We here at Babble have been wondering who makes a better role model for the kids: Kate Middleton or the Disney Princesses. The truth is, only one of them will be a role model for girls: the ladies of Disney. Kids just don’t care about Kate Middleton.
While we gossip endlessly about the royal wedding, our kids are playing princess with their dolls and blissfully ignoring the pageantry. My girls could care less. They barely know that there is a British royal family, let alone a newly minted princess to idolize. This is really a grown-up party.
Why does the royal wedding get a big yawn from princess-worshipping preschoolers?
Time offers up an interesting essay on why kids aren’t experiencing the princess rapture their parents are caught up in with the royal nuptials. Basically, Kate is boring. She can’t talk to animals, she’s not being held captive in a tower, she doesn’t sing enchanting ballads while prancing about in pretty dresses. A real-life princess just isn’t as cool as the Disney version.
Unless you’re a mom, and what you care about is charity work and dress design. Forget dragons, Kate’s dress is to die for! There’s a thrill for the little girl inside a whole lot of grown-ups in seeing a normal young woman elevated to real-life royalty.
Our daughters ignoring the reification of Kate might be a good thing. After all, being a princess is hard on a young woman. As Time puts it:
Because it seems that being a princess often turns out a lot better in fiction than in fact, where authentic princesses have not always fared so well. The much-publicized unraveling of Princess Diana’s marriage, followed by her demise in a car crash? Crown Princess Masako of Japan’s emotional breakdown, ostensibly due to her failure to produce a male heir? “Not so good,” says Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter. “In real princesses, there are a lot of cautionary tales.”