Weddings and princesses. Diehard fans of both these things know they have something in common.
Both give us hope.
Hope that there’s something magical going on out there. That fairytales really do exist. And that true love is real.
Let’s start with princesses. So rare, kids can be forgiven for thinking they’re make-believe.
When I was a little girl, Disney ran through my veins.
This isn’t unusual. Aurora, Aerial and Cinderella still capture the attention of wide-eyed princesses-in-training everywhere, despite some parents’ best efforts to stop it.
Even now, when I know they’re not amazing role models for women – even when I aspire to be more than just some hot prince’s damsel-in-distress arm candy, the small flicker of fantasy still sits somewhere in my stomach.
Why do so many of us, even in our modern, evermore republican society, still hold out secret hopes of becoming a princess?
Well, princesses do have many great things going for them. They are universally (well, in Disney’s universe) kind and generous. They have shiny hair and standout vocal chords.
Despite their tarnished brand (Set against our modern world, princesses can look a little lazy and incompetent, perhaps a little lacking in ambition) there is a lot that can appeal about being a princess.
More than anything, the fantasy seems like an easy ticket to joy. Princesses get to live Happily Ever After without a care in the world, right? Someone else makes all the hard decisions for them. Waits on them hand and foot.
What high-level management female or stressed mother wouldn’t fantasise about that every now and then?
Usually these princesses get all this right after they marry their One True Love – the handsome prince.
Which brings us to weddings.
When I wasn’t watching my graceful heroines get whisked off on white horses, I was submerged in wedding plans. I have a picture of myself, age 4, in my normal clothes with the addition of a bouquet and a veil.
When I wasn’t marrying my imaginary princes, I was making my Barbie dolls to walk the aisle and say their vows too, usually forcing them into an arranged marriage with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
As far as I was concerned, being a bride was the closest I was ever going to get to princessdom. You get to play princess, if only for a day.
Even as an adult, that instinct remains. Bridezillas everywhere stake their claim to be princess for a day and aren’t letting anyone get in their way of having their moment.
Ladies-in-waiting, tiered cakes, waltzing on the dance floor with a handsome prince in a schmick suit. A storyline Walt himself could have written.
I still love the idea of a wedding.
If a bride anywhere passes me by, I stop to gawk. There really is nothing more radiant than a bride on her wedding day. It’s that look of love on a wedding day that keeps us believing in true love.
It’s almost like finding out the Easter Bunny is real after all.
Is it any wonder, then, that the entire world is captivated right now by Kate and Wills?
What’s better than a wedding or a princess? A princess wedding of course!
This wedding is a real life fairytale that is awakening hope in every red-blooded female across the land.
Gorgeous, normal girl-next-door Kate, who captured the attention of the most eligible bachelor in England (and possibly the world) and who tonight will become Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine.
And while we might not all become royalty, it does give us hope that one day we may find our own personal prince to wait for us at the end of the aisle.
But don’t be deceived. Living a charmed royal life will not necessarily spell an automatic Happily Ever After for our prince and princess. While it’s tempting to believe that being a princess will magically eliminate all the hardships from your life, the reality won’t be quite so easy for our Catherine and Will.
It’s still a marriage, after all.
Originally published in mX Newspaper, April 2011