Tuesday, June 14, 2011

princess thrift

I have noticed with interest that the post receiving the most hits in the past weeks has been on being a princess.   At first I was confused, then I had the "aha!" moment:  Kate Middleton becoming Princess Catherine.  Of course!  I enjoyed the royal wedding as much as the next person.  I even put up a post about the royal tradition of jello: watch it wiggle.  Who knew?! 

Just now I was scanning the news online, and I noticed this video:
Regal Catherine shows off her thrifty side

Thrifty, I thought. What does that mean for a princess? 

I was astonished to discover it means she wore something twice in public.  Do princesses normally wear dresses only once?  How much time would you have to spend shopping? Oh, wait. They don't go shopping.  OK, worse - how much time would you have to spend standing around with a designer or dressmaker?

And people notice.  They noticed that she wore a dress she was photographed in four years ago. Four years!  And later one day they noticed she was wearing the same hat she had worn earlier in the day.  They called it "recycling" and "a clever move." 

I am still trying to wrap my mind around this.

I wonder if our fascination with royalty in this country has any relation to our inability to connect with the details of their lives.  Of course, all this may secretly indicate a desire to think of ourselves as clever when we wear the same clothes more than once...

Does a child imagining herself a princess think about the number of dresses in her fantasy closet? Maybe.  I know I certainly enjoyed designing princess dresses with my crayons when I was five.  Does it ever occur to such a child that she would never be able to have a favorite dress again? I don't think so.  

21st Century Princess

I wonder what it is like for Kate now.  Is she enjoying all that fuss?  Is dressing now a pain because she is watched so closely and has to have something new?  No wonder the two of them waited to get married. I cannot imagine anyone stepping into such a role easily.  I think she will have a much easier time of it than Princess Diana did because she is more prepared.  I also think the rest of the royal family has done some thinking over the years and will make room for her to be herself to a greater extent.  I do hope they will be happy together.

I just can't imagine a life where you would never have the opportunity to put on your old jeans and go out for an ice cream cone without anyone noticing or caring how you look. 

But then, while the name Sarah means Princess, I am not a princess. And for that I give great thanks.

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