I would have been in little girl hell if I had been a child in this century. I never had the slightest desire to be a princess, and would have been driven batty by all the marketing designed to convince me that being one is the best thing ever since Jello powder sandwiches (have you eaten one? No? Okay, probably best to let me do the commentary on them then).
I have a very vivid imagination, sure, but there has to be some grain of possibility for me to be able to enjoy any fantasy. Last I heard unlikely isn't impossible, and until it is I don't have to let the dream of being cast as James Bond die, even if I am reasonably confident that Jolie chick's going to land the role next. I've come to accept, however, that licking my elbow just isn't going to happen no matter how hard I try. Or how many times I try. Or what angle I try it from. Or who I have helping me. And it's not worth the chiropractic bill anyway. Likewise a princess is pretty much by definition something you have to be from birth, and that whole premise fell completely apart right from the moment my constituent sperm and egg parts collided. Sure, you can marry into the title, but those are fake princesses - they're just apprenticing for a job they'll never hold independently. They get the corner office and a good parking spot, sure, but they'll never run the company.
Becoming a queen, on the other hand, is an entirely more realistic option. Unlike being a princess, that's a title you can gain honestly and independently the old fashioned way - through the taking by force.
Okay, perhaps realistic is too strong a word. That said, though, if you're going to have an unrealistic dream, why wouldn't you have the biggest one available? What the hell are little girls wasting their time dreaming about being princesses for anyway? Have you ever heard of a kid dreaming about becoming vice president or an opening act? Is almost important still the best little girls are being taught they can hope for?
Think back on all the famous princesses throughout history. If you got further back than Diana you get a cookie, but if you only got as far as Margaret you get a cookie with a bite already taken out of it. Bottom line is the only princesses who really make history are the ones who ascend to the throne.
And nobody did a more fabulous job of that than Queen Elizabeth the First. Now there's a woman who truly came to embody what it means to be a queen. She sank navies, survived assassination, wore the biggest dresses on the planet and chopped peoples' heads off. Also guided a violently divided nation from the brink of bankruptcy into a golden age of peace and prosperity. Where's her cartoon? Forget about it. You don't get a Disney musical unless you have sex with a Prince, and that she very pointedly did not do.
Well I actually didn't like Disney when I was a kid, so I didn't waste time dreaming of being rescued by one lousy knight in shining armor when it was just as easy to dream myself the command of a whole freaking army of knights in shining armor. Glass slippers don't even sound comfortable. A crown, on the other hand, affords a woman every comfort on command.
You can imagine my excitement when I was told I was going to get to meet Queen Elizabeth the Second in person. Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy. Now I wasn't completely unrealistic. I knew she wasn't going to come out rockin' the cape and crown and riding a lion with the head of a traitor on a pike. I was seven years old, after all. Not six. That actually just added to the intrigue, though - how did a modern queen present herself for an average public outing? What did a contemporary figurehead of the Commonwealth wear to distinguish herself as representative of the entire population of Britain? I couldn't even begin to imagine!
If I'd had any expectations, though, I am very sure a tastefully tailored suit in an understated pastel shade would have failed them. It most certainly failed to justify standing on a hot tarmac for hours to see something I could just as easily have enjoyed seeing in the comfort of a nice chair with the Sears catalog open in my lap to Ladies Professional Wear. I wasn't expecting Elizabeth the Second to look like Elizabeth the First, no, but I think I was justified in not expecting her to look like the Avon lady either.
Yes, Queen Elizabeth the Second is a lovely person and an admirable monarch in her own right. As a sequel, though, she's definitely not worth the price of popcorn. Shaking hands with her was less exciting than turning on the air conditioning when we finally got back to the car was. I'm confident the experience of shaking hands with Elizabeth the First would have topped that. I don't wish our Lizzie any ill will, though. Of course not. I very sincerely wish her majesty a long, peaceful and happy reign. And while I defer from proclaiming any loyalties on the off chance RuPaul might someday decide to stage a coup, I would definitely vote she be allowed to keep her head if and when we trium... that should happen.
1 hour ago