Thanks to all the fairy tales we read while growing up, the world is obsessed with royalty. We are star struck with their beauty, lifestyles and habits. Tabloids follow their every move and we gaze on with awe as these ageless tiara wearing beauties smile, pose and gracefully wave at the masses whom they call subjects. Princesses fascinate us the most, perhaps, because we attribute every mythic element of the fairy tales we have read to them. We wonder jealously about their handsome consorts and the magical lives they must be leading behind the huge stone walls of their castles. Modern princesses have cast an even stronger spell on us, simply because they are so normal. They seem to be like us in every which way. They dress in jeans and t shirts, go to school and college and start working in corporations or charities. In fact, many of these princesses are not born into royalty at all, but have ascended the throne by virtue of their charm and character. But every once in a while they slip into silk dresses and sparkly tiaras to remind us that they are ethereal beings that walk on cloud while we stargaze enviously. Here are the top ten queens and princesses in the world who have us thoroughly under their spell. A special mention goes to the most glorious princess of all times, Diana. Had she been alive, she would have undoubtedly topped any list that she was part of. Cruelly her young life was cut short. Yet we, her adoring fans, cherish her legacy and her work in our memories forever.
10. Jetsun Pema, Princess of Bhutan
This beautiful oriental princess is the youngest on the list. Though barely twenty three years old, she is the queen consort of King Jigme Khesar of Thimpu. Together they serve the sleepy mountain country of Bhutan which is so cut off from the rest of the world that it does not have internet. It was only a few years back that the country got television and radio. Wrapped up in old world charm, the people of this country are fiercely loyal to their royalty and the love and devotion they have showered on their young queen is proof of that. Pema’s father is a pilot and her mother is the goddaughter of a king. Though her family has tenuous links with royalty, she was brought up as a commoner. Yet her kindness and beautiful character are evident by the way she handles her duties and accompanies her husband on his royal tours abroad. Khesar has said of her, “While she is young, she is warm and kind in heart and character. These qualities together with the wisdom that will come with age and experience will make her a great servant to the nation.” He has announced his intentions of remaining married monogamously, unlike his father who had many wives. Together Pema and Khesar are the perfect couple to bring their ancient beautiful country into the modern century.
9. Keisha Omilana, Princess of Nigeria
Princess Keisha Omilana is married to Nigerian prince Adekunle Adebayo Omilana of the Yoruba tribe. But she had immense success in the fashion world before accepting the mantle of royalty. Originally from California, she filled in as a model for a friend when a last minute emergency forced the original model to back out of an impending fashion show. She fell in love with the runway and became a raging success. She made history when she became the first African American woman to be featured in three successive Pantene commercials, earning her the title “The best hair of business in town”. She, along with her husband, has founded the Wonderful Media Company which has stakes in business, aviation, entertainment and the internet.
8. Tatiana, Princess of Greece and Denmark
Princess Tatiana was born Tatiana Blatnick in Venezuela to Ladislav Blatnick and Marie Blanche Bierlein. Though she is a descendent of Prince Elector William II of Hesse, she had a very un-royal upbringing and worked as an event planner and publicity personnel for the fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. She met prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark during the course of her work and they were in a long term relationship before tying the knot in 2010. Since then, she has resigned from her job and concentrates on her various charities and royal engagements.
7. Zara Philips, England
The most un-princessy princess on this list, Zara Philips is also easily the most accomplished individual on this list. The only daughter of Princess Anne of England, Zara is Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter and as such enjoys unparalleled royal privileges because of her pedigree. But she is an achiever in her own right, and an extremely accomplished equestrian with several Olympic medals under her belt. She bagged silver medals in the London Olympics 2012 as well. She has ditched tiaras and gowns for horses and medals and is none the too sad for it. She married fellow sportsperson Mike Tindal in 2005 and together they make for the perfect sporty couple.
6. Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden
Princess Victoria is the crown princess of Sweden and is the first female to be heir apparent to the throne since 1720. It is with her intended ascension to the throne that the laws of absolute primogeniture comes into absolute effect in Sweden. That is, the eldest child of a ruler will be eligible to succeed him in throne, irrespective of the successor being a male or a female. Victoria herself has a younger brother, but the parliament decreed her eligible to ascend the throne. Likewise, her young daughter will be crown princess one day, even if she has a son sometime in the future. Princess Victoria battled several eating disorders and adolescent centred traumas as a child. The pressures of having the nation’s eyes on you, from such a young age, can be tremendously hard. She battled those bravely and emerged a happy, healthy and confident young woman. She married her personal trainer Daniel Westling in 2010. They had a baby daughter the next year. The Swedes have enormous respect for the monarchy and Princess Victoria has done her best to live up to the public’s expectations.
5. Madeleine, Princess of Sweden
The exquisitely beautiful Princess Madeleine is the younger sister of Princess Victoria, the crown princess of Sweden. She herself is styled as the Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland and is fourth in line to the throne. She is an accomplished equestrian and owns several prized horses. She also enjoys skiing, dance, theatre and art. She has endowed a charity in her name, which encourages and awards young people in the field of horse riding. She is also intensely involved in charity work, especially in the field of supporting child rights. She lives and works in New York in her mother’s charity World Childhood Foundation. She is married to businessman Christopher O Neill.
4. Letizia, Princess of Asturias
Letizia is the wife of Felipe, Prince of the Asturias and heir to the Spanish throne. She was an extremely successful journalist before her marriage and royal ascension and has covered many high profile events and landmark events of history. Born to middle class parents, Letizia proudly claims to have no royal blood. Most of her ancestors hailed from working class backgrounds and she is proud to be associated of them. She has a master’s degree in audio visual journalism and has reported for events like the Presidential election in Washington DC, Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War and the sinking of the Prestige tanker in northern Spain. In May 2004, she married Felipe and subsequently gave birth to two girls. Instead of a palace, she lives with her family in a private residence a few mile away from the Zarzuela Palace and undertakes extensive charities and royal duties as part of her work regime.
3. Charlene, Princess of Monaco
A professional swimmer, Charlene Wittstock represented her native South Africa at the 2000 Olympics before retiring from competitive swimming in 2007. Now of course her fame lies in being the consort to Prince Albert Rainer of Monaco. Her stunning blonde looks makes her a perfect successor to her late mother in law, the Hollywood screen legend Grace Kelly. Indeed with her pale blonde looks and polished demeanour, she is very much in the style and class of the screen siren. She is renowned for her inherent sense of fashion as much as for her charitable duties and classy galas that are held in honour of Grace Kelly and raise funds for the Princess Grace Foundation.
2. Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
The stunning Princess Mary is the wife of the heir to the Danish throne. She had met her husband in pub when he was visiting Australia and, according to reports, it was love at first sight. She is fluent in English, Danish and French. Her courtship and betrothal were the subject of much media speculation and revelry. The way her love story progressed captured the imagination of the masses, promoting her status to extreme popularity and making her a hot favourite with the masses. Her sense of fashion is also much feted, with a whopping 68 per cent women admitting to copying her clothes. Ffashion is Denmark’s third highest export industry and she has given it an immense boost by choosing to wear home grown designers and labels. Prior to her wedding, she was working as a project consultant with Microsoft. She has four children with the Prince and they reside at the Chancellery House at the Fredenborg Palace.
1. Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge
Finally, the number one Princess in the world. Kate Middleton before her marriage to Prince William, second in line to the throne of Britain and sixteen nations of the Commonwealth realm, Catherine now goes by the title Duchess of Cambridge. Like Princess Mary, her story is typical commoner marrying royalty and had intensely captured the imagination of not just British public, but that of the world. Her long term relationship with the Prince, the way the couple have remained “normal” despite the heavy media scrutiny and royalty pressures they are under, her excellent sportsmanship and her unique and iconic sense of fashion have rendered her a hot favourite with the masses. It is estimated that she has singularly boosted British fashion by three billion pounds, her royal wedding in April 2011 boosted the national tourism by billions of pounds and now that she is pregnant with the royal heir, her unborn baby is expected to fetch the British economy a whopping 380 million dollars. She is termed to be Midas of the fashion world, with anything that she is seen wearing being sold out in a matter of minutes. She is the most photographed royal in the world, and this status has only intensified with her recent pregnancy. With her baby due practically any day now, the attention and eyes of the world is on her. Her talents, disposition, intelligence and kindness truly render her a worthy successor to Diana, her late mother in law and beloved princess of the world.