to refuse it. However, wedding happened, and whole world observed the couple with admiration; and the end of the world did not happen. Today Kate is perceived differently: someone considers that she promotes image of a woman succeeding in life through the successful marriage and a man; someone calls her the role model – as she involved in charity, she is shy and cheerful, dresses casually as if she is the same as we are. We could hardly ever pass through the wall built around Middleton by her PR managers, but it is not necessary – small things show her ‘down to earth position’ that entered the British royal courtyard along with young duchess. Even though the bunch of crazy hats is still there, we know that prince William calls his wife the banana, while Kate wears casual crocs. All these things, however, do not prevent British courtyard to hire a special serviceman to observe swelling skirts of Kate and look after her in order not to repeat famous confusion.
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