Growing up we all want to be a Princess? Or do we?
By Clare Sultmann
There’s a new Royal in town. On the 19th May this year the Royal family will welcome with open arms Meghan Markle to its tightly knit clan. Details are emerging of the big day. It’s got me thinking. About the fairy tale we all grew up with. In 1981 when Charles married Di, one of the most televised events in history, I was a 4 year old living in the Qld mining town of Mt Isa. I remember it as if it was yesterday. We all sat around our small television and watched the fairy-tale unfold. The beautiful bride in the flowing dress marrying her handsome prince. Ok prince. As the years unfolded the union would be anything but the fairy tale we all thought it to be.
Since that time, we have watched two ‘commoners’ become future Queens and shortly we will witness another marry her Prince. The title of Princess is no longer attributed to nobility and blue bloods. It seems as if love is finally winning out, making it more possible for the everyday girl to one day find her Prince Charming and live happily ever after. But is it happily ever after?
It’s ingrained in a little girl’s DNA. Crowns and tiaras feature heavily on most little girls’ wish list of presents and the wanting to be a princess is in bedded in us at an early age. On my sixth birthday, I distinctly remember my Grade 1 teacher writing in my card: ‘For the girl who always wanted to be a princess’. Now some 34 years later I look back on all the Princesses that have featured in my lifetime and I wonder. If I could, would I?
One of my best friends got married in 2005 not long after Princess Mary wed Princess Frederick of Denmark. During his wedding speech, her husband made light of the fact that his wife, while watching the wedding of our Mary to her handsome prince sat at home with a tiara on her head and said: ‘ That should have been me’. He was joking of course and we roared with laughter but the line never left me.
Do all the privileges, wealth and fame that comes with marrying into the Royal family really outweigh the intrusive eye of the media. Since Meghan Markle has become engaged to Prince Harry, her job, her ethnicity and her family have come under scrutiny. So too has the fact that she ‘shock horror’ is a divorcee. Not to mention the fact that she has had to give up her country, her home, her citizenship and her job. Her private life and that of her family’s has been dragged over media outlets for us to feast on. And she’s not the first. Let us not forget the titles ‘Commoner Kate’ and ‘Waity Katey’ which Kate Middleton had to bear before she married Prince William. Nor the rude and unrelenting comments about her family’s background and the fact that her mother was once an air hostess. And for these women, the media scrutiny doesn’t stop. If anything it gets worse. A bloated stomach means a pregnancy, a disagreement with a spouse (and who doesn’t have those) means divorce is pending, a recycled outfit is frugal and frumpy and an extravagant outfit is over the top. It’s relentless and it seems they can rarely win. Which begs the question. Why would you do it? In the case of Mary, Meghan and Kate, it must surely be because of one thing: love. Love for the man they are about to marry, irrespective of title or standing. Let’s hope it’s the happily ever after we all dream of.
Clare Sultmann is a wife, mother of 3 and the founder of Dear Molly.
As a survivor of a catastrophic accident, former barrister at law, published author, and nationally accredited mediator Clare has returned to work in a different capacity. Relocating to Noosa shortly after the birth of her first child, Clare found it difficult to make meaningful and real connections with other like-minded women away from her own network of friends. With this in mind, Clare’s idea was born. Dear Molly aims to provide connections for like-minded women in a real, meaningful and positive manner. It a platform to share, communicate and inspire other women about their ‘real’ life.