Princesses in stories and history are often highly glamorized creatures of beauty, wealth and poise. Of course, princesses of today also seem to have plenty of beauty, wealth, and poise; otherwise we wouldn't be so fascinated by their lives. What does royalty entail in the modern world? Dreary castles and Prince Charmings aside, the daily lives of princesses today are vastly different, yet occasionally similar to the royalty of yesteryears.
Most princesses today place a high value on education. While some engage private tutors so popular in stories of old, most attend school like "normal" kids. Of course, the schools must be properly screened, but most princesses Ė at least in Western countries, attend prestigious private, or even public schools. In education, some princesses suffer from the same ailments as others. In fact, Princess Beatrice of York suffers from Dyslexia. She has worked hard to overcome this issue, and has done very well in school despite it.
Continuing education is also very important to these ladies. Most princesses follow their school years with a college or university experience. This marks a dramatic shift from princesses of the past (and fiction) whose formal education was limited after a certain time. Many princesses graduate with honors at their designated university and are highly educated. Most speak multiple languages as this is necessary for their lifestyle.
It is interesting to note that many princesses work prior to, and even after their marriages. Girls who are born into a royal family begin to take roles in the family lines of work as early as their teen years, while those who marry into the royal lines often have careers established prior to marriage.
Princess Diana was a kindergarten teacher, and Princess Mathilde of Belgium worked as a speech therapist prior to marriage.
The most well-known work of most royals, including princesses, is the extensive charity and mission related projects they undertake. Being a royal offers unique opportunities to use the limelight and attention to help others. Most princesses relish this opportunity to support their favorite causes. Princess Anne, daughter of Elizabeth II of England, works tirelessly for over two hundred charities as an official for each. She is a British representative of the International Olympic Committee, and has been president of Save the Children for over thirty-five years.
As members of the public eye, it is important for princesses to represent their family heritage and position. It is unlikely that many royal princesses will be found wearing pajama pants to the mall, but many do make a name for themselves in the realm of fashion. Princess Kalina of Bulgaria is well-known for her unusual clothing, hairstyles, and make-up. She is also a vegetarian strongly in favor of animal rights.
Of course, it is a bit sad to think that princesses don't always run around in beautiful gowns, but they do find opportunities for dressing up more often than the rest of us. In addition to their school dances, there are countless royal functions to attend, and in many wealthy families, dressing up for dinner is common.
Almost all royals work hard to stay out of the limelight as long as possible while growing up. As exciting as the attention may seem, to be constantly hounded for pictures and to worry constantly about kidnap attempts is less than ideal. Princesses seek as normal a life as possible while growing up, and most step graciously into royal roles upon graduation. If the princesses we see around us today are any indication, royalty is still as benevolent and gracious as it has always been.