Do we need Princesses?

Goodness, it appears the Royal Family is very expensive. It costs 112 times more than the Irish president and the equivalent of thousands of nurses, police officers and teachers according to a new report. www.republic.org.uk/royalfinances

But if we banned the Monarchy what would that mean for children’s books? Where would we be without Lauren Child’s ‘The Princess and the Pea‘? Or Babette Cole’s Princess Smartypants ?Or Gillian Rogerson and Sarah McIntyre’s  You Can’t Eat a Princess! These are all gorgeously funny books, whose Princesses are far from passive, yet Amazon has 25,028 titles in its children’s books section that feature ‘Princess’. That’s nearly twice as many as titles featuring ponies or football.

This was my-less than subtle- take on the issue way back in 1998 in the ‘Teenage Worrier Pocket Guides Omnibus Edition’.

Have I mellowed since then? I am doing a picture book about a Fairy, as it happens, although rather a fierce one.  But do little girls still genuinely love Princesses, or are they thrust upon them?

And while we’re on the subject, could we please stop referring to any girl, or any princess, with half a brain as ‘feisty’?

 

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Ros Asquith is a Guardian cartoonist and author/illustrator of over 60 books for young people.
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7 Responses to Do we need Princesses?

  1. Julia Pascal says:

    Stimulating thoughts here! So the Royal Family costs a fortune and the country is forced to tighten its belt. There are 450 apartments in Buck House and how many in all the other houses the Windors occupy at our cost. I would put the homeless in there and get them off the streets.
    As for stories about princesses once the royals have gone, well everyone is a princess and a prince – potentially. I think the stories, and that’s what they are, pure fantasy, are for us to write and read. Naturalism is out! Anyway in a so-called egalitarian state a ‘royal’ family is an anomaly and needs eradicating. Put the Windsors out to grass; they’ve profited a long time on the back of the taxpayer. Time to move on.

  2. Annie Dalton says:

    Ros, I agree wholeheartedly (and teeth-grittingly) about the infuriating use of the word ‘feisty’ in connection with ‘heroine’. Grrrr.

  3. Geri says:

    This atrclie keeps it real, no doubt.